Sushi Heaven restaurant in carmelMonterey Vacation Rental reservationists Ashley Magallanes  and Rhonda Navarro turned me on to Sushi Heaven in Carmel. “The combinations really are heavenly,” Rhonda said.

A person would be foolish not to follow up on a recommendation like that, right?

Sometimes “hole in the wall” is a good thing, like this super cozy sushi bar tucked away on Dolores Street, two blocks east of Ocean Avenue.

Whoever wrote the menu really had some fun, and the chefs back up all the writer’s promises. Try their nigiri/sashimi/roll combos: the “Fantasia,” the “Love Boat” – or, for big eaters – the “Titanic.”

I couldn’t help ordering the “Mama’s Boy” roll – crab, green onions and nuts – because it reminded me of a boss I once had, but the sushi roll combinations go on for pages: from “Crunch” (a California Roll topped with shrimp tempura) to the alarming “911” and the intriguing “007.” Golfers might enjoy the “Whole Nine Yards” or the “Grand Slam” – while honeymooners will probably lean toward “Sensual Pleasure”… or go straight for the “Climax.”

squirrel1Speaking of cozy, why stay in a hotel when you can rent a two bedroom cottage just a few blocks away?  Reminiscent of times gone by, Las Ardillas is lovingly furnished in old-style Carmel with antiques and knickknacks.

Snuggle next to the stone fireplace, or share the outdoor patio with an ardilla (squirrel) or two, under Carmel’s legendary bluebell skies.

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