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California Roll

Sushi made with imitation crab meat, avocado and cucumber.

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The Cash Cow for Sushi Bars

  • May 29, 2009
  • by
Rating:
-5
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.

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May 30, 2009
*cringe* I hate the CA roll!  It's even more disgusting when they deep fry it and call it a SUPER CA roll.  There's nothing super about it!

The only fusion roll that I really like is the Philadelphia roll (its got cream cheese in it!), and the only roll that I can tolerate having imitation crab meat in is the baked bay scallop roll.  Mmmmmm.
 
May 30, 2009
Real crab is awesome at sushi bars (better plain than in rolls however) but agree with your assessment of California rolls. I was in a fish market once when a patron asked the fish monger, "how fresh is the imitation crab?" I think it is one of the funniest questions I have ever heard.
May 30, 2009
LOL! That's hilarious. I think I might ask that on purpose.... just like specifically asking my drive-thru order as "to go".
May 30, 2009
Hahahahahahaha, oh man!
 
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About the reviewer
Justice Erolin ()
Ranked #132
Hmm... let's see.    I'm a 20-something living in Los Angeles, CA. I was born and raised here, with the exception of a 3 year stint in the Philippines. This "long" vacation helped … more
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