For some, sushi is seen as a far-out or unusual dish that only the adventurous would dare try. California Rollin?, located at 274 Goodman St., does a great job of convincing its customers otherwise and keeps them coming back for more.
California Rollin? is in the funky, artsy Village Gate Plaza and its decor matches the surroundings. The outside of the restaurant is covered with fishing nets and murals depicting ocean life.
The interior is similarly funky, with a large fish tank dominating the center of the room.
Staff make the sushi right in front of the customers at the bar, and there is a large mirror overhead that allows customers seated at the tables to also have a share in the viewing.
If you can?t get enough of watching people make sushi, you can also check out the restaurant?s website at www.californiarollin.
com to look at a webcam that continually displays images of the cooks behind the bar.
UR has a special connection to California Rollin? ? three current students are employed there.
Sophomore Giancarlo Rondash has worked there for two years. ?The Giant Clam is definitely the best thing there,? he said.
California Rollin? offers a variety of maki rolls, including cooked, raw and tempura rolls. Maki sushi is rice with a filling wrapped in a roasted sea vegetable and prices for 8 rounds vary from 4 to $7.50.
The California roll is a cooked roll made up of crabstick, cucumber, Japanese mayonnaise and avocado, and it is a customer favorite.
Just as the name implies, raw rolls contain raw fish. The Kyoto roll contains tuna, avocado and spicy wasabi mayo. Tempura rolls are deep-fried and nothing short of delicious.
I highly recommend that everyone spend the $6.50 on the Hell Yeah, where salmon, tuna and swordfish combine for a taste of heaven. The BBT roll is a creative original, containing tuna seared in Dinosaur Barbecue sauce.
Another type of sushi offered is nigiri, which has been described as ?little bits sitting on rice.? Nigiri is made up of a thin slice of fish set on a ball of rice.
California Rollin? also offers a selection of vegetarian rolls and an array of side dishes and soups.
When thinking of dessert, be sure not to miss the tempura ice cream. This masterpiece is presented as a ball of ice cream encased in a tempura shell and covered with a chocolate-hazelnut sauce and is without a doubt one of the best desserts I?ve ever tasted.
The restaurant offers sushi specials that change daily, but it also offers some consistent low-price deals. A customer can get any three rolls for only $12 every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Big eaters can enjoy a $20 all-you-can-eat special on soup and maki rolls on Wednesday nights from 5 to 10 p.m.
In 1997 the City newspaper voted California Rollin? the best sushi bar in Rochester and with good reason.
The food is delicious and creative, and the atmosphere is great. Expand your horizons and check it out sometime.