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Who has the best blue crab handroll?

All this debate over Zo vz. Kiriko is making me hungry for one. I don't mean to include just those two restaurant; any sushi bar is fair game. Thanks!

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    1. re: kdoc

      I'll have to concur with kdoc on this one.

    2. I've now had a blue crab hand roll from two different sushi bars (never mind which ones, they've both got good reputations on these boards). I have found both of them pretty flavorless.

      Am I missing something? Should I be ordering it spicy or not? Maybe I'm used to the fake stuff most sushi bars use in their rolls, which at least tastes like crab. Also, I recently had the food of the gods--King Crab legs, which are so amazingly sweet and flavorful.

      Any input would be appreciated. I don't want to miss out on the blue crab bandwagon!

      GK in SO

      6 Replies
      1. re: GK in SO

        "(never mind which ones, they've both got good reputations on these boards)"

        You have just negated the entire reason for having a public forum like Chowhound where we trade chow tips and chow rips. Of course which places are important. Hell, they are the key element missing from your post. How else are hounds supposed to know your tastes? Know what you either don't like or have constant craving for. Only that way can you receive reco's that lead you down the "Blue Crab Brick Road" to the that Crustaceous shining city on the hill. Spill it GK. There are none of that "the names shall remain confidential to protect the guilty" deal here on the Chowtruth and nothing but the Chowtruth! ;-D

        1. re: tony michaels

          OK, Tony, I'll spill the beans (wasabi?) - the two places were Sushi House of Taka in Sherman Oaks, and Sushi Don Sasabune in Studio City.

          I'm a Valley guy who doesn't make it "over the hill" very often, so I don't know if my choice of restaurants is so much reflective of my taste as much as convenience. Regardless, both Taka and SDS are pretty darn good sushi places, and as such, I would think would have a good blue crab roll.

          I hear that they use the same fish at SDS as at Sasabune, so if it's not the quality of the crab, again I ask, why do they seem flavorless? Is it the comparison to their sweeter cousin (the King) or their impostor (the fake crab used in most rolls)?

          Please impart wisdom unto me, Tony and fellow hounds!!

          GK in SO

          1. re: GK in SO

            Now that you have "come out" of the crab closet -- so to speak -- we can get down to more important matters, FOOD. It's possible you just don't like blue crab handrolls all that much. One of the things I find, even at Sushi Zo is that when the crab is chilled a bit too much the taste can be diminished to an extent. I'm sure that all of the places under discussion have to keep the fish and crab cold for food safety reasons, so that may be part of the taste issue you are having with it. Generally, hot crab is much tastier than cold, and the blue crab has always seemed like some of the sweetest crab meat to me. But that's when it's eaten "Maryland" style.

            Sushi Don Sasabune has gotten good marks on the LA board for having fresh fish at a good price point. I have not been, but I have eaten at Sasabune over here and it has always seemed fine to me in terms of freshness. Obviously Zo is the place to go for the most exquisite of fish, at least that I, and many others on the LA board, have found. And while you pay for it, it's worth the sacrifice in terms of taste and buttery consistency. Make a pilgrimage over to Sushi Zo one of these weekends and see what you think. If you are still not knocked out by the blue crab handroll at Zo then it's just not something that makes your taste buds sing. There is no shame in that.

            1. re: GK in SO

              kiriko and nozawa are great for their blue crab hand rolls, but sushi don sasabune is king, especially for the price. in fact, i've been eating one there nearly every day this past week. think i'll go there now actually.

              1. re: rameniac

                Is this the same roll as the "crab roll" they give you with one of their combos?

                If so, I found the crab to be pretty flavorless...again, what am I missing? Do I need to get the handroll?

                I like their other rolls, though.

                1. re: GK in SO

                  naw, that one's their "california roll", which is made with real crab and avocado. this is the full on crab hand roll with nothing but the crab. blue crab is probably less savory and a lot more "earthy" tasting than king crab or surimi, so if you're used to the king or the imitation crab meat, especially in a california roll, it might not be what you're expecting. i love it tho. at $3.50 for the hand roll, i say give it a try!

        2. I frequent a few places known for their blue crab rolls, inc. Hiko and Sasabune, and have taken to ending the meal before the blue crab roll comes. It's just too heavy and too much and not something I want to have every time I eat sushi. Without it I can keep lunch nice and light, even with a good amount of fish. Also it is virtually impossible to avoid the odd piece of bone once every few times.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jcwla

            yeah, i just tell em no blue crab rolls and instead they hand me a toro roll works for me.

          2. Actaully this was one thing Kiriko really did well... The Blue Crab roll was MONSTEROUS... very much worth it...


            1. I'm a fan of the ones at Kiriko (wonderfully large) and Sushi Zo (made with perfect precision). Both use oustanding, flavorful crab.

              1. I love Sushi Zo's blue crab handroll. The balance of the delicious crab, warm rice and crisp nori is PERFECT.

                4 Replies
                1. re: MeowMixx

                  Argreed. Is there some purpose to that little nori tail that's left on the wrapper?

                  1. re: tony michaels

                    I assumed that it prevents the filling from being squeezed out the end when you take a bite. I've heard the staff refer to it as a "diaper" several times!

                    1. re: Skorgirl

                      Hahaha. I've heard them refer to it that way too. I love it.

                      1. re: Skorgirl

                        Thanks. Hadn't heard them call it that. As if anyone would let a morsel of that incredible goodness escape, diaper or no.

                    1. re: SauceSupreme

                      Sasabune, Nozawa, Zo, Mori, Kirko, Echigo, Sushi Wasabi (tustin) all have a similar Crab Roll, the key seems to be the crispness of the Nori. Almost too close to call?

                        1. re: russkar

                          Echigo's blue crab roll is my favorite because, of those places you listed, it seems to have the most crab and the least dressing. And the nori is nice and crisp. But you can't go wrong at the others, either.

                          1. re: tanja

                            echigo and kiriko are tastier than zo's, i now think, although i think zo's is delicious and perhaps the only one where i never got a bit of shell

                      1. SASABUNE because he knows i'd prefer to eat it without rice and wraps it in the most insane piece of squid, tentacles and all. NOBI's a genius.

                        ZO because the nori is warm and crisp. don't wait for everyone to get theirs. just dig in before it gets soggy.

                        1. go's mart - canoga park.

                          cold crab, warm rice, crispy nori, and a dash of go's magic oil.

                          i could eat a dozen.

                          1. While I still think that the blue crab handroll at Sasabune and Zo are still tops, I had a pretty good rendition of it last night at Sushi Ike. Just the right amount of creamy rice and smelt roe to go along with the crab meat and cucumber.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: SauceSupreme

                              i have a ques: is the crab rolls usually made with mayo or just oil. if anyone knows a joint, that doesn't use mayo to bind/flavor the blue crab hand roll then please tell.

                              nozawa has always been good, though tiny. and sasabune is good too. echigo is huge, roughtly double the size of the others burt not as great.

                              1. re: kevin

                                Hi, kevin!
                                In response to your question about crab rolls without mayo, I recall a similar discussion on this board about spicy tuna with chili oil rather than mayo. I unsuccessfully tried to search it, but could not find it; it was probably a tangential discussion from another topic. Perhaps someone else will uncover that discussion and those same places might also do crab with no mayo.

                                Most sushi bars have hot chili oil or other condiments that they might use in lieu of the mayo; the better places that do not make it up ahead will make it for you as you want it, at your request...plain blue crab with no binder, as you like, for the price of only your smile!

                                1. re: liu

                                  Liu - agree with everything you said.

                                  This topic is near and dear to my heart; here is the previous thread you referred to:


                                  1. re: GK in SO

                                    That's it...and you're amazing, GK in SO! I couldn't find this post, but you did it in three seconds...thanks!

                                    1. re: liu

                                      Well, thanks, Liu, that's not the first time someone has called me that!

                                      Anyways, you also posted in that thread...did you not know about the "My Chow" button at the top of each web page? Click on it, and it brings up every thread you've posted in. Such a great feature!

                                      1. re: GK in SO

                                        And THANKS again, GK in SO!
                                        I remembered the button...just didn't remember that I had posted on this issue!!!
                                        But now that you mention it, it's worth the try, always, when searching. Thanks for getting me focused and easing my search next time!

                                        1. re: liu

                                          Zo. Perfect ratio of succulent crab, warm rice, and the mayo enhances rather than overwhelms.

                                          1. re: purediva

                                            Zo was the best in my experience. The nori was just perfect.

                                            But Kiriko definitely gives you more crab... they really load up on it, and also put a little of pickeled cucumbers. I wish I had my hands on either one right now, so hungry!

                                            1. re: spicychow

                                              This is related to my other post re South Bay sushi, but I have yet to find blue crab hand rolls anywhere in the South Bay. Does anyone know where to find these in the area?