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Sushi Pizza- California specialty?!

Hi California Chowhounds:

I am an ambassador from the Ontario chowhound board where we had a question maybe you guys can answer. We were discussing whether Sushi Pizza was a delicassy native to Toronto sushi restaurants. Someone made the claim that it had originated in California. See the link here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/52267...

Is anybody in a position to verify whether this is true or not?
In case there is any confusion this is what Toronto sushi pizza is as described by someone on the link above: It's a round rice patty, maybe 4-5" in diameter, deep fried (so that it gets nice and crispy/chewy and golden-brown on the outside), and topped with mayo, fish (usually salmon, but somtimes tuna and/or crab), and roe.

Anyone have that? If so, is it a standard on sushi menus?

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  1. I've never seen it in a San Francisco sushi restaurant, thank god.

    1. Ditto. I've never heard of it, either in sushi restos here or in Japan.

      1. Well you got an answer on the LA Board as would be expected for something that "original". # 25 0n the menu with a picture.
        http://www.tokyotable.com/pdfs/TokyoT...

        2 Replies
        1. re: wolfe

          Umm...that does not seem quite it. The burnt rice disk in the picture on the menu is barely 1inch in diameter. The OP describes a HUGE 5 inch thing drowning in mayo and with tuna on top. Here in the SF/Bay Area, there are also places that will deep fry a roll in tempura batter, slice and serve, but this also does not seem to be correct.

          I can only answer one question definitively: it certainly is NOT standard on sushi menus. I have lived here for more than 2 decades and eaten my share of sushi, but have never heard of, much seen on menus or eaten, what the OP describes. I cannot answer for the interior valley or LA, both of which have substantial Japanese populations. Course, this does not mean it could not have been 'invented' by a sushi place that is obscure or defunct.

          WAIT: bay area residents, before you gag in horror. There is a traditional Japanese treat known as 'koge', do a search on this term and you will get several threads that discuss it in detail. It is the brown, burnt layer of rice on the bottom of rice pots or electric rice cookers. Traditionally, children fight over the right to enjoy this treat. I have enjoyed it more than once, along with green tea or sake, but never in a restaurant, and certainly NEVER with mayo or fish, either raw or cooked.

          Question to the Toronto board where this is standard fare: is the rice disk light and crispy, as in dipped in tempera batter and lightly fried, or is it the traditional 'koge', that is dark brown and chewy?? I would like to enjoy it if it is the latter next time I visit your city.

          1. re: jerry i h

            it is not drowning in mayo by any means. the mayo is more to keep the sushi on the fried rice patty and to add a bit of spice. it's probably closer to the former of your two options. Crisp on the outisde but still rice inside...think a piece of ngiri, but with the rice having a thin fried shell. but it is really delicious. also, on further thought, most places don't serve the 5 inch in diameter varity...closer to 2 or 3 inches in diameter, cut into 6 or so bite size "slices" about the size of ap iece of maki.

            I have determined that sushi pizza is a signature toronto dish, and would invote anybody to go to toronto and try it. they have great (and affordable) traditional sushi in TO as well, but sushi pizza is worth trying.

        2. I live in the bay area but I'm in Toronto right now. Sushi pizza is everywhere, but it's something I've never seen back home.

          1. sorry to lurk, and then pop out. . . but could we see a picture of this sushi pizza-- the signature toronto variety??? i never saw it when i was there, 5-6 years ago. then again even if i did see it-- would i even have known what it was? enquiring hounds want to know: what does sushi pizza look like? give us a pic!

            3 Replies
              1. re: Humbucker

                wow thanks for the pics. very interesting. :)

                1. re: soupkitten

                  Brian Romero especially!

                  Some of the presentations don't look half bad.