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Odd/Nontraditional Sushi Rolls?

boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 09:32 AM

In another post, someone mentioned sushi with cream cheese in it as part of high-end California style sushi. I live in So. CA, and have never see sushi with cream cheese offered at any of the sushi bars/restaurants we frequent, so I looked it up online. It came with up the Philadephia Roll, which is smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber. I have never seen this on a menu before!

It got me thinking that sushi rolls are probably created based on regional preferences. I think while sushi has been popular for years in LA and NY, its only recently became popular in other metro areas, and therefore, chefs are coming up with rolls to fit the area. The California roll was invented in LA by a sushi chef in the 70s. The Philadephia roll was also invented by an American chef who felt his customers wouldn't want to eat raw fish. Here in LA, most locals wouldn't order a California roll at a sushi bar (of course, there are always exceptions!) but I just looked at menus for the three sushi bars we go to and none of them offer a Philadelphia roll.

Living in LA, we get excellent sushi here. DH and I prefer more traditional sushi and sashimi. One sushi bar we've been to a couple times offers a Garlic Shrimp roll, which was basically hot sautéed shrimp with butter and garlic, wrapped in rice and nori. Think Shrimp Scampi in a roll. I ordered it once, to try it, and it was good, but its not what I think of when I go out for sushi. The chef who served us that day said they came up with it because they didnt have many offerings for the non-raw eaters. A $$$$ sushi place near us does a Kobe beef sushi with lemon, salt and drizzled with truffle oil. Delicious but definitely nontraditional.

What unusual sushi and/or sushi rolls have you seen on a menu?

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  1. h
    HillJ RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 10:15 AM

    Where we go most frequently, we can buy very simple rolls for $4.00 a piece and they consist of the usual suspects, raw vegetables, raw fish or a combination. If you select a tempura roll the price goes up $2.00 and is still fairly traditional. The minute you order from the Chef's Special rolls you are ordering in the $9-$30 range. The roll consists of 9-12 pieces and the nontraditional choices come into play. That would include more sauces, the use of fresh fruit. The most 'unusual' roll we've enjoyed recently was a mexicali roll; super spicy/hot with non asian flavors.

    1. t
      tardigrade RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 11:28 AM

      Long, long ago - we're talking very early 80s - a now defunct sushi boat place in Palo Alto had a chef who would occasionally make "dessert" sushis, including ones with ume (salted plums) or walnuts, which he said were popular in parts of Japan.

      4 Replies
      1. re: tardigrade
        boogiebaby RE: tardigrade Nov 18, 2013 01:02 PM

        I think salted plum sushi could be very good! I love salted plums!

        1. re: boogiebaby
          hotoynoodle RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 02:15 PM

          i've had rolls with umeboshi and cucumber and it IS really good.

          1. re: boogiebaby
            Silverjay RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 10:44 PM

            Ume-shiso maki are pretty standard in Japan. They, like most maki, are considered stomach stuffers toward the end of the meal.

            1. re: Silverjay
              Tripeler RE: Silverjay Nov 19, 2013 02:56 AM

              Also, the ume-shiso flavors are considered somewhat of a palate-cleanser (salty, acidic and herbal) after a lot of fatty rich sushi.

        2. hotoynoodle RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 12:17 PM

          just did a quick google-fu of some san diego sushi menus. 5 out of 5 all had california maki and philadelpha maki. i also don't order either of those, but somebody must be, or they wouldn't be on menus, both in your area and my home of new england.

          our better "sushi" places don't even do maki rolls.

          while i can be snobby about other regions and my presumption of their culinary shortcomings, i think it's very short-sighted on your end to think sushi is just now reaching anyplace but ny and la.

          4 Replies
          1. re: hotoynoodle
            boogiebaby RE: hotoynoodle Nov 18, 2013 01:02 PM

            It wasn't intended to be short sighted. My husband lived in NJ before we got married. He never understood my love of sushi while we were dating because where he lived, sushi was not something people really ate. He said there was only 1 sushi restaurant in his area. When he moved to CA, he started eating sushi and now it's one of his favorite things to eat.

            I have friends in central IL, and while they do have a couple sushi restaurants there, it's not as popular as other cuisines like Italian or Mexican.

            Here's the place I mentioned that had the garlic shrimp sushi. They have a couple inventive rolls, and the standard California roll, but no Philadelphia roll: this isnt a high end sushi bar either - its a tiny little place with a handful of tables. http://www.littlebrothersushi.com/lit...
            Here's another place we go to sometimes. Again, nothing fancy, just a standard sushi bar with a few tables inside. They have Ca roll, but no Philadephia roll:http://www.ominosushi.com/dinner-menu

            Im not snobby about my food by any means. if i were, I'd be eating at the $300 sushi bars instead of the $50 sushi bars. I have no problem eating from a taco cart in the street or going to an upscale restaurant for a multi-course meal. I do draw the line at grocery store sushi though!

            My point was, I think sushi has been around but it hasn't become popular in some areas until a few years ago. There were sushi restaurants in LA in the 60s and 70s, whereas I don't think there were sushi restaurants in other metro areas around that same time. I could be wrong though. Because its a "foreign" concept to many people to eat raw fish, I think sushi chefs regionally adapt the food to cater to their clientele's preferences, with the Philadelphia roll being a perfect example.

            1. re: boogiebaby
              hotoynoodle RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 02:17 PM

              not sure of the dates we're discussing, but i was eating sushi in nj in the 80s.

              sometimes personal perception of popularity has more to do with the preferences of our circle of friends and colleagues than it does with reality.

              1. re: hotoynoodle
                boogiebaby RE: hotoynoodle Nov 18, 2013 03:14 PM

                I'm talking mid 90s. My assumption is/was that if there's only 1 sushi restaurant in the area, it must not be in high demand. That may an incorrect assumption on my part.

                1. re: hotoynoodle
                  The Professor RE: hotoynoodle Nov 27, 2013 11:09 AM

                  I agree.
                  My first taste of sushi was in the mid 1970's in Central NJ. Grated that there weren't as many places selling it as there are now, but it still rally wasn't all that rare a thing.

            2. luckyfatima RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 12:34 PM

              I've encountered cream cheese on sushi rolls before. It's not something I enjoy.

              A regional roll I have seen is with crawfish in Texas. Also, there in (Austin) Texas I find more spicy rolls with red chile powder on them. There is also one place that has foie gras sushi. That isn't regional. It is delicious, though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: luckyfatima
                boogiebaby RE: luckyfatima Nov 18, 2013 03:16 PM

                My DH would order a foie grass roll! He was devastated when CA banned fois gras!

              2. southernitalian RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 01:04 PM


                1. b
                  Bkeats RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 01:42 PM

                  I personally am appalled by the idea of cream cheese in maki. With my bagel yes, not with my sushi rice. Flavor profile is just wrong to my taste.

                  But there are plenty of places that serve all sorts of rolls with 18 kinds of fish and six sauces. Definitely appeals to some people. I've seen bulgogi sushi, cheese steak sushi, rainbow rolls and the ubiquitous fried shrimp/lobster rolls.

                  I generally prefer nigiri. As I commented on the other thread, I can't recall ever being served maki as part of an omakase sushi meal at one of the higher end places.

                  1. j
                    joonjoon RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 01:47 PM

                    Seaweed rolls are an awesome vessel to stuff lots of delicious things in. If you're only eating it in traditional Japanese raw fish makizushi style you're missing out.

                    I made one the other day with pulled pork, mayo and takuan...it was awesome.

                    I'm also partial to the smoked salmon/cream cheese combo you mentioned. Add scallion in mine please.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: joonjoon
                      MrsPatmore RE: joonjoon Nov 18, 2013 05:42 PM

                      Quote: "Seaweed rolls are an awesome vessel to stuff lots of delicious things in."

                      Very well said, my friend! I could not agree more. I appreciate both traditional and non-traditional sushi rolls. Although I have to say that I'm not fond of either cream cheese or avocado in any roll. But I'm not judging those who do! If you guys want cream cheese in your rolls, I'm totally fine with it. :=)

                    2. melpy RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 02:25 PM

                      Before college I had tried very minimal sushi and most of it cooked maki. The Philly rollat our local place does not used smoked salmon but rather raw. It was one of my first raw fish experiences. I no longer order this as we have moved on to better options but I think it has a place. The other raw roll I started with was a spicy tuna roll that had been tempura fried and then drizzled with eel sauce. They called it a rock and roll.

                      1. inaplasticcup RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 02:39 PM

                        Having lived in So Cal most of my life, I have encountered just about every kind of banzai sushi there is, so nothing really surprises me anymore. And I also, like a few upthread, just find cream cheese really offputting in my sushi, but The Philly Roll has been around for a long time now, so hardly novel.

                        I actually think the weirdest sushi rolls are things like Shrimp Scampi rolls. I mean, if raw fish is just that offputting (not that all sushi involves raw fish, but much of it does), then why not just order something else? OTOH, I think I understand that there's a certain social element restaurants are addressing with rolls like that. Your friends are eating rolled up things with raw fish in them, and now you can feel a little less like odd man out because you, too, can eat rolled up things along with them.

                        That said, the most recently weird or offputting sushi experience I've had lately was a roll with a rather flat sauce that tasted like it had mostly papaya and some kind of chili in it. I've had rolls with mango on them, and the sweet tart contrast worked ok with the fish. But the flat, sweet funk of papaya with sushi, and without any acid element to offset it, was just... WHY???

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: inaplasticcup
                          HillJ RE: inaplasticcup Nov 18, 2013 02:44 PM

                          Why? I guess to make money off their customers. Why else do restaurants offer it.

                          1. re: HillJ
                            inaplasticcup RE: HillJ Nov 18, 2013 02:46 PM

                            I thought it clearly rhetorical, but thanks for the explanation anyway, HillJ. ;)

                            1. re: inaplasticcup
                              HillJ RE: inaplasticcup Nov 18, 2013 03:47 PM

                              Sorry, your point didn't appear that obvious to me in written form :)

                              1. re: HillJ
                                inaplasticcup RE: HillJ Nov 18, 2013 04:05 PM

                                Clearly. :)

                                1. re: inaplasticcup
                                  HillJ RE: inaplasticcup Nov 18, 2013 04:10 PM

                                  btw-I've never encountered a shrimp scamp roll. but I did think that tempura rolls were added to appeal to customers who prefer a cooked fish.

                                  1. re: HillJ
                                    c oliver RE: HillJ Nov 18, 2013 05:12 PM

                                    I have a friend who is a great cook and eater but raw fish is not going to cross her lips. So those cooks things are good for her.

                          2. re: inaplasticcup
                            hotoynoodle RE: inaplasticcup Nov 18, 2013 02:56 PM

                            have seen maki rolls that included mango, apple, strawberry, papaya and pineapple. possibly some i forget. no thanks!

                            1. re: inaplasticcup
                              boogiebaby RE: inaplasticcup Nov 18, 2013 03:10 PM

                              "I actually think the weirdest sushi rolls are things like Shrimp Scampi rolls. I mean, if raw fish is just that offputting (not that all sushi involves raw fish, but much of it does), then why not just order something else? OTOH, I think I understand that there's a certain social element restaurants are addressing with rolls like that. Your friends are eating rolled up things with raw fish in them, and now you can feel a little less like odd man out because you, too, can eat rolled up things along with them."

                              That's pretty much what the sushi chef at that place told us too. They don't serve much non-sushi stuff, so they came up with the Garlic Shrimp roll so it would be something familiar to a sushi novice, or suitsble for someone who didn't want to eat raw items, including people with compromised immune systems.

                              The papaya roll just sounds awful to me. But I'm sure other people like it, which is why it's on the menu! LOL

                              1. re: boogiebaby
                                ferret RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 04:35 PM

                                You can't discuss oddball without bringing in Spam musubi - the granddaddy of oddball rolls. It's the "Slim Jim" of Hawaiian convenience stores.

                                1. re: ferret
                                  c oliver RE: ferret Nov 18, 2013 05:13 PM

                                  Yum all over the Spam musubi...but I don't consider it sushi. It's Spam musubi :)

                                  1. re: c oliver
                                    ferret RE: c oliver Nov 18, 2013 05:43 PM

                                    I don't consider much of what is passed off as maki to be "sushi."

                                  2. re: ferret
                                    ricepad RE: ferret Nov 18, 2013 11:03 PM

                                    Musubi is not sushi because the rice is not seasoned with a vinegar-based dressing.

                                2. re: inaplasticcup
                                  youareabunny RE: inaplasticcup Nov 19, 2013 12:38 AM

                                  An ex bf a few years ago told me about how he once ordered a tuna roll and it was with canned tuna.

                                  And here I am in France and I did see two types of tuna roll - "thon" and "thon cuit" (cooked) and in the picture you could clearly see it was canned.

                                  At least be seared tuna!

                                  1. re: youareabunny
                                    inaplasticcup RE: youareabunny Nov 19, 2013 02:42 AM

                                    THAT I have not seen and certainly counts as a weird sushi roll for me. :P

                                    1. re: youareabunny
                                      Tripeler RE: youareabunny Nov 19, 2013 02:59 AM

                                      Canned tuna? How frightening in sushi!

                                      1. re: Tripeler
                                        melpy RE: Tripeler Nov 19, 2013 08:40 AM

                                        I may have to add this to my things I have to yuck.

                                  2. a
                                    autumm RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 03:00 PM

                                    My husband and I enjoy the philly roll. A place nearby has some amazing lox rolled with cucumber, pea shoots, and cream cheese. Its almost like having the bagel, but the very low carb version. I've had it with rice and nori and without.

                                    1. Chemicalkinetics RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 04:29 PM

                                      Well, all those American rolls, right? Like you said, there are the California rolls, Philadelphia rolls. There are of course the Boston rolls and Alaska rolls. All of these hippie rolls like Dragon rolls, Ninja rolls, Mexican rolls......etc.

                                      26 Replies
                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        HillJ RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 18, 2013 04:49 PM

                                        I suppose that Mexicali roll I encountered would fit as well. It was quite tasty though..

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          boogiebaby RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 18, 2013 05:03 PM

                                          Ok, what's a Boston roll and an Alaskan roll?

                                          1. re: boogiebaby
                                            Samalicious RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 05:30 PM

                                            Check out some of the selections at a nearby place in Kansas City:

                                            Bonsai Roll
                                            shrimp tempura , cream cheese & crab stick inside, topped with spicy tuna, tempura crunches & chipotle sweet soy sauce

                                            Grasshopper Roll
                                            shrimp tempura, cucumber, cream cheese in soy paper, wasabi mayo, crunchy pop, green roe & sauce on top

                                            Sizzling Rice Roll
                                            salmon, cream cheese, avocado, rice inside-out, tempura battered & fried to golden crispy, top with sauce

                                            Sea Dragon Roll
                                            tempura scallops, sspicy snow crab mix, avocado, asparagus and masago, toppped with BBQ eel, spicy mayo and sweet BBQ glaze

                                            Fish & Chip Roll
                                            seabass topped with potato crisps and Japanese creamy malt
                                            shrimp tempura, asparagus, crabsticks & cream cheese wrapped in soy paper - toppped with spicy salmon & crispy spinach leaves

                                            Butterfly Roll
                                            smoked salmon, crabstick, fresh shiromi fish & spinach in crispy panko batter - served with tangy ponzu sauce

                                            And everyone wonders why I'm cranky.

                                            1. re: Samalicious
                                              MrsPatmore RE: Samalicious Nov 18, 2013 05:48 PM

                                              I'm sorry that you're cranky but I'm curious why. Do you prefer traditional sushi and you're turned off or upset by the American versions?

                                              1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                Samalicious RE: MrsPatmore Nov 18, 2013 05:54 PM

                                                Yes and yes. But whatever floats your sushi boat.

                                                1. re: Samalicious
                                                  MrsPatmore RE: Samalicious Nov 18, 2013 06:07 PM

                                                  I get that point of view, Samalicious, I do. But my sense is that when a foodstuff is adopted by another culture, it's often changed to suit the new folks. For example, the toppings and treatments of pizza in Japan. I've been served "spaghetti" in other countries that I didn't recognize as such (e.g., mixed with ketchup). I try not to get upset but instead marvel at the transformation.

                                                  When I eat those crazy rolls that have everything but the kitchen sink in them, I don't for a minute think that I'm eating "authentic" sushi. (Certainly would not be served by Jiro of "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"!!!!)

                                                  But if it tastes good, I'm fine with it. And around here where I live (a small town on the east coast of FL) there are more sushi restaurants than churches, and that's saying something. And they all have maki rolls (blech) and lots of kitchen-sink rolls.

                                                  Personally, I wish they'd get some Vietnamese restaurants around here . . . but they'd probably suffer the same bastardization. Oh well. Sigh.

                                                  1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                    Samalicious RE: MrsPatmore Nov 18, 2013 06:14 PM

                                                    Yep, I'm with you Mrs. P.

                                                    1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                      Chemicalkinetics RE: MrsPatmore Nov 18, 2013 07:50 PM

                                                      <And around here where I live (a small town on the east coast of FL) there are more sushi restaurants than churches>

                                                      That is weird.

                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                        MrsPatmore RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 18, 2013 08:24 PM

                                                        Yes, it is. There are more Thai-sushi joints than churches, pizza places or BBQ joints. And they all have the same menus, MOL. Yet we have only 2 Chinese places (buffets) and no Korean or Vietnamese restaurants.

                                                        What I wouldn't give for a decent bowl of pho.

                                                2. re: Samalicious
                                                  boogiebaby RE: Samalicious Nov 18, 2013 05:56 PM

                                                  Wow, Samalicious, those sound... Different. LoL

                                                  1. re: Samalicious
                                                    c oliver RE: Samalicious Nov 18, 2013 06:02 PM

                                                    I think it's fine whatever they eat but *I'M* going to continue to eat raw fish. And, btw, nigiri is supposed to be eaten with one's hands. Now THAT makes ME cranky :)

                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                      MrsPatmore RE: c oliver Nov 18, 2013 06:21 PM

                                                      Sashimi deluxe dinner for me, please!! I actually avoid nigiri for the reason that I *know* it is supposed to be eaten with the hands but I just don't like eating without utensils - give me a fork, spoon, chopstick, back of knife, skewered marshmallow around a campfire - I don't care. I just prefer to eat from some kind of utensil.

                                                      Oh and the other horror - I do sometimes mix the wasabi paste into the dish of soy sauce.

                                                      But most of the time, I don't use either soy or wasabi. I'm mostly a purist in that regard. :=)

                                                      1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                        Chemicalkinetics RE: MrsPatmore Nov 18, 2013 07:52 PM

                                                        Well, a lot of people say that nigiri are supposed to be eaten by one hand, but I think I read a survey that most Japanese in Japan still eat them with chopsticks. So what gives?

                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                          c oliver RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 18, 2013 09:46 PM

                                                          I don't find anything to support that. And I've looked more than once since I heard this. Here's a pretty comprehensive article:


                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                            Silverjay RE: c oliver Nov 18, 2013 10:25 PM

                                                            Most Japanese use chopsticks but hands are acceptable.

                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                              Chemicalkinetics RE: c oliver Nov 19, 2013 08:54 AM

                                                              Most people in Japan use chopstick. That is not to say that people will look at your weird if you use hands. I think it is like Chinese eating buns. Some grab them by hands, some grab them by chopsticks.

                                                              "Sawada would rather not see his sushi eaten with chopsticks, although he provides them, and a quick scan of any average sushi-ya will show chopsticks rank above fingers as the preferred utensils for most Japanese.

                                                              Tokyo cookery teacher Yumi Sone likes them for their elegance -- her husband does too -- and finds eating with the hands a little affected when practiced by anyone but a true aficionado."


                                                              Using hands to eat sushi is great, but I think it is an exaggeration to suggest only novice eat sushi by chopsticks. If you watch the film: Jiro Dream of Sushi, then you will see that food critic Masuhiro Yamamoto was eating with chopsticks.

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                MrsPatmore RE: Chemicalkinetics Nov 19, 2013 10:42 AM

                                                                oh boy, I loved that film. And now that you mentioned it, I do remember the food critic using chopsticks.

                                                                1. re: MrsPatmore
                                                                  Chemicalkinetics RE: MrsPatmore Nov 19, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                  I love that film too. Too bad, it wasn't played in more theaters. I had to hunt for a theater which played it. Anyway, I like the film, but a common complaint is that the film was slow-pace.

                                                                  I could not find the photo to show him eating with chopsticks, but I did end up finding someone else eating with chopstick with Masuhiro in it. Masuhiro is actually the guy on the right.


                                                          2. re: MrsPatmore
                                                            youareabunny RE: MrsPatmore Nov 19, 2013 12:40 AM

                                                            I also mix the wasabi, a lot of it.

                                                            And I refuse to use my fingers. I've touched my glass which at least 2 people have handled before me. Probably touched the table which they wiped with the same rag they've used all day. Chopsticks please!

                                                            1. re: youareabunny
                                                              c oliver RE: youareabunny Nov 19, 2013 08:55 AM

                                                              I live in a mobile magic house.

                                                              1. re: youareabunny
                                                                MVNYC RE: youareabunny Nov 19, 2013 09:05 AM

                                                                I wonder if the germaphobes get sick any less/more than others?

                                                                1. re: MVNYC
                                                                  melpy RE: MVNYC Nov 19, 2013 12:09 PM

                                                                  I find that germaphobes are sick more often...makes you think ;)

                                                                  1. re: melpy
                                                                    MVNYC RE: melpy Nov 19, 2013 12:16 PM

                                                                    The people that I know who are germaphobes seem to get sicker than I normally would. I can guess why but there are many possible theories.

                                                                    1. re: MVNYC
                                                                      hotoynoodle RE: MVNYC Nov 19, 2013 06:19 PM

                                                                      it's because they are so worried about getting sick. the anxiety taps out their defenses.

                                                          3. re: Samalicious
                                                            EWSflash RE: Samalicious Nov 18, 2013 06:43 PM

                                                            I don't wonder, at all. But some of us in the desert have had to deal with less than traditional.
                                                            I can't stand the idea of cream cheese in sushi. But a friend who does a lot of Asian traveling for business had some Japanese customers come here to Arizona, and took them to a Mexican food/sushi bar restaurant. The Japanese guests were crazy about cream cheese in their sushi. I guess it was the novelty, because to me it's a terrible clash, taste-wise. But maybe they were just enjoying the innovation, which is what it probably was to them.

                                                          4. re: boogiebaby
                                                            Chemicalkinetics RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 05:35 PM

                                                            Boston is about poached/cooked shrimp, and Alaskan is about smoked salmon. There are variations including or excluding avocado, imitation crabs....etc.

                                                        2. j
                                                          jmarya RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 06:36 PM

                                                          I don't remember where it was, but I used to frequent a place that had a sweet potato tempura roll on the menu and I always loved that.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: jmarya
                                                            HillJ RE: jmarya Nov 18, 2013 06:44 PM

                                                            So does my husband. He rarely passes up the local guy's tempura basket: crab sticks, broccoli florets, sweet potato slices, asparagus spears and onion rounds. Served with soy sauce.

                                                            He likes the traditional sushi and special rolls too.

                                                          2. Ttrockwood RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 09:40 PM

                                                            I've seen some truly bizarre combos on menus that include nearly everything but the kitchen sink and several sauces....
                                                            Not long ago beyond sushi opened- vegan sushi! This month's special is a black rice persimmon sushi....

                                                            1. enbell RE: boogiebaby Nov 18, 2013 10:47 PM

                                                              All found in Idaho - being land-locked leads to some odd ones :-)

                                                              EAT PRAY LOVE 12
                                                              Yam, pickled radish, cucumber, avocado, spring mix, gobo, cream cheese upon request

                                                              Arial’s Roll – Shrimp, Pineapple, Red Peppers, Scallions

                                                              Sunflower Roll – Avocado, Carrot, Scallions, Roasted Red Peppers, Cucumber, topped with Roasted Sunflower Seeds

                                                              Maui Roll – Fresh Pineapple, Avocado, Roasted Red Peppers, Scallions, and Carrots topped with Honey-Ginger Soy Glaze

                                                              steak + lobster roll-
                                                              lobster, garlic aioli, horseradish cream cheese, cucumber, beef, shiitake mushrooms

                                                              1. y
                                                                youareabunny RE: boogiebaby Nov 19, 2013 12:35 AM

                                                                I prefer non- traditional sushi but in the combination of ingredients, not ingredients. As in, I like having 6 different things in the sushi but not cream cheese or carne Asada.

                                                                I do like the sauces - usually sriracha mayonnaise or unagi - but not drowned in it.

                                                                1. Tripeler RE: boogiebaby Nov 19, 2013 03:03 AM

                                                                  I just call those big, overworked, overseasoned and overloaded rolls --
                                                                  MONSTER TRUCK ROLLS.
                                                                  They bear little resemblance to what I would consider sushi (normally Edo-mae nigiri) but if people want to make them and eat them, that's fine with me. Just don't expect me to get excited about them.

                                                                  1. Silverjay RE: boogiebaby Nov 19, 2013 06:24 AM

                                                                    Here is an older thread on standard maki often encountered in Japan- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/512998 .

                                                                    1. lynnlato RE: boogiebaby Nov 19, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                                      This will likely offend the CH crowd, but we have a restaurant here called Cowfish and it's soon to franchise. It's wildly popular and the concept is based around a food item they refer to as "burgushi". Yes, that's right, I said "burgushi". As in the fusion of sushi and burgers. No fish in your roll, but "beef and burger components". Here's the description of one of their rolls created by Rick Flair (who lives above the restaurant - no I'm not making this stuff up!):

                                                                      "The Nature Boy's WOOOOO–shi BuffalOOOOO–shi Roll
                                                                      Brought to The Cowfish by The Man himself, Ric Flair’s creation includes sautéed chipotle bison, fried green tomato, grilled onions and feta cheese rolled inside, then coated with crispy tempura flakes. The roll is topped with fresh green tomato, chipotle aioli, diced tomato and red onion, and thinly sliced jalapeño pepper. This roll will surely inspire an uncontrollable “Wooooo”! Tweet it up at @thecowfishSBB."

                                                                      And here's a link to this place that will likely come to a shopping mall near you in the future: http://www.thecowfish.com/

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: lynnlato
                                                                        tardigrade RE: lynnlato Nov 19, 2013 11:55 AM

                                                                        They cook the meat? Why not serve thin, raw slices of beef and lamb in place of fish? I don't think the meat would clash with the slightly sour taste of the rice. This "roll" you describe, though, sounds like someone decided to make a standard burger and just substitute rice for the bun.

                                                                        I'm less of a purist than most people on this site, but looking at their menu, it looks less like fusion and more like "cobbled together mess of the past decade's trendy foods in search of a market that doesn't know much about them".

                                                                        1. re: tardigrade
                                                                          lynnlato RE: tardigrade Nov 20, 2013 04:24 AM

                                                                          It's called "burgushi". Its a a novelty and it appeals to the masses. You know the folks who don't like "raw fish" or sushi. It's nasty stuff, in my humble opinion but the restaurant has been wildly successful.

                                                                          They do have traditional sushi that's surprisingly decent.

                                                                        2. re: lynnlato
                                                                          southernitalian RE: lynnlato Nov 19, 2013 03:35 PM

                                                                          Smarty pants - I put a link to it upthread a few days ago but I don't think many people read it. I cracked up when I saw the Nature Boy roll. It definitely wasn't on the menu a while back. Guess he's found a new haunt now that Zink is gone. Ric's roll sounds great.

                                                                          1. re: southernitalian
                                                                            hotoynoodle RE: southernitalian Nov 19, 2013 06:21 PM

                                                                            sorry, but i do not foresee global domination with this. AT. ALL.

                                                                            not everybody just wants kitchen sink food.

                                                                            1. re: southernitalian
                                                                              lynnlato RE: southernitalian Nov 20, 2013 04:27 AM

                                                                              Hahaha - I missed your post!

                                                                              The Ric's roll made me LOL. It reminded me of his antics outside the restaurant that one, fine night. Everytime I'm in the area I have a Ric spotting. Last time I saw him near Crate & Barrel walking a tiny dog. LMAO

                                                                              hotoynoodle, Believe me, it's not pretty and I wouldn't eat it (the burgushi), but the place is ALWAYS packed. It's sure to become a national chain.

                                                                          2. MVNYC RE: boogiebaby Nov 19, 2013 12:15 PM

                                                                            I was watching a Japanese dining program where they made a beef with burdock roll that looked interesting. It is an English language show on the American NHK channel. I am not sure how authentic it is, perhaps Silverjay can comment.


                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: MVNYC
                                                                              Silverjay RE: MVNYC Nov 19, 2013 12:41 PM

                                                                              That recipe is actually a riff off of a standard dish of burdock root rolled in beef. My wife makes it at home from time to time.... The name in Japanese on that NHK recipe "Kawari futomaki" means like "Unusual Futomaki".

                                                                              Raw beef makes an excellent sushi neta. See attached photo.

                                                                            2. b
                                                                              BuildingMyBento RE: boogiebaby Nov 19, 2013 03:04 PM

                                                                              Regional preferences? Maybe. But those rolls with mango, asparagus, spicy tuna, and whatever else is about to turn for the worse - which region would that be? The imagination of an aspiring artist turned chef. Maybe they're one in the same.

                                                                              In Sydney, I had an avocado pumpkin roll (http://collaterallettuce.com/2013/10/...), and was surprisingly disappointed. It's likely because I was having a food mood, and wanted a savory flavor to complement those two ingredients.

                                                                              I don't seek out the head-scratchers, but the point is, if it's food, and it sounds good, I'll try it.

                                                                              1. Barbara76137 RE: boogiebaby Nov 19, 2013 03:19 PM

                                                                                Here's one I just found on a menu in Fort Worth, TX:

                                                                                Tempura Pumpkin Roll
                                                                                A new veggie roll! A delicious roll of tempura pumpkin, cream cheese, topped with avocado & sweet soy glaze

                                                                                ICK!!!!! I hope it's just on the menu for Thanksgiving!

                                                                                1. LA Buckeye Fan RE: boogiebaby Nov 19, 2013 03:38 PM

                                                                                  I had a sushi loving friend in the 90's who got me started. I never liked cook fish much, so I didn't hold much hope for liking it raw. The sushi chef indoctrinated me with a "dumpling roll." Fried gyoza, spicy mayo and cucumbers. Loved it. Turns out, after venturing out, I like raw fish much better than cooked fish.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                                                                    BuildingMyBento RE: LA Buckeye Fan Nov 19, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                                                    Bring on the carbs.

                                                                                    Up next, a kushari roll...

                                                                                  2. t
                                                                                    tastesgoodwhatisit RE: boogiebaby Nov 19, 2013 06:55 PM

                                                                                    As an aside, I do like the reaction of Japanese friends when they find out about Western style sushi rolls like dynamite rolls or Philadelphia rolls (you put what in it?!?).

                                                                                    I went to a sushi roll place in Hilo that had a natto based role that was quite tasty.

                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                                                                      Tripeler RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Nov 20, 2013 06:09 AM

                                                                                      Gosh, a natto roll sounds pretty normal to me. I often have natto-maki (納豆巻き)for lunch in the afternoon. I wonder what the place in Hilo put in their natto-maki?

                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                        BuildingMyBento RE: Tripeler Nov 20, 2013 07:16 AM

                                                                                        Some kaitenzushi feller in Ikebukuro (Tokyo) was whipping up avocado natto rolls. It was alright, but the natto taste (and mucilaginous texture) reigned supreme.

                                                                                        Already asking for it, but in Shenzhen, China, I had some real winners. The first was tobiko with an egg cracked on top. The second was just with American cheese.

                                                                                        1. re: BuildingMyBento
                                                                                          hotoynoodle RE: BuildingMyBento Nov 20, 2013 03:58 PM

                                                                                          i get various fish egg sushi with raw quail egg on them all the time! yum!

                                                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                            BuildingMyBento RE: hotoynoodle Nov 20, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                                                            Emphasis (for mine) was that it was China!

                                                                                            Also, it's still nontraditional, but can be good indeed.

                                                                                            1. re: BuildingMyBento
                                                                                              Silverjay RE: BuildingMyBento Nov 20, 2013 04:44 PM

                                                                                              Raw quail egg is not unusual for sushi in Japan. It's as traditional as pretty much anything else.

                                                                                              1. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                joonjoon RE: Silverjay Nov 20, 2013 08:00 PM

                                                                                                Whoa. I want to try that.

                                                                                                1. re: joonjoon
                                                                                                  hotoynoodle RE: joonjoon Nov 21, 2013 08:51 AM

                                                                                                  over tobiko or ikura it's great. even more amazing over uni.

                                                                                                2. re: Silverjay
                                                                                                  BuildingMyBento RE: Silverjay Nov 21, 2013 08:49 PM

                                                                                                  It could have been from Japan but not traditional (if counting centuries) too. Natto and avocado, for instance...

                                                                                                  Isn't the gunkan maki from the 20th century anyway?

                                                                                                  Regardless, yep, I'll give the one in the picture a try.

                                                                                      2. juster RE: boogiebaby Nov 20, 2013 06:44 AM

                                                                                        Here in New Mexico you see a lot of rolls with green chile in them.

                                                                                        1. k
                                                                                          Kalivs RE: boogiebaby Nov 20, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                                                          Tempura mushroom roll.

                                                                                          In the valley, there are many inexpensive sushi places and they always have Philadelphia rolls. It's not a high end combination at all.

                                                                                          1. DoobieWah RE: boogiebaby Nov 21, 2013 08:06 AM

                                                                                            Here in Houston, we have the Philly and Cali, etc., but in line with the OP's theme, my favorite sushi bar also has the Cajun Roll and Dynamite Roll.

                                                                                            The Cajun Roll is fried oysters, avocado and sriracha. I love it.

                                                                                            The Dynamite has a cooked crawfish salad mixture and is served warm. Not bad.

                                                                                            This particular place really does the simple stuff really well, very fresh, but they tend to get "creative" from time to time.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: DoobieWah
                                                                                              The Professor RE: DoobieWah Nov 27, 2013 11:14 AM

                                                                                              Hmmmm...that Cajun Roll sounds mighty delicious.

                                                                                              As far as the "authenticity" issue, I think it's silly how some folks get overwrought about it. If it tastes good and the ingredients are in harmony (and even there, it's rather subjective), that's all that really matters.

                                                                                              The USA's history is basically that of people from other lands and cultures adapting their foods and traditions to what is available to them here and also to adapt to local tastes so others can enjoy something new.

                                                                                            2. h
                                                                                              HillJ RE: boogiebaby Nov 27, 2013 10:51 AM

                                                                                              Found some really interesting sushi rolls reviewed in this article. The photos alone had me excited.


                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                lynnlato RE: HillJ Nov 27, 2013 02:43 PM

                                                                                                Wow, some of that looks and sounds tasty. Yumm...

                                                                                                1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                  valerie RE: HillJ Nov 27, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                                                                  I saw that too and it made me think of this thread! Some of them sound pretty good.

                                                                                                  1. re: valerie
                                                                                                    HillJ RE: valerie Nov 27, 2013 04:44 PM

                                                                                                    I thought so too lynnl & val!

                                                                                                  2. re: HillJ
                                                                                                    boogiebaby RE: HillJ Nov 27, 2013 04:31 PM

                                                                                                    I'd try the Gorilla, hold the cream cheese, and the Hotate, but the lobster/banana one just doesn't sound right to me. LOL

                                                                                                    1. re: boogiebaby
                                                                                                      HillJ RE: boogiebaby Nov 27, 2013 04:43 PM

                                                                                                      oh boogieb, you gotta live a little :)

                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                        hotoynoodle RE: HillJ Nov 28, 2013 06:24 AM

                                                                                                        i would totally have the orange crush, but none of those separate or together seem "odd" to me. or is that just me? ;P

                                                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                          HillJ RE: hotoynoodle Nov 28, 2013 06:26 AM

                                                                                                          Me either, they all say 'eat me' to me :)

                                                                                                          1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                            hotoynoodle RE: HillJ Nov 28, 2013 06:29 AM

                                                                                                            blerg -- lobster with hot banana? very much no thank you, lol.

                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ
                                                                                                              lynnlato RE: HillJ Nov 28, 2013 06:45 AM

                                                                                                              +2 I'd eat the heck out of all of 'em. ;)

                                                                                                    2. h
                                                                                                      hetook RE: boogiebaby Nov 27, 2013 02:58 PM

                                                                                                      Some old pals on Oahu turned me on to making homemade Spam musubi. I grill pineapple and sliced spam, spead on the hot Japan mustard then sandwich it between two small mounds of sushi rice. Finish with a wrap of nori.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: hetook
                                                                                                        ricepad RE: hetook Nov 27, 2013 08:22 PM

                                                                                                        Traditionally, musubi uses plain rice, not shari.

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