On my drive to work this morning I was already thinking about both lunch and dinner. That happens somewhat frequently and these days tend to be the longest. I quickly settled on sushi and then picked out California Roll & Grill, located on Douglas behind Dimple Records. I skimmed over their menu online and found out that the name is spot on because rolls are pretty much 90% of it. There are some appetizers, salads and bento boxes, but other than that it’s all rolls. I kind of wish I had known about this place back when rolls were all I ordered.
Anyway, I rolled in after work at around 4pm. I was greeted and sat down right away. A few other customers finished up soon after , leaving the restaurant to the server and myself. I ordered a Pyramid Hefeweizen which she poured quickly and followed up with a bowl of miso soup. The soup was much bolder than others I’ve had. It was pretty tasty. I almost ordered an appetizer of mixed or vegetable tempura, but decided at the last second to go for the agedashi tofu instead. I tried a bite of it once before at Mikuni and recall liking it. I’ve been gravitating towards salmon and eel when I order sushi lately, so naturally I found rolls that contained them. I ordered a Sakura roll [(Kani & Avo) Tuna & Salmon] and a Caterpillar roll [(Eel & Cucumber) Avo & Tobiko]. I really liked that every roll on the menu has a photo.
Not too long after ordering, my appetizer arrived. Nine good sized pieces of deep fried tofu were swimming in tentsuyu broth (thank you, Wikipedia). I should have known better, but I stupidly shoved an entire piece in my mouth without testing how hot it was. My tongue will be reminding me of this for the next few days. I gave the rest some time to cool off. That brings up an issue I have with it being served like this. I don’t mind that it was hot, but since I had to wait they became very soggy from sitting in the broth. The way I’ve seen them served at Mikuni was in a separate bowl. I think that is probably the way to go. These were quite good, but I wish they had that slight crisp on the outside.
My rolls arrived as I was just getting going with the no longer molten tofu. The presentation might have just been good, but they made it amazing by giving the caterpillar some antennae and eyes. I couldn’t bear to take the little guy’s head off so I saved it for last ;). That roll was pretty good but was a little heavy on the cucumber. I think it could have used a touch more eel instead. The Sakura roll was my favorite. Both the tuna and salmon were great as was the crab. There was very little avocado, but since I had so much on the caterpillar I didn’t mind.
This is a nice little place. My server was friendly and the food was prepared pretty fast, (I know I was the only one there, but it still seemed faster than other places would have been). The prices did seem a touch high, but the portions were good. I don’t see a whole lot to complain about here other than the simple fact that their focus is on rolls and mot much else. I’m almost certainly going to be going to full on sushi joints in the future to satisfy my cravings. If all you want are rolls however, California Roll & Grill does a pretty solid job.