Experience the most popular rolls at some of Sarasota's favorite spots.
Shrimp tempura, cream cheese, mango and coconut.
“This is one of our fusion rolls — we like to mix sushi with a lot of different fruits,” says sushi chef Emerson Kim, who learned to make sushi in his native Brazil, which boasts the biggest Japanese population outside of Japan.
Playboy Roll ($9.95)
Spicy tuna, crabmeat, cream cheese, avocado and tempura flake topped with four kinds of tobiko.
“Tobiko (fish roe) adds a pop of flavor to this roll — the yellow tobiko has a citrus flavor, the green is mixed with wasabi so it’s spicy, the red is a basic tabiko, and the black is mixed with soy sauce so it is saltier,” says sushi chef Baw Mont.
Pacific Rim’s Hot Lava
Crabstick-and-cream-cheese rolls topped with baked mayo, crabstick, spices, cucumbers and scallops.
“The Hot Lava roll is a meal in itself and is not traditional in Japan at all. Cream cheese is a very Westernized ingredient,” says sushi chef Xay Senenoi. “We get a lot of great ideas for rolls from our customers who customize their own.”
Kazu’s John Lennon
Brown rice rolled with carrot, daikon radish, cucumber and plum paste.
“This roll is very popular with vegetarians,” says co-owner Akiko Tsuchiya. “When John Lennon was alive, he always ordered a version of this roll at his favorite place in New York City. We have seen much more of a demand for brown rice lately because it is much healthier.”
• Less is more with soy sauce. “Basically, you are either enjoying the sushi flavor or the soy-sauce flavor. We see people using too much soy sauce, wasabi and ginger,” says Akiko Tsuchiya.
• The proper way to dip sushi into your soy sauce is to dip the fish side only, because the rice side would soak up too much.
• Chopsticks are not necessary — sushi is meant to be a finger food. However, if you are going to serve someone or retrieve something off a communal plate, reverse your chopsticks and use the opposite ends.
• Ginger is meant to cleanse the palate in between bites.
if you go
Kazu’s Sushi and Asian Bistro, 2063 Siesta Drive, 951-7778.
Favorite of: Matt Orr and Lauren Strongin
Pacific Rim, 1859 Hillview St., 330-8071.
Favorite of: Heather McLain, Nicole Kaney, Patrick Kilbane, Melba Jimenez, Tatyana Sharoubim, Susan Jones and Dayle Hoffmann
J-Pan, 3800 S. Tamiami Trail No. 3, 954-5726.
Favorite of: Karin Leereveld, Judi Gallagher and Beth Bobb
Yume Sushi Restaurant, 1537 Main St., 363-0604.
Favorite of: Kyla Weiner, Sheryl Vieira, Andrew Foley, Deb Knowles and Art Shone
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Sound of hope
The holiday season hasn’t officially started until our favorite bell ringers return to their posts.
Shoppers and residents were treated to some holiday harmonies by the Senior Friendship Centers’ group, the Second Wind Harmonica Players, in Downtown Sarasota.
Stepping up to the plate
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County teamed up to bring the anti-bullying event Rachel’s Challenge to Sarasota Dec. 3.