Sunday, September 21, 2008


At the famous Mall of America in Bloomington, “TiGERSUSHi” breaks the stereotype that all sushi found in shopping malls is cheap n’ crappy. Located on the second floor in a rotund structure and directly across amusement-park-size roller-coaster rides (yes, this is a mall), this super rad sushi-factory speedily cranks out plates (as well as boxes to go) of edible art. They even have a color scheme of orange and green; and the servers are not referred to as Waiter or Waitress—the backside of their tee-shirts read “Macho Maki Man” or “Tigress”.

“J.R. & The Volcano”—narcissistically named after the chef who created it—is a fruit-infused pile of lawn with a hint of sesame. (By that I mean the cucumber-based slaw looks as green and tastes as fresh as newly cut grass; and there are slices of strawberry and mango thrown in.) Its description on the menu reads “An Explosion of Flavors! A mountain of seafood, strawberries, mango and kaiware sprouts—all tossed together in a tangy mango-chile sauce and masago. Topped with crunchy flakes.” For $9.50, this is like a gourmet salad that fills you up and is good for you. How could you pass it up? I sure didn’t. And an explosion of flavors it was indeed!

The Dyna-Mighty Roll, which I also tried, is just a fancy name for a yellowtail roll with sprouts and cucumber. The reason I ordered it is because the menu said it comes with “Dynamite Sauce,” which turned out to be a (!!hot!!) white-colored muck comprised of Japanese mayonnaise and Habanero chiles. I pressed the chef for what else was in the sauce and he shrugged. “You can’t say, can you?” I asked. He laughed and replied, “No, I don’t know!” After the meal, I sighed with gratitude and told the chefs I was now going to get on a roller coaster. “So I can toss my sushi,” I joked. (I did go on the ride, but I retained my food.)

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