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Restaurant Review: How Do You Roll

January 14, 2012

Mira and I went spelunking at Ross last week-end and hit up How Do You Roll for a quick lunch.  Mira and her boyfriend had apparently missed out on trying it a few days before because the restaurant had closed early, so she was just as eager to try it.

In online reviews, How Do You Roll is often referred to as “Subway Style” fast food.  You walk up, you tell them what you want on your roll, you walk away with a completely custom roll.  I was personally a little leery when the young woman behind the counter pulled out plastic sheets with pre-spread rice on them, but I don’t feel like the pre-spread rice impacted the flavor too negatively.  It was a shade stale, but certainly fresher than the sushi you get from the supermarket.

The selection of veggies was a bit odd.  There were your usual sushi staples of avocado, cucumber, asparagus, cream cheese and egg sheet [1].  The outliers here were spinach, canned mandarin slices, strawberries and some other fruits which I found a little odd.  All of it looked fresh and expertly cut, so I let the weird fruit slide.  Maybe next time I’ll make a dessert roll.

The fish all looked quite good, though the pre-spiced raw fishes had a weird color I couldn’t quite attribute to the spicy sauce.  I was quite excited to see that they had escolar, a sweet white fish that Moose and I are very fond of.  The toppings and sauces all looked quite good [2] and I can see where an inexperienced sushi eater might get a little overwhelmed.  I got some pretty basic rolls just to see how they tasted and Mira got a little more adventurous with her choices.  We both quite liked our rolls and agreed we’d probably both be back.

The only negative thing about the meal was my side of edamame.  The young woman took a basket of edamame out of one container on the counter and then swirled the thing in a hot bath for a bit before fishing out my bean pods.  The result was a bowl of edamame which tasted like it had been rewarmed a few too many times and while not bad, it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.  Overall though the prices aren’t too bad and it’s a good quick option for sushi which allows for some experimentation, but has plenty of choices for the less adventurous eater.  Bonus: FIVE kinds of ramune.  Aw yeah.

Final Note: Imagine my surprise to find that the website for “how do you roll” includes a picture of a dark haired woman with Japanese features (I don’t know why, but there’s something about the width of the mouth that’s throwing me off) saying “Sushi maki me oh soy happy.” [3]  I get it.  It’s supposed to be funny because those are all foods.  But fuck, that phrase makes me twitch.  It’s like listening to Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or hearing someone say “Me love you long time.”  Just… no.

[1] Yes, cream cheese and egg sheet counts as veggies.
[2] Y’know, the ones that didn’t have Deadly Sesame in them.
[3] If you don’t see it, hit refresh a couple of times, the quote in the bubble will change.

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