When out for sushi we’re inclined to ignore the rolls and stick with the nigiri and sashimi. We’ve had too many encounters with rolls that don’t highlight or even complement the fish. We end up searching for fish lost in a sea of cucumber fluff or drowning in heavy sauce. But we’d heard good things about the rolls at Sushi Pop, and in this case the praise was well deserved. We found that this casually hip sushi spot serves innovative combinations of flavors and textures that ultimately showcase the fish.
During our first visit, the reviews of the nigiri/sashimi were mixed. We agreed that the escolar and yellowtail were the best of the selection and let those drive our choice of rolls. The Butterfish Roll is one of Sushi Pops more straightforward options with quality escolar, carmelized shallots, yuzu miso, and thai basil: distinct flavors that work well together. We also chose the more complex Ceviche Roll of yellowtail, avocado and tempura shallots topped with light flounder, sriracha, micro cilantro, and Hawaiian pink salt (we did say complex). Here the combination of freshness, slight heat, and a salty crunch creates a symphony for the palate.
As for our subsequent visit, we went straight for the rolls. Again we found thoughtful pairings incorporating herbs and light sauces that complemented the fish well. The Mebachi Roll of escolar and pickled radish was topped with succulent seared toro and seasoned with elements of citrus and spice. One of our absolute favorites was the Rising Sun Roll. This tuna roll, topped with delicate Japanese scallops, a drizzle of orange chili sauce and fleur de sel, had superb freshness with just a hint of heat. Here again the Sushi Pop crew has pulled off something exceptional.
Finally, if you find you need a little something to break-up the multiple fish courses we recommend the Pushed Pork: a bacon-seared pork shoulder terrine served with a kimchee cucumber and cabbage salad. The pork could have been served a bit warmer but was moist and very flavorful, particularly when drawn through a touch of Asian BBQ sauce.
Ceviche Roll $14 Mebachi Roll $14
Rising Sun Roll $14 Full bar offerings