Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bandwagon Jumper

What do you call someone who waits in line for more than two hours for lunch-time sushi?

Dumb as a rock?

Pretty close. The answer is "me." I am the punchline.

If you don't get the joke, after reading this post, you will.

At the beginning of this year, my husband and I noticed an explosion of Facebook activity about this new lunch place in the Financial District dubbed "Sushiritto." We had never heard of it, but around 20 of our friends did, and they touted it as the next big thing to hit San Francisco. However, none of these friends had personally tried the food there. Pretty much, they just saw long lines there and wistfully tweeted pictures of the line and something to the effect of, "Must be good! I want some!"

Since I was gainfully on maternity leave at the time, my husband decided that if anyone had a few hours to spare to wait in line, I did. Plus, I have told you before how my husband feels about long lines at eating establishments. So he dropped me off to pick up lunch there while he went to go run some errands in the City with our newborn in tow.

I would like to say this was the "wait of the century," but that would be a gross understatement. I am sure you know how long lines at amusement parks are. At the half hour mark, you are losing steam, but you believe you can keep going. By the time one hour has passed, you are too invested to leave the line. At that point, you convince yourself that "the worst part of the wait is over." At the one and a half hour mark, you tell yourself, "Oh what the heck, I already wasted my day, I might as well continue waiting." And as I waited in line, that is what I told myself. And like lines at the U.S. Post Office, it literally did not move an inch.

Given the pace of the movement of the line, I have no idea how I ended up at the front, but more than two hours later, I did. And since I was starving, half-conscious, and wholly belligerent, I ordered four of the items on the five item menu: the Three Amigos, Latin Ninja, Mamacita, and Crispy Ebi rolls.

As I checked out, the cashier rang up the total as ~$40. At first, I suffered a quick bout of sticker-shock, but because I had waited over two hours for those lil' mutha-effers, I made myself believe that it would be worth it. As I paid for the meal, my husband rushed in with our crying newborn and furiously asked, "What took you so long?" I shoved the rolls in his arms and stormed off to the car.

With a crying baby in the background, we gulped down the rolls in the car (I was so hungry, I could not be bothered to chew and there is no real seating area to eat at in Sushiritto, as it is just a take-out place). At that point, I woefully realized I could not taste a difference between Sushiritto's rolls and Americanized rolls from any ole' sushi joint. Basically, the rolls were like California rolls with one or two extra bells and whistles. Not even like a California roll on steroids, but like a California roll on a GNC herbal supplement. At one point, I tasted something that reminded me of Thai curry (I believe the mango in the Latin Ninja or the plantain and Sriracha combination in the Crispy Ebi roll), but I was too angered by the fact that I had waited two hours to even care.

To quickly recap our meal, we ordered the "Three Amigos" roll, which is sizeable sushi roll made with tuna, salmon, hamachi hiramasa (Japanese amberjack yellowtail fish), avocado, yuzu tobiko (fish roe seasoned with yuzu citrus), asparagus, cucumber, shaved red radish, scallions, and wasabi mayonnaise. Apparently, the "three" friends, are the three different types of fish.

We also ordered the "Latin Ninja" roll, which was made with salmon, mango, avocado, asparagus, daikon radish, Meyer lemon, pickled red onion, cilantro, scallions, and a ginger serrano sauce. The punchy cilantro leaves, the creamy mango and avocado elements, and the fiery serrano oils brought a punch of Latin flair to the Japanese roll.

The third roll we ordered, was the Mamacita Roll, which was made of tuna, Japanese gourd, Shiitake mushrooms, avocado, cucumber, scallions, daikon radish, tobiko (fish roe), crumbled rice chips, and Mexican kabayaki sauce.

Finally, we also ordered the Crispy Ebi, which sounded to be the most innovative roll of the four. The Crispy Ebi was made of tempura shrimp, melted pepperjack cheese, shredded crab, plantain, avocado, cucumber, and Sriracha crema sauce.

Now that you are at the end of this post, I am sure you are thinking, "Gee, I sense bitterness." Honestly, the rolls were pretty good and had it not been for the wait, I would have had liked this place much more. Indeed, my husband (who did not wait in line) went back with his brother and sister-in-law! Check out his sister-in-law's take on Sushiritto here. Also, the menu has undergone a dramatic overhaul and I heard that the lines have died down too, so if you are around the area, you might check it out.

Well, I can't say that I didn't learn a valuable lesson from this ordeal. Sushiritto helped me to realize that there is great value in having a "quicky" every now and then. "Quicky" meaning "quick lunch," that is.


  1. wow... 2 hours in line is definitely more patience than I have. Well, after your experience I'm not sure this is even on my list. What is the diameter of the sushiritto in comparison to a regular roll? Looks humongous!

  2. LOL, you should have just cut in line saying you have a newborn! ;-) You must have gone soon after they opened because I went a few months ago and there really wasn't much of a line. Or if there was, it went by pretty fast. I like the freshness of the rolls, but I agree with you, it's just a fancified California roll. Plus, it doesn't really stay together; mine opened up at the edge where the nori met. I would rather they slice the roll like maki sushi than pretend that it's a "sushiritto."

    P.S. I give you creds for taking a moment to shoot the photos in your hungry state!

  3. Oops, sorry for my late reply Foodhoe, I would say the diameter is 2 to 2 1/2 inches. The sushi at Old Town Sushi or Alameda Sushi House is probably on par with this place.


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