Friday, December 24, 2010

It's a Florida Thing...

Seriously, how about an Alligator Sushi Roll?

Unlike the Spider Roll, which only describes what the softshell crab inside resembles, the Gator Roll at Matoi Sushi in Tampa contains an actual tempura-fried alligator tail. What does it taste like? Well, like anything else that’s fried with lots of sauce on it—good.

As far as texture goes, it is a bit chewy, sort of a cross between the deep-fried rattlesnake tail they sell at the L.A. County Fair and your standard shrimp tempura.

At Matoi Sushi, most of the rolls are covered with similar toppings: avocado, eel sauce, the obligatory orange-hued spicy mayonnaise, and either seaweed salad or masago. The super-sweet Gator Roll, which is dressed to the hilt with condiments galore, tastes great but unless you knew there was a reptilian tail in every bite, it could just as easily pass for a calamari- or shrimp-based roll. It’s something you order for novelty’s sake. Besides which, most of the other Japanese menu items are pretty generic; Matoi Sushi, despite its name, actually specializes in Korean cuisine, featured on a separate menu.

Matoi Sushi
602 N. Dale Mabry Hwy
Tampa, Florida

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