When served in Japan, sushi is a celebration of simplicity and freshness while in America extravagant maki rolls tend to dominate menus. Building on a traditional trio of ingredients including seaweed, seasoned rice and fresh fi sh these rolls create opportunities for creative chefs to distinguish themselves from the multitude of spots serving up sushi in the states.
Inari Sushi and Sake Lounge, 7428 W. North Ave., keeps with tradition by offering straightforward sashimi, nigiri and maki rolls that honor owner Sara Kate’s career long devotion to sourcing quality ingredients, but their specialty rolls have evolved well beyond the typical California roll. Consider Inari’s Flaming Dragon Roll — this baked inside-out roll is stuffed with shrimp tempura, scallions and sweet spicy mayo before being topped with fresh salmon, super white tuna, black and red tobiko, scallions and sesame seeds. The offering is literally set on fire before landing on a customer’s table. The showy offering is a favorite among Inari’s regular customers.
Folks looking for a different type of heat will appreciate the Diablo Roll filled with spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, cilantro and fresh jalapeno. This spicy offering, garnished with tempura crunch, spicy mayo and sweet soy, is sure to please hot heads everywhere.
The creativity continues with Inari’s alphabetically inclined S.T.A.Y Rolling Roll featuring letter focused ingredients: salmon, tuna, avocado, and yellow tail. The offering is a delicious spelling lesson. The festive X’mas Specialty Roll lets a well-known color palate drive the dish. Look for ruby-hued tuna, snow crab and tobiko to join green-hued cucumber and avocado in this ode to a festive time of year. The memorable roll is meant to be enjoyed all year long.
Precede any Inari maki roll offering with a piping hot bowl of housemade miso soup or an innovative appetizer offering. A healthy summer roll, found among Inari’s rotating menu of daily specials, appeals to health-conscious visitors. In lieu of nori and rice this maki-inspired starter is wrapped in carved cucumber and sweet sauce. Inari’s spicy tuna ravioli boasts an especially memorable presentation with tuna and crab meat mixed with ponzu sauce hidden behind scales of thinly sliced avocado.
Though rooted in Japanese tradition, Inari’s offerings celebrate the best side of American sushi cuisine while remaining both elevated and refined. The decade old sushi lounge offers deceptively complex, chef driven creations with customer comfort in mind — a noteworthy combination on North Avenue.
7428 W North Ave, Elmwood Park