Every establisment has their cash cows. Theatres use popcorn, coffeeshops have their drip coffee, etc. With most of these cash cows, they are all prepared for in advance. After all, a lot of customers order them and best of all, they represent a HUGE profit margin for the establishment.
For sushi bars, the cash cow is the ubiquitous California Roll. It's a simple recipe--avocado, imitation crab, wrapped in seaweed and rice.
And now, I'll say it... I hate california rolls. I delved into this a bit in my Beginner's Guide to Sushi, but I'll explain a bit more.
For sushi chefs, most of the work is in the preparation. From cooking the rice, cleaning the filets, and prepping the wasabi... the only thing the customers really see is the assembly. But with California Rolls, the work is already done. It's prepared hours (or maybe the night before). After it's prepped, it's refrigerated and set aside. Then, as each unsuspecting customer orders a Cali Roll, they take it out of the fridge, and cut it up into 6 or 8 pieces.
Now, it might not sound that bad.... but try to remember the ingredients.
First off, the imitation crab. Eeeshh.. imitation crab. I don't even have to elaborate on that one.
Next, the avocado. It's a fruit! If it's not freshly cut off the seed, I don't want it. It loses it's creaminess and texture... and ends up being a blob of green goo sitting next to my fake crab. No thanks.
Then, the seaweed. Seaweed is meant to be crispy. But after being wrapped around moist fake crab and avocado, it loses that crispiness. Chewy seaweed... not my thing.
And finally, the rice. If it's refrigerated, we have cold rice. Another not-so-good thing.
But if you REALLY want your Cali Roll... order it special. Try to change up the recipe, so they can't use a premade one. They'll be forced to make it fresh. Instead of imitation crab, try real crab. Or ask for no avocado. Or, my personal favorite... ask them to add cream cheese.