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Culinary trends collide

Poke bowls and sushi burritos at Pokirrito

It’s tough to go wrong with raw fish in your sushi burrito, and they also come with chicken or some In-N-Out burger-like beef
It’s tough to go wrong with raw fish in your sushi burrito, and they also come with chicken or some In-N-Out burger-like beef
Place

Pokirrito

4646 Convoy Street #101-A, San Diego

This may be the most of-the-moment restaurant opening San Diego will see in 2016. Convoy Street’s new Pokirrito manages to capitalize on two current fast-casual trends at once, combining poke salad bowls and sushi burritos. Consider the fact it was opened by expanding ramen chain RakiRaki, and we might have to call it a trifecta.

Sushi burritos seem like a natural fit for this town, and when I wrote about the ones offered by Hillcrest’s Rolled Up a couple of months back, readers on social media started shouting out a number of sushi restaurants that have gotten in on the action. Which is cool, but if I’m at a sushi restaurant, with a legit sushi chef, I want sushi — not some mash-up dish. I won’t go so far as to call a sushi joint serving sushi burritos a red flag, but I do think it diminishes the concept. Sequester it to a separate shop, however, where there’s no expectation that hundreds of years’ worth of traditional knife technique will be honored, and I’m all for it.

A slick industrial storefront houses the ultimate in 2016 fast-casual fish trends.

Like Rolled Up, Pokirrito has a funky machine that adds a thin layer of rice to a large sheet of seaweed, raising the question: which came first, this machine or the idea for a sushi burrito? Either way, it works, and if anything the burritos rolled at Pokirrito are bigger than I’ve seen elsewhere — about the circumference of those cardboard coasters served under every pint glass at your local brewery. The list of offerings includes raw ahi and salmon, though I was surprised to discover most of the options featured cooked fish or meat. So I tried two: the Mauna Lani with salmon and the Maui Sunrise, made with karaage chicken.

The fried chicken one also features fried ginger, ginger avocado, red bell pepper, tempura battered jalapeños, butter lettuce, and fried lotus root chips. It leaned a little heavy on the ginger for my taste, but the karaage chicken itself was good, and the ensuing crunch of all the fried elements balanced nicely against the nori and rice wrapper.

The Mauna Lani, on the other hand, was perfect. It also included the lotus chips, which would make a great and interesting crunchy snack on their own. There’s also crab meat, masago fish roe, tamago omelette, the fried jalapeño and butter lettuce, and broccoli slaw.

I can’t say the latter added much to the overall flavor or texture, but with all those other ingredients it didn’t need to do anything but allow me to feel like I’d eaten a helping of cruciferous vegetable. Obviously, the salmon was the star here, and I would have loved more of it. But all the components of this particular sushi burrito worked well together to create a thoroughly satisfying lunch for 12 bucks.

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It’s tough to go wrong with raw fish in your sushi burrito, and they also come with chicken or some In-N-Out burger-like beef
It’s tough to go wrong with raw fish in your sushi burrito, and they also come with chicken or some In-N-Out burger-like beef
Place

Pokirrito

4646 Convoy Street #101-A, San Diego

This may be the most of-the-moment restaurant opening San Diego will see in 2016. Convoy Street’s new Pokirrito manages to capitalize on two current fast-casual trends at once, combining poke salad bowls and sushi burritos. Consider the fact it was opened by expanding ramen chain RakiRaki, and we might have to call it a trifecta.

Sushi burritos seem like a natural fit for this town, and when I wrote about the ones offered by Hillcrest’s Rolled Up a couple of months back, readers on social media started shouting out a number of sushi restaurants that have gotten in on the action. Which is cool, but if I’m at a sushi restaurant, with a legit sushi chef, I want sushi — not some mash-up dish. I won’t go so far as to call a sushi joint serving sushi burritos a red flag, but I do think it diminishes the concept. Sequester it to a separate shop, however, where there’s no expectation that hundreds of years’ worth of traditional knife technique will be honored, and I’m all for it.

A slick industrial storefront houses the ultimate in 2016 fast-casual fish trends.

Like Rolled Up, Pokirrito has a funky machine that adds a thin layer of rice to a large sheet of seaweed, raising the question: which came first, this machine or the idea for a sushi burrito? Either way, it works, and if anything the burritos rolled at Pokirrito are bigger than I’ve seen elsewhere — about the circumference of those cardboard coasters served under every pint glass at your local brewery. The list of offerings includes raw ahi and salmon, though I was surprised to discover most of the options featured cooked fish or meat. So I tried two: the Mauna Lani with salmon and the Maui Sunrise, made with karaage chicken.

The fried chicken one also features fried ginger, ginger avocado, red bell pepper, tempura battered jalapeños, butter lettuce, and fried lotus root chips. It leaned a little heavy on the ginger for my taste, but the karaage chicken itself was good, and the ensuing crunch of all the fried elements balanced nicely against the nori and rice wrapper.

The Mauna Lani, on the other hand, was perfect. It also included the lotus chips, which would make a great and interesting crunchy snack on their own. There’s also crab meat, masago fish roe, tamago omelette, the fried jalapeño and butter lettuce, and broccoli slaw.

I can’t say the latter added much to the overall flavor or texture, but with all those other ingredients it didn’t need to do anything but allow me to feel like I’d eaten a helping of cruciferous vegetable. Obviously, the salmon was the star here, and I would have loved more of it. But all the components of this particular sushi burrito worked well together to create a thoroughly satisfying lunch for 12 bucks.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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