The food version of "Stop, Drop & Roll" isn't for kindergarden fire drill practice. There is, however, fire to be found in the Stop Drop & Roll Maki at Mamasake, in The Village at Squaw Valley. It's an experience for potential fire eaters only. I started to get excited when my friend Amy C. told me about the hot roll this weekend. We were all staying at the Plumpjack Resort for my friend Jen's wedding.
"It's tuna with habaneros, jalapenos and habanero oil," Amy C. said, smiling at my enthusiasm, and pleas of "Oh, we have to go!" to Oscar. It also comes with fresno peppers and a cooling sunomono salad of cucumbers, vinegar, and black sesame seeds. The roll has rice on the outside, with healthy diced red habanero chunks. The waitress had the sushi chef "add some extra heat" for us. Good thing for the sunomono salad, because the roll's heat catches in the throat-probably from a sprinkling of feisty cayenne pepper and habanero oil. Eating the Stop, Drop & Roll didn't make my eyes fully water or tear, but I did have to chew and swallow slowly, to let the heat distribute. The roll could've been a little bit hotter, but the fatty sweetness of the tuna paired well with the three alarm ingredients.
Mamasake has a relaxed environment, with mellow reggae and rock tunes and a huge TV screen that divides the restaurant. We were eating a late lunch, but I read that Mamasake can get crowded with families, locals and travellers during dinner. There are beer ("Hemp Ale") and sake signs to take in while waiting. The waitstaff are friendly sporty types with punkish hairdos and tats.
Mamasake, The Village at Squaw
1850 Village South Road, Suite 52
Olympic Valley, CA 96146