By CHP Staff

We are always seeing people. At the grocery store you may see at least 30 different faces milling about the aisles. You go to get your brakes fixed? That’s about three people right there. Sitting in class? Depending on which room you’re in, you’re dealing with 30-400 people. But how much do you know about any of these individuals? Probably little, their name maybe, or nothing at all. In this column we’d like to solve that by bringing a different member of the Santa Cruz community to light. That’s right, one new person each week.

So relax, and get to know your neighborhood “Sushi Man,” Aaron Padilla. We caught him in the Sunday night slam at Masako’s Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar.

What’s your job title?

Sushi Man.

How did you become “Sushi Man”?

I’ve worked here since we opened. I used to serve, it’s a nice break, and it’s good to be more creative.

It is difficult being a Sushi guy?

It takes a while to get the skills down.

Do you ever make up your own rolls?

None that go on the menu, but for friends.

Do you get to bring rolls home?

The vegetarian ones. Not the ones with meat.

What’s your favorite sushi to eat?

Gen Maki.

What goes into making a good sushi roll?

Balance, good flavors, texture and colors.

Do you have a dream job?

Something in the sports industry. I’d like to open my own gym.


That’s what my degree is in — Kinesiology.

Where did you go to college?

San Diego State. But I grew up in Grass Valley.

Why’d you move to Santa Cruz?

My friend lived here, and I liked it.

What do you like to do for exercise?

I like running outdoors and playing squash.

What’s your favorite movie?

Good Will Hunting.

What kind of music do you like?

Indie stuff, like Bright Eyes.

What’s your favorite utensil?

The knife. You can use it with most everything.

Reader, we’d love to hear from you! If you have any suggestions for possible interviews or interesting questions, please send an email to