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typical sushi roll order

On a typical night out at ur fav sushi bar how many and wat kind of rolls do you yourself eat(no including other dining companions) i usually order a large veggie roll and sashimi roll with spicytuna, avocado, crab, salmon, and albacore wrapped ni cucumber and want to get an idea if this is a normal size dinner, alot, or a little.

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  1. Last night two of us had:

    Four crab shumai
    One order (two small pieces of fish) of broiled marinated sable.
    Sashimi plate (14 pieces)
    Yellow Tail & Scallion Roll (6 pieces)
    Eel & Avocado Roll (6 pieces)
    Two pieces of medium fatty tuna, eel and yellowtail sushi, one piece uni sushi

    1. An order of edamame (for two of us).
      For me:
      Miso Soup, Spicy Tuna roll, Yellowtail and Scallion roll and either a California roll or some other veggie roll (avacado, asparagus, sweet potato).
      For lunch, I usually just get the soup and two rolls.

      1. for two (give or take):
        miso soup, shumai or miso-glazed eggplant
        6-8 pieces of sashimi (salmon, hamachi, tuna, striped bass)
        yellowtail-scallion roll
        some spicy tuna concoction (for her)
        fluke-mint-sesame/chile oil roll (for me)
        2 toro sushi
        2 pieces of tomago sushi for "dessert"

        1. At a typical sushi bar, I never order gaijin rolls; I don't want to offend the itamae/owner. So I go with nigiri (toro, hamachi, sake, amaebi, ikura or whatever else the itamae recommends) or on a rare occasion, tekka maki.

          I'll leave my dining companions to order the rolls...and maybe I'll have a bite.

          15 Replies
          1. re: OCAnn

            yeah, it seems that the sushi industry in america is being offended all the way to the bank...

            1. re: aklein

              I recently tried a 'spider' roll and found it very delicious. Previously, my favorite was the roasted salmon (or shark, I can't remember!) skin roll. I find that I can't eat more than two, though.

              1. re: aklein

                LOL. If they're doing well, good. But like the article says (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/567068), hard core sushi-yas disdain gaijin rolls. While I like them (gaijin rolls), I prefer to enjoy the itamae's knife skills, the selection of fresh fish (nigiri) and conversing in broken Japanese when sitting @ the counter. At the counter, as in Japan, it's all about respect.

              2. re: OCAnn

                How can ordering something off the restaurant menu be offensive? If you asked for pizza at a sushi joint, that'd be one thing...

                1. re: mogo

                  How? Probably because the itamae I had said that the "gaijin" rolls (the non-Japanese, "fusion" stuff like the California rolls) don't require particular training...and those rolls aren't Japanese. The Japanese itamae pride themselves on selecting fish, their knife skills and perfecting the rice. Most people just don't get it.

                  The sushi-ya I frequent has 2-3 itamae. One doesn't mind making spicy tuna rolls; he's the owner and understands that it brings novices into sushi in some form and that it makes him money. The other from Tokyo despises making anything not sashimi or nigiri; he is "proud" of his training and grumbles when he has to make what the owner put on the menu to appease the masses. He's not the owner, so it's not his call. If you see from the link above, there's an article about certain itamae-owners make you eat what they give you; you have no say in the matter.

                  It's like asking a famous photographer to use a polaroid, a classical pianist to showcase their skills by playing chopsticks, or a great chef to make microwave popcorn. It's insulting. These are hyperboles, but that's my take on it.

                  EDIT: See this post/thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5670...

                  1. re: OCAnn

                    Wow. I have no sympathy for such sentiment. If someone is going to be taking my money for a service, I expect it to be delivered with a smile--not with a lecture about my plebian tastes. That just smacks of poor customer service. If a service is offered, it should be done well. If it isn't done well, then you either get rid of the service or get rid of the people who are underperforming.

                    I have real issues with poor service as I am a business owner myself. Customers are everything, and it really doesn't take much to do right by them.
                    There are more diplomatic ways to educate the customer.

                    1. re: OCAnn

                      If a famous photographer offered to use a polaroid, a classical pianist offered to play chopsticks, or a great chef offered to make microwave popcorn, and I wanted any of those items, I would have no problem ordering those.

                      It's a tragedy that there isn't more room in America for traditional sushi, but I think that's beside the point.

                      1. re: saltz

                        Yes, I would whole-heartedly accept anything OFFERED by a great master too!

                        But ASKING for something they considered beneath them, well, I personally wouldn't bother to go there.

                        1. re: OCAnn

                          I guess I just find it bizarre. I can almost see this as a Monty Python sketch!

                          1. re: mogo

                            I'm thinking more along the lines as Samurai Deli!

                            I think all you people have valid points one way or another. I feel its a cultural thing mixed in with a bit of sushi snobbery.

                            As a business owner I can understand how you might be offended by an employee's refusal to perform a 'normal' task in performing their duties.
                            But I can see it happening all the time and its not restricted to sushi; maybe order a bottle of Crystal and ask the sommelier to mix it with some OJ, extra pulp. Some wine stewards might be offended and refuse to do it. Maybe ask a diner line cook in the midwest to crack a raw egg on top of your fried rice - he might just say no, that its unamerican.
                            Hell, I just saw a program where the owners of a hot dog joint refuse to put ketchup on the dawgs...

                            "There are more diplomatic ways to educate the customer." I think is key. Not that anyone necessarily wants to insult a master, just they aren't better educated.
                            Its also a two way street: the master should know that he is serving heathen who maybe don't have a clue, so getting offended is akin to getting steamed by a child making an innocent observation.

                            Just my 2c...

                          2. re: OCAnn

                            Since those rolls are on the menu, the resto is offering to make those rolls, and the chefs employed there should be willing to do it otherwise not accept the position. It's not like you'd be ordering some not-on-the-menu pb&j handroll or anything like that.

                            1. re: akq

                              True, true, but with human nature being what it is, ego always enters the equation...

                              1. re: akq

                                Although the itamae doesn't like to prepare American rolls, he does make them. He doesn't have to like it. But it's a boon for Mr OCAnn & me; we commiserate with him and he thanks us by bringing us something off-menu that the chefs create/eat for themselves.

                                It may not be great customer service, but maybe it's their way of reducing come-backs since they have hour long waits? Recall the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld; if you don't like the service, don't patronise them.

                      2. re: OCAnn

                        the owner is never insulted by you ordering what s/he is offering. if s/he was going to be offended s/he wouldn't sell it. a restaurant is a business 1st and foremost. owners are never offended by paying customers paying them.

                        1. re: thew

                          On another thread, there's a discussion that owners do things like offer fusion rolls--in some cases begrudingly--b/c it's good for business and not b/c they want to.

                          Never say never....

                      3. I almost always get salmon nigiri and a salmon or tuna roll! Love salmon sushi.

                        1. sashimi roll?
                          Isn't that an oxymoron?

                          Sounds like you eat light. I usually pig out. If I were to walk into a joint I had never been to before, and I didn't sit at the sushi bar, I would order:
                          A bowl of miso, and then...
                          ama ebi (with the fried head)
                          1 spicy tuna hand roll

                          From there, I would order more of what seems the freshest/best for round two. Whatever was best out of round one, I'd go with like "four more X, two more X, etc." I kind of think of the rolls as fillers. Some are good, but I'd rather have nigiri. If you are asking because you are hungry when you leave, it's because I think you are ordering light.

                          1. I never worry about offending anyone. 90% of the places I frequent are so jaded that they're way beyond offence -{:-/)
                            For ROLLS, my favorites are spider, sunrise, and salmon roe (don't know if this last can be considered a 'roll').
                            If you order a large veggy roll, sashimi roll, and albacore, I would consider this on the small size. But thats me.
                            I usually start with apps of some sort (grilled samna or grilled eel or grilled squid or beef sashimi or gyoza) then add sashimi (usually tuna, eel, surf clam, snapper, mackerel).
                            Maybe start with an unfiltered sake, then move on to a bottle of draught sake, unless feeling ornery, then a bottle of Black&Gold.

                            I would love to put myself in the hands of a master. However in these parts, it ends up as simple, cliche pieces and likely to be the most inexpensive items the chef can utilize...

                            1. We always share so this is usually how it goes

                              Conch Salad

                              White Tuna, Baby Yellow Tail, Salmon, and Fatty Tuna
                              Hamachi Maki
                              Spicy Tuna Roll
                              Salmon Roll

                              Signature Roll
                              Hot Lava or Volcano Roll
                              Wasabi Hot Roll

                              Drink: Bonzai (plum wine+Saki) or Kirin

                              1. The ginger salad dressing found at Japanese restaurants is the best you can find anywhere so I ALWAYS start with a large salad. Miso soup I can take or leave. My usual order is one California roll and one Spider roll. This probably marks me as a rube but I don't care for any sushi containing raw fish.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                  As a side note, Litehouse makes a Soy Ginger salad dressing that tastes just the restaurants.

                                  1. re: Bakersfield Hound

                                    Thanks Bakersfield, I will look for it at the store. You wouldn't happen to have a recipe for that dressing would you?

                                2. usually 2 rolls and 2 slices of eel.

                                  1. If I am having rolls, I'll usualy have two (of the large kind with sauce, avocado, etc.) on my own. I may or may not order appetizers, such as shumai or gyoza, but I most liklely would be sharing them.
                                    However, if I am going for nigiri/sashimi, it's very hard to say. I begin by ordering six or seven pieces, and perhaps a soup or miso eggplant, and take it from there. I definitely eat (and pay!) more when I order piece by piece than when I go for rolls, but this is partly due to the fact that I tend to eat them at different restaurants.
                                    I guess your typical order sounds a little light by my standards :)

                                    1. two of us usually start with a small salad and miso soup (I eat my husband's salad, he eats my soup) and an order of veg gyoza (my weakness of late)

                                      as for the main attraction we usually get regular hand rolls- 1 raw, 1cooked and 1 veg- 6 pcs each usually and split them-

                                      personally I could live on spicy tuna and asparagus rolls for the rest of my life

                                      1. usually when i go get sushi with my friend, we usually end up getting 3 rolls like the crunch roll, california roll and eel roll. then depending on my mood, we may end up getting 1 order of nigri either unagi, tamago or inari.

                                        1. OK, OK. I'm much more of a sashimi, nigiri, and gunkan guy, but I do like the occasional roll. It is, however, far to easy to hide mediocre fish and (especially) rice in a cutesy named, complex roll. It seems like the ingredients (for places that feature the big rolls) are picked via a dart board, so for maki I gravitate towards the simpler stuff like tuna, eel, hamachi, natto, veggies, etc. Salmon skin temaki is one of my favorites.

                                          OTOH, if it's an itamae I trust I'll just ask him (or her; yes, there are some good female sushi chefs) to have fun.

                                          1. There are only a couple of rolls I'll consider because I learned to eat sushi while living in Japan and I'm a traditionalist. Anything with avocado, cream cheese, asparagus, Velveeta, chicken tenders, wrapped in cucumber, kimchi, etc. etc. is not my cup of o cha.

                                            I've found the one place within a three hour radius of my house that is an authentic Japanese restaurant, run by Japanese (no filipin-jin banging a spatula on a teppan and tossing shrimp in the air), and catering to Japanese tourists, ex-pats, businessmen, convention goers, etc.

                                            My favorite roll is toro and green onion hand rolls (temaki zushi no negi toro) or the good old tekka maki.

                                            1. I only order one or two rolls, usually cucumber or yellowtail/scallion or eel.

                                              1. Traditional is my cup of tea so after a plate or two of sashimi, several nigiri, my favorite 'roll' would be: toro, negi-toro, maguro-natto, ika-uni, or an ume shiso. All viewable here:

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: Pablo

                                                  That's a really great flickr photo set Pablo, I spent around 15 minutes doing a slideshow. Thanks.

                                                  1. re: steinpilz

                                                    Thanks steinplitz, if you are ever in San Diego, you know where the best place is now!

                                                    1. re: steinpilz

                                                      BTW for a "wordy" version of the same, here's a link to a slideshow of their past ingredient arrivals:


                                                      ...and as Pablo says, they are the best in San Diego.

                                                    2. re: Pablo

                                                      I'm with Pablo - a traditional sushi diner as well. As part of my usual omakase I'll sometimes get a traditional hoso-maki (thin roll) w/o needing to ask for it.

                                                      Once in a while as a closer I'll have a craving for a simple kappa-maki, a hoso-maki with just slivers of Japanese cucumber (kyuri). The kyuri in this case has the perfect amount of crunch, is very subtly sweet, and has a cleansing quality to it that is more subtle than the shiso (beefsteak plant).

                                                      Try it out sometime - they're so simple, but delicious. ...a nice way to close out a visit to the sushi bar, especially at a traditional one.

                                                      1. re: Pablo

                                                        umeshiso yamaimo hosomaki is typically and best saved at the end as a palette cleanser. One of the chefs mentioned in the Wall Street Journal artcle: Sushi Bullies, once supposedly yelled at a customer for ordering the UYH too early and lectured that customer that it should be consumed at the end.

                                                        Other off the beaten path traditional hoso maki or temaki to try:

                                                        oshinko, maguro and natto (temaki)
                                                        natto, mekabu, yamaimo gunkan maki (uber gooey trio, not for the faint of heart)
                                                        kanpyo (where it is always cut into 4 pieces)
                                                        toro (or maguro scraps/nakaochi) with takuan hosomaki

                                                        If your sushi-ya carries some seared beef (good quality Wagyu for example), try a hosomaki with wagyu (or Kobe style beef), negi, and ask for yotsu giri (4 pc cut) and a side of ponzu for dipping. For extra effect, ask for some julienne garlic inside the roll.

                                                        What I really want to try, are chopped marinated/simmered manila clams as a hosomaki (from one episode of Shota No Sushi 1996 Japanese TV episode)

                                                        Or just get any hosomaki, ask for it uncut so you eat it like you're holding a cigar. Very fun to eat that way.

                                                        1. start out with the seaweed salad.

                                                          after which we get nigiri of eel (freshwater, saltwater, who cares?), o-toro, hamachi, uni with quail egg

                                                          rolls: dragon, eel, spicy tuna

                                                          1. We have a chain sushi place within walking distnace, nothing fancy, but the young men that work there are very friendly.

                                                            I usually start with miso soup
                                                            then order
                                                            Tempura Shrimp Roll - another place in town calls them "Rock & Roll"
                                                            Tobiko (Tobitama if I know there are newbs who might get grossed out)
                                                            Tamago for dessert.

                                                            My SO usually orders the seaweed salad and sashimi plate.

                                                            1. Last Friday we had:
                                                              7 piece salmon sashimi
                                                              7 piece med fat toro sashimi
                                                              scallop nigiri (my Favorite!)
                                                              sweet shrimp nigiri (with the head served fried seperately, yum)
                                                              oh toro nigiri
                                                              and a LOT of sake, on ice, delicious!
                                                              fresh oranges for dessert

                                                              1. spicy salmon =/...that's it really, the other ones kinda suck. Unless I'm going to a nice place, but then I never had a maki in those places...

                                                                1. I tend to order 2 types of (2x) nigiri, which makes 4 rolls. At least 2 of the four being tuna. It really depends. I was always happy (in the sadly, now closed sushi bar) to nip in on the way back from the pub and just consume sushi until I was satisfied. Miso soup too because it's cheap nice and filling.

                                                                  And not that I care about appearing Gaijin (because let's face it, I am) I disdain california rolls. They taste of aniseed to me. To me sushi is pretty much nigiri. Also, I've never been to Japan. It does appear though that everything I do anyway seems to be in the natural respectful Japanese way.