Shrimp Tempura to French Rolls: Sushi Spots in the D

By: Toni Cunningham | March 21, 2014
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Generally speaking, I think I’m fairly adventurous when it comes to food. It’s sort of a requirement with writing all these articles about every food item under the sun and all. However, I draw the line at things like, for example, eel. I’m all about sushi, but only if it’s a roll packed full of veggies and, occasionally, crab covered in cream cheese. Because honestly, who wouldn’t eat anything if it’s slathered in cream cheese?

While I might not be chomping at the bit to chow down on raw tuna, I realize it’s a popular thing, and there are plenty of Metro Detroit sushi restaurants that have an expansive list of house specialty rolls in addition to the usual suspects. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Shiro, 43180 W. 9 Mile Rd., Novi, is a restaurant and sushi bar situated inside of the Rogers Mansion, a place with just as much history as sushi. There are over a dozen Shiro special rolls, including the Salmon on the Beach Roll (with avocado, crab meat, cream cheese, baked salmon and sweet cream sauce), Grilled Albacore Tuna Roll (seared with jalapeno and avocado), Sunny Day Roll (calamari tempura and cucumber roll with spicy shrimp and crab salad), and Kiss of Fire Roll (crab meat, spicy tuna, jalapeno, avocado and hot sauce).

The manor was built back in 1929 and is said to be haunted, so be prepared for the possibility of being spooked while dining.

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Totoro, 215 S. State St., Ann Arbor, not to be confused with the animated children’s tale, is a Japanese restaurant located in the downtown area of A2. There are nearly 30 specialty rolls offered at Totoro’s sushi bar, like the Popcorn Lobster (special California roll topped with deep-fried lobster with eel sauce and spicy sauce), Heart Attack (deep-fried jalapeno stuffed with spicy tuna, cream cheese, cucumber, eel sauce, mussel sauce and special sauce), Hawaiian (asparagus, pineapple and crab salad wrapped in cucumber), and Dancing with the Wolves (deep fried avocado, cream cheese, crab stick and egg).

Why choose a regular ol’ Spicy Tuna roll when you have all of these delicious choices at your fingertips? If there’s a time to get outside of your comfort zone, that time is now.

Café Sushi, 1933 W. Maple Rd., Troy, has enough specialty rolls that you could try a different one each day of the month and never repeat yourself. That’s right, nearly 30 varying sushi rolls for you to choose from. Your choices include the Jameson (snow crab, tempura flakes and wasabi tobiko topped with avocado and eel sauce), Las Vegas (snow crab and avocado topped with cream cheese, tobiko and eel sauce), Maui (panko fried calamari, pineapple and asparagus, topped with albacore tuna, spicy sauce, banana peppers and eel sauce), and The Block (fried block-shaped rice with spicy tuna and jalapenos, served with ponzo).

Café Sushi is open until 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, so you can get your sushi fix late into the night!

Ignite Sushi Bar & Lounge, 1777 3rd St., Detroit, is only open Thursday through Sunday, but it’s a great place to grab a bite and a beverage before or after the evening’s fun begins—it’s located inside MGM Grand Detroit. The dozen plus specialty roll menu includes tasty choices like the French Roll (lobster salad, shrimp tempura and cucumber topped with tuna, salmon, orange sauce and eel sauce), Mars Roll (spicy tuna and shrimp tempura topped with avocado, spicy sweet sauce and eel sauce), Alaskan Roll (crab salad topped with smoked salmon and avocado), and Volcano Roll (cucumber roll topped with crab, spicy sweet sauce and eel sauce).

Take advantage of $10 Sushi & Saki Fridays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Take a look at the details here!

Crave, 22075 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, is a Mediterranean-infused sushi bar and restaurant, and if we’re to believe that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest out there, Crave is the place to be! Crave specials are priced per roll and include the Dancing Eel (king crab, avocado, cucumber, masago, cream cheese and rice wrap, layered with unagi with sweet drizzle), Care Bear (spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, shiro maguro, asparagus, crunchy flakes and mango chutney), Pizza Roll (with smoked salmon, king crab, avocado and baked dynamite drizzle), and Samba (king crab, Japanese cucumber, jalapeno, mango, micro green salad and chili aioli).

In addition to regular happy hour (from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday), Crave holds reverse happy hour every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Delicious sushi and discounted drinks? Count me in.

Feel free to order a regular roll while you’re out at any or all of the above establishments, but you’ll be missing out on some seriously tasty house specials.