Saturday, March 29, 2014

It's Your Roll! (CLOSED)

NOTE: It's Your Roll has since closed. Spring Garden Diner operates in its former location.

Located at 1901 Spring Garden Street, It’s Your Roll! specializes in made-to-order sushi and rice bowls. Sides, sweets, and a beer selection are also available.

If the Chipotlefication of sushi causes you to raise a skeptical eyebrow, you are hardly alone. However, It’s Your Roll! demonstrates once again that choice, more often than not, is a good thing. The restaurant’s premise is great for newbies and seasoned sushiphiles alike: choose between a roll or a bowl ($6.50 for veggie-only rolls, $7.50 for protein rolls, and $7-$10 for protein bowls) and pick your rice, protein, up to three veggies, fillings, and a sauce. Those who know what they are doing can craft their own custom combinations right away. Meanwhile, those who are daunted can start with familiar ingredients and gradually branch out. The owners, Doug and Greg, will gladly explain your options and allow you to sample.

What raises this above the level of a mere gimmick, however, is the variety and selection of ingredients. Regular and spicy variants of tuna, salmon, and shrimp join Summerfield Farms beef and chicken to give you plenty of proteins to pick from. You can top these with everything from the conventional (cucumber and carrots) to the unexpected (mango and goat cheese), and there are plenty of sauces as well. Further, all of the ingredients are fresh: the proprietors claim to not even own a freezer.

For our first time up, my companion and I opted for spicy salmon, avocado, cucumber, daikon, cream cheese, and ponzu sauce. The ingredients tasted as fresh as they looked, the spicy and the cool and the sweet balanced nicely, and the generous portion of pickled ginger on the side added another dimension. Within one bite, we were already scheming for a return trip.

Housed in the former Bianca’s, It’s Your Roll! is a small building with an also- small and somewhat inconvenient parking lot. Inside, however, the establishment makes good use of the space. The d├ęcor is appropriately Asian-inspired with a green-and-orange twist added for color. There are also a few decidedly quirky touches: lightbulbs have been repurposed as flower holders, and for 50 cents, you can buy custom origami from a gumball machine. As befitting a restaurant that opened earlier in the month, everything looked shiny and new.

As it continues to grow, It’s Your Roll! will likely augment the menu (the owners alluded to some tempura offerings). Until that happens, don’t expect the same breadth as a Sushi Republic. Do expect fresh, flavorful, friendly, fast, and fun, all at a manageable price.


It's Your Roll! Sushi By Design on Urbanspoon

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