California Roll Dreaming – Jeollado vs Ishikura Sushi

Jeollado vs Ishikura Sushi

California Roll: Jeollado vs Ishikura Sushi

The food competition continues on the East Village Podcasts blog with this very special installment dedicated to everyone’s favorite sushi (which actually isn’t exactly sushi): the California Roll, a “maki-zushi.”

Ordered and eaten “take-out style” by the East Village Podcasts editorial team, the competitors include, as pictured on the left, from 116 East 4th Street between First and Second Avenues – Jeollado; and on the right, from the nearby corner of 1st Avenue and Fourth Street, Ishikura Sushi!

For the regular East Village Podcasts blog reader, you know that the editorial “team” promised a visit to the sushi-restaurant-formerly-known-as “Kura Sushi.” In the course of this take-out food competition, we’ve learned that Ishikura Sushi is the same people and owner as the previous Kura Sushi. Evidently the California version of Kura Sushi told our East Village version that they owned the name. Fie on you California Kura Sushi! We like our Kura Sushi, East Village-style.

California Rolling

The competition began with the soy sauce container from Ishikura smashing and splashing to the floor leaving the Kikkoman packets from Jeollado as my only soy sauce alternative. Arming myself with wooden weapons of fresh fish destruction, I selected one inside-out, cut piece of California Roll from Ishikura Sushi. Warm and soft, the roll dissolved quickly in my mouth and ultimately had a creamy texture.

Inside Out with Ishikura Sushi

Was Kura Sushi, Now Ishikura Sushi

I was struck that the rice grain was longer with the Ishikura than the Jeollado entrant and – if size matters to you – the pieces of crab and avocado were larger in Ishikura’s iteration. And, Ishikura was fresh.

Though feeling the need to return to the dish of Ishikura California Roll, I deferred in the interest of competition and moved on to Jeollado’s entrant. I was impressed by the number of pieces on the Jeollado plate which cost me $6 compared to the fewer-pieced competitor from Ishikura which rang the register at $4.90. But, when I ordered at Jeollado I saw that in spite of the fact I ordered one California Roll, the waiter wrote “(2)” in parentheses. Perhaps he knew that one wasn’t going to be enough for me – or one roll wasn’t worth his time! Conspiracy theory! That was it! Argh!

Hunger pangs quickly overwhelmed the conspiracy and I dropped a piece of Jeollado California into my mouth.

Eating California

Swallowing California

With orange fish eggs surrounding this inside-out roll, the texture was crunchy at first and then hard and cold which may have been due to the pre-made and refrigerated origins of the Jeollado roll (unconfirmed). Not a good sign. It didn’t help that they gave me “the pink ginger” instead of the “fresh yellow ginger” of Ishikura.

No one gives me “the pink ginger.” It’s pre-fabricated, sliced elsewhere and not fresh.

Our California Roll of Choice

After finishing one bite of Jeollado’s roll, I continued sampling the Ishikura version whose soft, sweet, creamy texture continued to impress such that I never did return to the Jeollodo competitor which I think would be quite sturdy and stackable if you’re looking for something to do while you’re eating your Ishikura Sushi California roll.

Our California roll dream: Ishikura Sushi

Ishikura Sushi is Best

The Winner: Ishikura Sushi

When California Rolling...

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April 1st, 2008

Entry Filed under: Food - Competitive



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