Sushi is very popular in US and can be found just about everywhere. But there is a wide range in quality and price; from “super market” sushi to “omakase”. In addition sushi is undergoing a trans-formative evolution at the hands of this popularity. Unique sometimes outlandish, by traditional Japanese standards, sushi rolls have appeared and are extremely popular in sushi bars. Of course there is the grandfather of western-invented rolls, the California roll カルフォルニア巻き made with real or imitation crabmeat and avocado. Although not a native of Japan, it has apparently found a foothold and I hear that it is now generally available in sushi bars. (Although probably not in expensive traditional places). Recently I read some interesting articles in the Washington Post regarding something called sushi burritos. It is a variation of burrito that is like a thick sushi roll that has not been cut into slices. It uses nori sheets with a thin layer of rice instead of a tortilla to hold together the ingredients rolled up in it. It is apparently taking off in a big way. One particular restaurant specializing in sushi burritos just opened. It is called “Buredo” which was created and run by two Washingtonians as a healthy lunch alternative. I don’t think I would have gone there on my own to have a sushi burrito but a recent surprise party (I was completely caught by surprise) at work was catered from Buredo and gave me an opportunity to try out a sushi burrito.
Hanzo (left 3 of the bottom and the second rows)
bright, fresh: yellowfin tuna sashimi, avocado, cucumber, pickled fennel, arugula, tempura crunch, lemon aioli.
Elle (right two on the 1 st and second rows and the rest of the rolls)
savory, sweet: organic tofu, arugula, roasted red pepper, jicama, green onion, black sesame seeds, garlic crunch, passionfruit miso sauce.
smoky, creamy: salmon sashimi, asparagus, pea shoot leaves, pickled red onion, daikon, katsuo mirin crunch, toasted sesame mayo.
This is what I had.
umami, sweet: yellowfin tuna and salmon sashimi, cucumber, pickled cabbage, green onion, tempura crunch, unagi sauce.
Since it was not sliced, it was a bit difficult to bite through the nori but the fish was quite fresh. The sauce was a bit on the sweet side. Despite the ethnic fusion/confusion involved they were pretty good. I can see why they are getting to be popular. At the same time I have to shake my head and wonder ‘what is the world coming to? Is nothing sacred any more?’ Then I wonder if the sushi burrito will make its way to Japan soon and what kind of transformations it will undergo there. If it does I’ll have to try it out.