I finally made it to Soho Sushi, the Chipotle of sushi places. I don’t mean that as a slam (I confess: I like Chipotle), but the concept: build-your-own sushi, approachable ingredients, a good way to try out a possibly unfamilar cuisine– is Chipotle-like. It’s located in Tower Place, a mall that could be so much more, but now seems to just be Auntie Anne’s, a phone store, and Soho Sushi.
This is not a place to order sashimi or nigiri, this is a place to indulge in rolls of just about any persuasion. If you’re a sushi newbie, you can get plenty of filling that is cooked, but if you’re a sushi veteran, you’ll find plenty of things to please. I’ll be honest– I was originally turned off by the approachability– who wants fast food sushi, I asked? I was tempted in by a Groupon, and I’m eating my words (and some pretty good sushi).
We ended up with a couple of different rolls: one roll with Spicy Tuna, sweet soy, cucumber and tempura flakes, one Shrimp Tempura roll, and one Surf and Turf roll. Our favorite was the surf and turf roll (crab and steak), as it was a little unique and pretty delicious (though they were all really good). The rice is extruded from a machine onto the nori, which is then filled with your toppings (or predetermined ones), and moves down the line for rolling and saucing. If you’re looking for eel sauce, they’ve called it “sweet soy”, so as not to put off sushi newbies who might think eel was involved. If you don’t like seaweed, you can get a soy wrap. If you’re a kid and you don’t like sushi, you can get a PB&J wrap. There are lots of options. And the rolls are gigantic– we had three rolls between the two of us, but two rolls would have been plenty. It’s a ton of food. For the two of us, three rolls and two drinks were $24, which isn’t bad. A roll is around $6-7, so for lunch, you can have a tasty, healthy (well… it could be healthy) lunch for under $10. All of the ingredients were fresh and delicious, and the management is really nice– Stephen, who was on duty that Saturday afternoon, came around to every table and chatted. I found out from Stephen that you can order ahead and they’ll meet you at the curb, so you can get sushi on the way home from work (or on your way to whereever), which is pretty convenient, particularly for those who work downtown but want to grab something on the way home for work, or those of us who live downtown and work elsewhere to do the same. They’re looking to expand their hours– Saturday lunch is their first expansion– and are open for dinner during the week as well.
So it’s not super-authentic, but it is tasty– and local (though it may look like a chain). It’s a great place to grab a quick bite during the week, or to introduce someone who’s a bit wary about sushi to the concept. Mom, you know where we’re going next, right?