While purists depend on nigiri sushi for foodie enlightenment, maki sushi (sushi rolls) are a fun way to experience unique combinations and cultural experiments.
Roll over to these sushi joints, figuratively. We won’t stop you from literally rolling to these joints and tagging #tucsonfoodie, however.
Uni is the butter of the sea. Ignore the fact that it’s a sea urchin’s gonads and you’ll enjoy this briny, slightly sweet ingredient. The Ventana Special Roll is filled with kanikama, avocado and cucumber, then topped with yellowtail, uni, ikura and masago.
For more information, visit ginzatucson.com.
Step up your California roll game with the Kazoku Roll. The roll is filled with spicy crab, avocado, cucumber and white onion, then topped with salmon, tuna and masago.
For more information, visit kazokurestaurant.com.
Resist the urge to say yas yas when ordering the Ya Ya Roll, which features a filling of spicy yellowtail, cucumber, and cilantro topped with albacore, thinly-sliced jalapeño, and ponzu with a dab of hot sauce.
For more information, visit O Sushi Restaurant on Facebook.
We can’t catch real snowflakes on our tongues often around these parts, but a savory slowflake is a Sun Link ride away. The Snowflake Roll is filled with snow crab, asparagus and mushrooms, then topped with seared waluu (also known as escolar), scallion, and tataki sauce. Don’t eat more than one of these by yourself in one sitting — just trust us on that.
For more information, visit obonsushi.com.
In honor of Oregon’s recent smoking legislature, this Oregon Roll has smoked salmon. That’s not really the reason why, but the smoky-salty flavor is a delight regardless. It is also filled with cucumber, avocado and crab, then topped with the house ‘yummy’ sauce. Smoke fish everyday.
For more information, visit sachikosushitucson.com.
Want to treat your sweetheart to lobster but in bite-sized pieces? Enjoy the Lover Roll filled with lobster tail in a creamy sauce and house red hot sauce. It’s topped with shrimp, tuna, avocado, and tobiko.
For more information, visit sushicortaro.com.
Sixth Avenue is one of Tucson’s gems for finding food from a variety of cultures. At Chinese-Japanese joint Sushi Lounge, you’ll find the Mexican-inspired Seis Avenida Roll with jalapeño, avocado, shrimp, imitation crab, and cream cheese, all fried in the roll tempura-style.
For more information, visit sushiloungeaz.com.
Maybe you prefer spicy tuna over cinnamon whiskey. If that’s the case, you’ll love the Fireball Roll filled with spicy tuna, cheese, avocado, cucumber and onion, topped with eel sauce and onion tempura flakes.
For more information, visit Sushi Nara’s unofficial page on Facebook.
Don’t waste the salmon skin — it crisps nicely and is still healthy, probably. The Salmon Skin Hand Roll keeps it simple with cucumber and carrot in a conical burrito-esque vessel. Sushi on Oracle also wins brownie points for the Nujabes and Ghibli jazz music in the background.
For more information, visit sushionoracle.net.
This arbitrarily patriotic Soft Shell Crab Roll (also known as a spider roll) means no harm. Its octopus tentacle sucker eyes exude tastiness, not threatening vibes. It doesn’t even need a hammer for its shell or any peeling effort. Just sink your teeth into this convenient roll with side of spicy mayonnaise.
For more information, visit Yamato on Facebook.
What’s your favorite roll in town? Tell us in the comments.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran’s Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...