When I returned from my vacation last week, I had a few days off before going back to work. So that gave me the opportunity to check out some weekday lunches in San Francisco that I typically don’t get a chance to visit since I work over in Oakland.
One of the newest lunch spots – with a twist – is Sushiritto, a SOMA spot near the Financial District that’s created a hybrid of the sushi roll and a burrito. Just a few doors down from the popular gourmet sandwich shop The Sentinel, Sushiritto supposedly has been drawing the curious crowds since opening a few weeks ago.
But when I checked it out last week for a late lunch (almost 2 p.m.) there were a few people waiting but the short line moved pretty quickly and it didn’t take me that long to get my sushiritto.
Sushiritto has about six specialty rolls on the menu, all unique creations with names like Latin Ninja and the Mamacita Roll. I ordered what was called the Smokin’ Chicken ($8.50), made with chicken karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken), avocado, plantain, shaved cabbage, red and yellow bellpeppers, cilantro, and green onion.
Just looking at the ingredients, you can tell that the sushirittos are stuffed with rice and filling, so that means these freshly made-to-order rolls wrapped in nori (seaweed) instead of a tortilla are … Gi. GANT. Tick.
Growing up in Hawaii, I’m used to these types of sushi rolls, known as maki sushi. But Sushiritto, along with adding way more ingredients than traditional maki rolls, delivers the rolls uncut so you eat it like, well, a burrito. (Even though it’s not folded like a burrito wrap with the ends tucked in.)
I bet you’re thinking the same thing I did: How do you eat it? When I removed a bit of the paper to reveal some of the sushiritto, I realized that the nori sheet just barely touched each ends, so it didn’t fully make a complete wrap around all the rice. What that meant was there was the slightest of seam keeping the filling together, so once I started eating the roll started to fall apart.
But despite the mess created when eating, at least there were a lot of flavor from the many ingredients. The chicken itself wasn’t crispy because of the chipotle crema sauce that was lathered on it. I liked the shaved cabbage giving everything a contrasting texture, but eating everything did not make me think I was eating a chicken roll. It was good but the chicken seemed lost in everything.
Sushiritto is basically selling fusion maki rolls on steroids. They’re bigger and the gimmick is drawing attention, but for me I rather they just slice them up and serve it on a plate instead of as a burrito. (Even the traditional hand rolls would be more user-friendly.)
This isn’t a full review since I just ate one roll. The rolls are huge and fresh, so if I’m ever in the neighborhood I might pick up a sushiritto and take it home and slice it.
Sushirrito, 59 New Montgomery St. (south of Market Street), San Francisco. PH: 415.495.ROLL (7655). Open weekdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. www.sushirrito.com