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Mikuni celebrates one year of business in Folsom

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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Irasshaimase!

Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar recently celebrated their one year anniversary in Folsom on Nov. 7 and Owner Taro Arai has nothing but kind words of appreciation.

Since the beginning, Mikuni has been a favorite for Folsom and El Dorado Hills residents. Arai planned on opening a location in Folsom for a long time. Arai said he had many requests from Folsom resident customers to open up a closer location where they live.

Arai heard them and that is exactly what he did.

Arai said the Folsom location has been exceeding his expectations and has been wildly successful, pulling in as successful as his other locations.

“It has been doing much better than we expected,” he said “I’m very appreciative to the people of Folsom. We have been selling fresh fish, good sake, and I’m very impressed.”

The best selling dishes in Folsom are all over the board, but the exuberantly sold rolls include the Benjamin roll, the Marilyn Monroll, the Incredible roll, and the Kaiser roll.

Arai said the only thing he would change about his Folsom restaurant would be to make it larger. He is still surprised about the massive response he has received from Folsom customers.

Located at 185 Placerville Rd. #100, this will be the final location in the Sacramento area, he said.

Not only has it been one year since to opening of the Folsom location, but Arai recently celebrated 30 years in business.

During the celebration, Arai gave away a car and had his own crafted bourbon, which is available at Mikuni restaurants.

Each year, Arai creates his own alcohol, but in a different style. One year, he made a beer, another he made sake. Next time, Arai said he plans to create his own tequila.

“I believe in kaizen and to keep on kaizening,” Arai said. “For me, the Folsom store is just the beginning. We are just starting the engine.”

Arai’s goal is to have 50 Mikuni locations by the 50th anniversary, and so far, he is off to a good start.

In February of next year, his next location will be opening in Concord.

“If that location does well, then we are going to explode in the Bay Area,” he said. “After that, we will be expanding out-of-state. I am too excited for everything."

Arai’s favorite thing about his restaurants is as they are growing, they get to help others, he said.

In the past, Arai donated $1 million to the Breast Cancer Navigator Program, and has an infusion center named after the restaurant at the Sutter Medical Center in Downtown Sacramento.

Arai said when he is not working, he trying to make a difference for others. He said he personally caters for people and all the funds go to charity, as well as all of the profits from his annual golf tournament.

“To be able to make a difference in the community, I wouldn’t be able to do it without all of my customers,” Arai said. “Doing something to help others is what I love most about it. I am so appreciative of God for this opportunity and all of the customers in the region for helping us,” Arai said. “The customers have helped us do so many great things.”