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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tucson’s emerging Sushi scene

    Rebecca Noble
    A sake bomb comprised of sake and Kirin Ichiban beer at Fuku Sushi on University Boulevard on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016. Fuku Sushi’s sake bombs are $4.99.

    Correction 9/18/16: The article has been corrected to reflect that Sake bombs, a drink created in the Western world, are not actually part of Japanese drinking culture. 

    When thinking of what makes Tucson special, the last thing that goes through peoples’ heads is sushi.

    Jesse Wong, a 2015 alumnus, said that the sushi in Tucson is amazing but noted that it can be difficult finding high-quality sushi spots here in southern Arizona.

    Wong admitted that the sources for sushi in Tucson can be a little questionable.

    “The only weird thing about sushi in the desert is when you think about where [the restaurants] get their fish from,” Wong said. “Because we live in a desert, [there are] no bodies of water around us.”

    In fact, the closest ocean to Tucson is about four hours away, and it’s across the Mexico border.

    Needless to say, fresh-caught fish isn’t exactly synonymous with Tucson, but that hasn’t stopped local chefs from trying to create high-quality Japanese cuisine.

    A lot of the sushi restaurants in Tucson often have something unique about them; whether it is the sushi or the drinks, customers always find the cuisine extremely interesting.

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    “Sushi Garden is my favorite restaurant,” agribusiness sophomore Lauren Boswell said. “They always have fresh fish and get your food out quickly.”

    The spicy tuna rolls at Sushi Garden remain Boswell’s favorite. Boswell describes them as having a little kick, which makes them very delicious.

    At Sushi Garden, the spicy tuna roll is tuna covered in a spicy sauce rolled with cucumber and avocado. The roll is a Tucson favorite and a true art piece of desert sushi.

    Other sushi fans prefer to measure their sushi in quantity, which makes Sushi Ten another popular sushi spot in Tucson. With a $20 unlimited sushi menu, it is hard to go wrong.

    “Sushi at Sushi Ten is simple and delicious,” Wong said. “The fish is fresh, but the quality of rice really plays a big part in taste as well; after all, the literal translation of sushi is ‘vinegar-ed rice’.”

    Upon visiting Sushi Ten, Wong and his friends average an astounding 15 orders of sushi each per meal. The quantity and affordability of decent sushi is not something to be undervalued—customers that visit Sushi Ten leave with bellies full of sushi and a smile on their face.

    Fuku Sushi, located on University Boulevard next to the UA campus, isn’t known as much for its sushi as its sake bombs.

    “A sake bomb is a rice wine shot dropped into malt liquor or a strong beer,” said pre-physiology senior Joss Delaune.

    The price of these inexpensive drinks doesn’t go unnoticed.

    “They rock because of how cheap they are,” Delaune said. “I don’t drink them very often, but when I do, it’s for starting off the bars, usually.”

    Fuku’s sake bombs are only $5 each, making them extremely popular among college kids. Often times, the most fun way to drink them is with a large group of people.

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    There’s an art to taking a Sake bomb. The shot of sake balances on a pair of chopsticks atop a full beer glass. Upon pounding the table, the shot falls into the drink and everyone says cheers before finishing their beverage.

    Perhaps it’s the simply the culture of sushi that prevails in Tucson; whether it is endless sushi or unique drinks, sushi restaurants are figuring out their own way of doing Japanese cuisine here in the desert.

    “The sushi is memorable in Tucson, and it is something to experience for yourself,” Wong said.

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