Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sushi Bistro of San Francisco

Correcting a sushi chef is not one of my favorite tasks, but when I saw my “African Spider” Roll at Sushi Bistro bereft of tobiko, I objected right away. He tried to explain that only the regular Spider Roll—not the Africanized version—comes with flying fish eggs, but at this contention I handed over the menu from across the bar, pointing out the truth. And so he heaped on the orange stuff, which was one of the reasons I even ordered the thing.

Unlike a regular Spider Roll (which normally combines softshell crab with ingredients like avocado, sprouts, cucumber, and smelt fish eggs), this pumped-up version adds deep-fried cajun albacore and salmon, omits the cucumber, and substitutes smelt fish eggs with flying fish eggs—a splendid idea, as the latter are bigger and tastier in my opinion. Normally I would have asked for no eel sauce on top of my Spider, but the menu said it would be mixed with spicy sauce, which suggested a good mix of sweet and hot.

Although the “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” and “Stinky Salmon” both sounded good, I chose the “Hawaiian Breeze” Roll because of its unique medley of mango, avocado, fuji apple, tuna, macadamian nuts and cilantro pesto. I am not a particularly big fan of anything cilantro, but when diluted with something else, such as pesto sauce or something like it, and used on a sushi roll bearing nuts, fish and fruit, I have to believe the taste transforms wonderfully. (Plus I knew a rivulet of green atop a roll would make for a better picture.)

The cilantro pesto turned out to be zesty and refreshing, but very obviously cilantro-based. It didn’t go badly, however, with all the aforementioned ingredients, but rather enhanced the overall taste of everything.

Sushi Bistro
431 Balboa St., San Francisco

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