Restaurant Cover Column 3

Sushi Roku Takes a Different Approach

By EDDIE RIVERA, Editor, Living Section
Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 | 11:57 AM

Another sushi creation from Sushi Roku chef Hiroshi Shima.

Take it from a longtime sushi fanatic: Don’t make it cute. Don’t make it different because you can. Go easy on mashing up things that were never meant to all mashed up and whatnot.

That out of the way,  Sushi Roku is introducing a new menu! And it’s pretty great.

Pasadena’s Sushi Roku, which, along with its chef Hiroshi Shima, is celebrating its 16th anniversary, has never been the type to go for the traditional, anyway. Unlike many sushi places, it has made its reputation by upending traditional sushi formulas and offering a new perspective on the “classics.” We were invited over last week to sample and taste some of their latest creations, a few things from their “insider” menu, as well as some of those aforementioned classics.

It was a very busy evening, with about twenty offerings. Let’s look at some highlights, shall we?

First, we tried the new creations. We began with Nori Senbei. This is crispy seaweed, batter-fried and served with wasabi cream. Think seaweed chicharrones. They were crispy and light, and the wasabi cream could easily be used as a bargaining chip in the next round of UN nuclear negotiations.

This was followed by Bliue Crab Tartare, featuring  Uni and caviar. Some people find Uni’s taste a little too fishy, but then again, some people think playing Pink Floyd, ever, is a good idea. The uni was light but flavorful and matched with the caviar, was a highlight of the evening. Be aware, also that just a tiny bit of this concoction goes quite a long way.

Scottish Salmon Caesar was an Asian take on the salad, substituting soy wasabi dressing for the usual caesar with delicious results. King Crab lettuce cups were simply as delightful as they sound.

Moving to the “Hanabi (different ways)” menu, we enjoyed a rich Katana-style Tuna Sashimi carpaccio, which combined an Italian flavor with the dense flavor of the tuna, once again, to surprisingly delicious results.

Moving on the classics, nearly all of them were given an additional twist, such as the tantalizing Tuna Jalapeno with Yuzu Olive Oil and the Yellowtail with diced chilies. We could have also easily eaten the Baked Crab hand roll all night, too.

We could go on—as we mentioned, there were a score of dishes served, but here is the simple message: Sushi Roku is everything you go to sushi restaurants for, but a lot more. It’s inventive, smart, creative and classic at once.  And, they have a secret menu, just like In ‘N’ Out!

Whether you want innovation or Japanese comfort food, Sushi Roku will  easily fill the bill.

Sushi Roku is at One Colorado, 33 Miller Alley, Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 683-3000.

 

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