Sushi California

My friend Kirstie was coming over to work on a project, and since we didn’t want to cook our own food, we decided to get take out. Sushi is generally a great option when you want something quick, cheap, and shareable, and since we were in the Lougheed area, I suggested we order food from the nearby Sushi California, a restaurant on the corner of Austin and North Road.

First up is the Alaska Roll on the left, which is filled with avocado, topped with a piece of salmon sashimi, and drizzled with a special sauce. This is one of my favourite rolls to get, even though there is a lot of variation from restaurant to restaurant. I’ve had rolls that were basically California Roll topped with salmon sashimi without any kind of special sauce, but I much prefer Sushi California’s (and also Sushi Town’s and Garden’s) take on the roll. The all-avocado filling is mushy in a good way, contrasting with the chewy, vinegary rice and the fresh salmon on top. I liked that the roll wasn’t doused with sauce, so that there was sufficient flavour that didn’t overwhelm everything. In the same box is the Chopped Scallop Roll, including pieces of scallop,  julienned cucumbers and roe mixed together in a mayo sauce. The roll tasted fresh, not fishy, and was a pleasant pale apricot-y colour, as opposed to the usual brighter orange that I’ve been seeing at different restaurants.

In the second box, we had the Bill’s Roll in the front, a larger roll along the lines of a dynamite roll (which we also ordered). This one had a piece of yellow yam tempura and all the regular fixin’s in a roll this size– cucumbers, lettuce, and roe, plus the surprise ingredient of a sliver of smoked salmon. I was a little apprehensive about this roll at first, because it sounded like it could be really dry, but this was in fact not too bad. I think it was because they added a little bit of mayo-roe mix between the yam and the other veggies. I think I’d definitely order this roll again– it’s a little different, and I get my tempura fix too.

To be perfectly honest, I’m really bored of the Dynamite Roll (in the back of the box), mostly because it’s the same everywhere you go. I like Shrimp Tempura, but just by itself, not wrapped in rice. The crispiness and snap get lost in the rice and veggies, and that darned end piece is so difficult to eat (but of course, I pick apart my rolls anyways, so I don’t have too-too much to complain about here). This one didn’t impress me too much: I thought it was rather dry (what I had feared for the Bill’s Roll), and the Shrimp Tempura didn’t really stand out. It was nice that they had two shrimps in it though. But again, nothing spectacular.

Our last box held the half order of Salmon Sashimi. For some reason, the salmon was really pull-apart-y and mushy, kind of like what you’d get with Toro…but weirder. I’m not too sure if that’s what is supposed to happen (something tells me it isn’t), so this was a bit of a miss. These were pretty big slices, though, so at least they have that going for them. I just wasn’t a fan of today’s texture.

To wrap up, I liked most of the things we ordered, especially the Bill’s Roll. Presentation was great– the different rolls were nicely separated, the Alaska Roll’s sauce didn’t get on the Chopped Scallop Roll. They also survived my run home, and they didn’t fall apart when we picked them up, which is a HUGE pet peeve of mine –it’s one thing for me to pick it apart when I’m eating, but another thing entirely when it disintegrates and pieces fall all over the table.

In terms of service, I had to wait a ridiculously long time to get my order, even though I called in 2 hours in advance and told them a specific pick-up time. However, the waitresses were very nice and polite, and kept me updated with my order, so I’d say this is a step up from the kind of service you’d get at Sushi Garden. I’d definitely recommend Sushi California as a place to get cheap sushi in the area, but you do have to remember that it gets really busy during the dinner rush, so it’s best to go with a small group, or to order take out (but remember to put in your order well ahead of time!)

Sushi California
501 North Road
Coquitlam, BC

Sushi California on Urbanspoon

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