A new twist on sushi

Alice Jones
Food Columnist

“Wow. That’s a whole lot of sushi.” My eyes went wide as I peeled back the compostable wrap to see a large sushi roll in the form of a burrito, the love child of Japanese and Mexican cuisine.
Sushiritto founder Peter Yen was working in downtown San Francisco when he had a dream of a hybrid restaurant that makes high quality sushi quickly accessible during the rushed lunch hour, which changed his career path. Sushiritto now has two-easily crowded storefronts in the downtown area, one in the Financial District and another south of market.
The only downside to this wonderful idea is the quantity of food. The rice is so filling that I could only stuff down half of the enormous burrito-sized roll. I suggest bringing a buddy with a similar taste palate to enjoy one of these delightful, yet massive lunches.
One of the most frequently ordered sushirritos is the Salmon Samba, with teriyaki-baked King Salmon from British Columbia, cucumber, lola rosa lettuce, avocado, pepitas, green onions, tempura asparagus and a wasabi mayo sauce. The tempura asparagus and other vegetables add a nice crunch to the super-smooth salmon.
The cooked salmon is not the only non-raw “sushi” option. Sushiritto also offers the Mayan Dragon with crispy chicken katsu and the Porkivore, with roasted pork belly. Although the mustard seed mayo is delicious but there’s too much, making the shaved cabbage soggy and when mixed with the tough pork, makes this a sushiritto you could probably skip. I gave it a second chance but still it didn’t appeal to me. This time the mayo was under control, but the meat was really tough and lacking flavor.
Don’t miss the Mayan Dragon — tender carrots with slightly undercooked potatoes and delicious crispy chicken mixed with curry flavor is the perfect Indian and Japanese mix.
The most traditional of the nontraditional sushiritto is the Geisha’s Kiss with yellowfin tuna, tamago, piquillo pepper, yuzu tobiko, lotus chips, cucumber, avocado, green onions and sesame seeds in a white soya sauce. The tuna is incredibly fresh and is closest to actual sushi, with great tangy flavors from the peppers and sauce.
Another tangy option is the Yakuza — Australian white fish sashimi, spicy jicama, cucumber, lola rosa lettuce, red tobiko, avocado and green onions. The fish is incredibly tender and delicious with their citrus mojo sauce giving it a strong lime-y flavor that covers the greens. The spicy jicama doesn’t make a strong appearance, so it’s pretty tame.
If you’re looking for something spicy, get to Sushiritto early and snag a box of their Lava Nachos. The chips are made in-house of brown rice and topped with tuna picante, melted pepper jack cheese, avocado, green onions, nori strips and a sriracha aioli. A mix of the pepper jack cheese and the sriracha aioli is what gives it it’s enjoyable spice. Even though cheese and fish don’t traditionally mix, this unconventional restaurant made them a lovely pair.
The vegetarian option, the Buddha Belly with spicy Japanese eggplant, portobello mushroom fries, carrots, avocado, green onions and a roasted garlic tofu sauce, was up for debate. I did not enjoy the taste of the eggplant mixed with the mushrooms and the tofu sauce, but other tasters really enjoyed the crunch that the portobello mushroom fries provide in contrast with the gooey rice.
One of the most popular options is the Sumo Crunch, which would be Sushiritto’s adaption of the California roll. With Surimi crab, shaved cabbage, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, green onions, red radish and sriracha aioli is absolutely delicious. The crab tastes so fresh and in company with avocado