California Rolls have successfully served as the gateway drug to many a sushi addiction. Fans can easily recall the first time they broke the back end off their first roll, sank it in wasabi/ginger soy sauce and got hooked. Though sushi zealots dismiss the California Roll as the ultimate Americanization of Japanese cuisine, the combination of crab, rice, and veggies serve as a perfect alternative after days of meat and potatoes holiday fare. Let's face it, by Saturday, no matter how much you love turkey, you will have reached maximum poultry capacity and one of these top picks will have you covered.
The obviously named 4725 California Roll at West Seattle's Mashiko is almost as famous as Hajime Sato, its creator. For $9, it's plump with real crab, cucumber, avocado, citrus garlic mayonnaise, and tobiko. It's the West Coast blunt of our sushi bunch. You think you can finish it, but halfway through you're going to have to surrender and pass it to the left-hand side.
Japonessa (1400 First Ave ) "Oh My God! It's an F'n Twinkie!" exclaimed a dining companion on her inaugural bite of this 1st Ave hotspot's California Crunch Roll which consists of snow crab mix, avocado and cream cheese that 's tempura'd, then drizzled with a sweet chili aioli, soy glaze. This impressive roll goes for $6.50 during Japonessa's omnipresent happy hour, and is absolutely sublime when paired with their five dollar bubbles. But take note: this combo should come with a warning as it can easily become your culinary cocaine.
Umi Saki House (2230 First Ave)
Umi's California Kristy is a sexy mix of crab, mayonnaise, tobiko and cucumber wrapped in seared albacore and served with sweet chili aioli for $12. It is so indulgent you could liken it to a designer club drug. The portions are generous and perfect for special occasions. Try it with their house Lychee Lemonade to enhance its potently magical effects.
Kisaku (2101 N 55th St)
The popular California Roll at Kisaku is like Ecstasy: affordable and fun. So much so, in fact, you may find yourself wanting to do it every weekend. Kisaku's California Roll is of the fresh, straightforward, variety, and costs a mere $6. It features Crab, flying fish eggs, cucumber, avocado and again like Ecstasy, it is best acquired by reservation.
Musashi's (1400 N 45th St)
Wallingford's Musashi has a dirty little secret; Its crab is of the artificial variety.However, it still has a legion of die hard fans who boast it "the best in town". Maybe it's because it's a cheap fix at $5 for 10 pieces? Or maybe it's because it's an unconventional mix of shrimp, faux crab, avocado, omelet, and cucumber? Regardless, there is frequently a line out the door for this little shop. And like your dealer, they only take cash.