The sushi in Brooklyn is a lot like the people who live there – a little eclectic, sometimes quirky, usually creative, and almost always a little non-traditional. While the borough is not known for its haute-Japanese cuisine, there are lots of restaurants in Brooklyn that are putting their own special twists on the timeless Japanese favorite. So, if you are a huge sushi fan, someone who isn’t sure about raw fish but likes to go out for sushi with friends, an adventurous gourmand, or just someone who just plain loves to eat, you’ll definitely want to check out each of the 4 unusual rolls below.
Salmon Mozzarella Roll from 1 or 8 Sushi
1 or 8 Sushi is often labeled the best sushi restaurant in all of Brooklyn. It’s located in trendy Williamsburg, and the best thing you’ll find on the menu might be its Salmon Mozzarella Roll, made with salmon, mozzarella cheese, semi-dried tomato, and yuzu tobiko with a basil sauce. This roll is about as close to Italian food as you can get at a Japanese sushi place, so if pasta’s your thing, this is definitely one you’ll want to check out.
Crispy Peking Duck Roll from Izakaya on Smith
On Smith Street in Cobble Hill you’ll find one of the city’s best Japanese Izakaya joints, aptly named – Izakaya on Smith. One of the best things on the menu at Izakaya on Smith is the Peking Duck roll – a combo of Chinese and Japanese favorites. The roll combines Peking duck, cucumber, and scallions, and it comes with a hoisin dipping sauce. Chinese food lovers will delight in this strange roll – since it mostly tastes like taking a bite of all your favorite Chinese food takeout dishes in one bite.
Cowboy Roll from Kyoto Sushi
There’s nothing impressive about the inside of Kyoto Sushi, located in Brooklyn’s ultra-trendy Greenpoint neighborhood. What is impressive, however, is it’s Cowboy Roll – their ultra-Americanized version of sushi. The Cowboy Roll has “chicken tempura” (a.k.a. fried chicken) and avocado inside, and outside it is wrapped in grilled beef with a special sauce. If you’re an all-American meat lover or someone who’s afraid of sushi, you’ll love the Cowboy Roll. ‘Cause what could really be better than fried chicken wrapped in steak? Especially when it’s as tender and fresh as they serve it at Kyoto.
Salmon Stinky Roll from Bozu
Deep in the heart of the hipster capital of America (Williamsburg) is Bozu, a trendy restaurant offering new takes on traditional Japanese cuisine. People rave about the Salmon Stinky Roll here – salmon, cucumber, and garlic sauce. The roll lives up to its name; the garlic sauce is very heavy on the garlic — and very pungent, both on the plate and your breath after you eat it. Don’t be afraid, though, the strong garlic sauce pairs well with the mild salmon and cucumber, and you’ll love the flavor combo from the first bite.
Green Day Roll from Fushimi
At the Williamsburg outpost of this sushi mini-chain you will find the Green Day roll, and much like its namesake band, it really packs a punch. The Green Day Roll is made of salmon, tuna, yellowtail, avocado, wasabi tobiko, kombu soy paper and then topped with cajun white tuna, wasabi peas, wasabi yuzu and honey wasabi aioli. That’s a lot of wasabi in one role, and diners describe it as HOT – so definitely check it out if you’re looking to clear your sinuses.
Ki Roll from Ki Sushi
At Ki Sushi in Cobble Hill, the signature sushi roll has made a huge impression in the neighborhood. Called the Ki Roll, it consists of tuna, salmon, and yellow — with a spicy crunchy king crab, avocado, caviar and gold leaf topping. The opulent roll goes for $18, which means it costs $3 per piece. But diners who have tasted it say it’s worth every penny.
Red Lobster Roll from Tomo Japanese Fusion
In quickly-gentrifying Bushwick, Brooklynites can now find Tomo Japanese Fusion, a sushi joint offering creative sushi rolls and hot Japanese entrees. The Red Lobster Roll is a favorite here – featuring lobster salad, kani salad, and seaweed salad. Sushi is usually known for its pure, fresh ingredients – but not the Red Lobster Roll. This sushi is loaded with mayonnaise (in both the kani and lobster salad) and balanced with the tang of the seaweed salad. With so much mayo in sushi, there’s no wonder they call it Red Lobster.
Paradise Roll from Sushi Tokyo
What sets Midwood’s Sushi Tokyo apart, first of all, is that it’s kosher. You won’t find any shellfish on the menu – at all. But also, the Paradise Roll on Sushi Tokyo’s menu is one of the most original in Brooklyn, featuring Kiwi, Mango, Cashews, Strawberries, seaweed, and a tempura banana topping. The Paradise Roll is super sweet – but it’s not dessert. It’s just a regular dinner offering at Sushi Tokyo, and it’s a great choice for a vegetarian or anyone who’s looking to consume their daily serving of fruit.
Got other crazy favorites? Share them in the comments below!