Roll in here for sushi smorgasbordAre you looking for an alternative to the same old kimbap, only to find that when you order what is called sushi at a Japanese restaurant in Korea you just get more kimbap?
California Sushi may be the place to give your palate a taste of something out of the ordinary. Specializing in Asian “fusion” cuisine, the restaurant’s menu selections are extensive enough to remind you that there are many other culinary experiences.
You can sample more than 20 kinds of rolls, with prices ranging from 6,000 won ($5) to 10,000 won. The Caterpillar Roll, made with avocado, cucumber and other fresh vegetables and topped with a homemade sweet and savory sauce, is especially popular with female guests, the restaurant owner says. It is priced at 9,000 won for a seven-piece serving. The Ruby Roll, as you might imagine, is vibrantly red, getting its color from the raw tuna in which it is wrapped.
Those who like their food with a little kick can try the Spicy Roll, easy enough to remember, which features chunks of raw tuna and salmon interspersed with cool, crispy cucumber, and spiked with Korean gochujang, or red pepper paste. The paste, distributed far more sparingly than in traditional Korean dishes, leaves only a hint of spiciness ― do not worry about burning your tongue.
The restaurant, located near the Ewha Womans University campus, in western Seoul, features selections other than sushi rolls. You can sample chicken, salmon or beef teriyaki, priced between 7,000 won and 10,000 won.
Bento, a popular “lunch box” meal-to-go in Japan, is a good choice if you want to savor a bit of everything the restaurant offers ― it contains tempura, three California rolls, a noodle dish and several side dishes, including sweet radish and the ubiquitous kimchi.
If you do not mind higher-calorie fare, you might want to try the katsu, or Japanese-style pork, beef or fish cutlet, breaded, fried and topped with a special dressing, a combination of teriyaki and soy sauces.
The restaurant boasts a steady clientele of international guests, including Japanese, Chinese and American travelers. Its location in one of the city’s hottest shopping districts no doubt works in its favor.
While the sushi rolls do not exceed seven pieces, the fish, crispy vegetables and rice are fresh, and available for takeout, complete with piping hot Japanese miso soup.
Theme: Asian fusion
Telephone: (02) 312-5567
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Location: near Ewha Womans University, subway line No. 2, other branches in Daehangno and Myeongdong
Price: 6,000 won
to 11,000 won
by Kim Hae-noon