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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?

    1. I've eaten sushi in San Francisco, San Diego, Alameda, Sacramento, & Fresno; I've never seen anything like this in any of the cities I've been to.

      Deep Fried Rice and Mayo, I just don't know.

      1. Downpressor, I am a native Californian. I've lived in SoCal, NorCal and I've spent 30+ years in various parts of the food business. I've eaten sushi, I've eaten pizza, but I have never, let me repeat NEVER, ever seen, heard of, or eaten what you've described as Sushi Pizza.

        Really, it sounds pretty gross. Now if you'd said it had Ranch Dressing on it instead of mayo I might be inclined to think it originated here. Ranch Dressing = California Catsup

        1 Reply
        1. re: DiningDiva

          Love the comment Ranch dressing = California Catsup. Too funny and amen DD!

        2. Doesn't sound too appetizing to me, but is this supposed to be like Okonomiyaki? Is that what inspired it?

          1. never seen or heard of it. It sounds odd but I can see if it is executed properly, it could be very interesting. I'm thinking the rice patty would be similar to the deep fried rice "cakes" they use in sizzling rice soup.

            1. Japan House in San Diego off of Pomerado and Scripps Poway Pkwy has a "pizza" roll, but nothing like what you're describing.

              1. According to my native SoCal bf, in the early 90s there was a popular construction called a pizza roll in sushi bars that was a CA roll, sliced into rounds, laid out to make a flat platform, then covered with spiced mayo, then seafood, eg scallops, shrimp, crab and sometimes fish, then grilled under a broiler.

                He said he had this every Sat from 1994-1996 at Joes Sushi on Van Buren in Riverside.
                Definitely CA style sushi. but he says he hasn't seen one since the mid 90s. Of course, we only go to very authentic Japanese places these days.

                The other thing he thought of is called dynamite, which is still available, a bowl of rice, with spiced mayo and seafood on top.

                PS I agree with "ew"

                1. There seems to be no limit as to how low man will allow a cuisine to fall, and still call it by the same name...

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: cgfan

                      This kind of stuff reminds me of the Taco Town commercial... Taking tacos and pizza to new lows!


                    2. I don't think it's a California specialty. I've never even heard of it before! I'm guessing the fish on top is cooked? The closest dish I can think of is dynamite, which has various seafood covered in a mayo-based sauce and then broiled and topped with roe (as fauteuil described). I eat it over rice (plain, not fried), but it's a pretty rich dish to my tastes.

                      I wonder if the fried rice patty ends up crispy like the rice at the bottom of dol sot bi bim bap (the Korean dish served in a hot stone pot). I would eat just about anything on top of that rice!

                      Sushi Pizza probably sounds really odd to Californians and is hard to envision, but I bet it's not as bad as we think it is. If I ever visit Ontario, I'm looking this dish up!

                      1. let me clarify another thing: it is absolutely delicious. It's a spice mayo, the type of mayo that finds its way into some types of maki...not overpoweing but enough to work to keep the sashimi on the rice patty. but this does clarify my suspicions that this is something unique to toronto sushi world. I would like to invite you to visit Toronto (an awesome city anyway) and eat at one of the many sushi restaurants and order a sushi pizza. i think you'd be happily surprised.

                        also, cgfan, someone might have said that about real pizza once upon a time as it morphed in north america to something extremely different than it's italian original, or any of a number of different foods that have changed when they became popular in different places. i think this is something to be embraced not deplored, even if the idea of sushi pizza sounds gross to you. there's nothing "low" about it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: downpressor

                          I was in Toronto last week and sampled the sushi pizza out of curiosity. I have to admit that when it arrived at the table we all sat mutely staring for a minute. It did not look particularly appetizing. After we all tried it, we agreed that it was pretty good. It did not resemble the pizza roll served at Japengo and elsewhere in SD at all, but I can see how the similarity in names could cause some confusion about origin. I have to say that while I would rush back to Toronto for another peameal bacon sandwich, hot dog with corn relish, dim sum lunch, or even a double double with dutchie timbits, I wouldn't rush back for another sushi pizza...

                        2. Nothing like that on the Central Coast TMK. Never heard rumors of it either.

                          Sounds like a relative of the dynamite roll.

                          If it was Californian in orginin, it would have avocado.

                          1. Hi, Folks. Sorry to interrupt, but there is another thread discussion the origins of Sushi Pizza on the General Topics board, here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/53779... . Continue the discussion in that thread; we're locking this one.