Mexican sushi. That's one fusion we never thought would exist and one we're not too sure we want to stick around.
Apparently it is a thing, since there are at least two spots in metro Phoenix that craft the rolls.
Señor Sushi on Indian School and 43rd Avenue and Taco Kissi on Bethany Home are the two Mexican sushi places. We braved Señor Sushi and took on a few of their rolls to see what this trend is all about.
The décor at Señor Sushi is Japanese, with a large fan hanging on a red wall in the waiting area and a few fake branches in a pot. The restaurant is wide open with a sea of tables, and the booths are raised. There is a stage and dance floor at the back of the restaurant; Señor Sushi hosts musical guests and shows boxing matches.
The menu is a mix of traditional sushi rolls, appetizers, and noodles, along with Mexican rolls.
We ordered the firecracker jalapeño appetizer. It wasn't spicy, as one might expect from a jalapeño dish. It was heavy with cream, both in the crab mix stuffed inside the jalapeños and the in cream on top. The sauce on the side gave the flavor a bit more depth.
Almost all the rolls featured cream cheese inside them, and the carne asada roll -- breaded and deep-fried and stuffed with carne asada, tomato, jalapeño, onion, cilantro and cream cheese -- just didn't feel right. Hot, deep-fried cream cheese did not leave us wanting to finish it. On the upside, the meat was well seasoned and juicy.
The Guamuchilito roll, named after a city in Sinaloa, Mexico, was filled with shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, and crab meat and was topped with fresh shrimp and cream cheese. Of course, it was breaded and deep-fried. It was hard to taste all the flavors because the breading, cream cheese, and heavy sauce were so overpowering. It seemed the contents were thrown together without much thought and thrown in the fryer -- because everyone loves deep-fried food, right?
We did like the kamikaze roll. Inside was shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, and cucumber, with avocado and Señor Sushi sauce on top. This one wasn't deep-fried, so we actually could enjoy the fish inside and the spice.
Creativity in the culinary arts is something everyone appreciates, but some foods should be left alone, like sushi. It's a craft and art to piece together a roll that makes sense and doesn't make sense at the same time, one that awakens the senses, not puts us to sleep because of all the fried cream cheese.
Mexican sushi is one food trend we're hoping doesn't catch on.