Somewhere between Japan and the U.S., maki (sushi rolls) developed double vision. While the Japanese versions were pristine and simple, Americans preferred larger rolls with more ingredients. Locally, sushi chefs respond to that demand with unique creations.
Visit Noodles Italian Café & Sushi Bar, where Matt and Seth Benevento-Berman have found a way to successfully combine Italian and Japanese fare. “We grew up feasting on food from diverse ethnic markets,” says Seth, noting it’s what motivated the brothers to launch fusion cuisine in Naples. Try the Lobster Martini, an eight-ounce lobster tail with two presentations: rolled into a maki with asparagus, chives, and cream cheese, or served battered, sliced, and fried in a martini glass.
At Komoon Thai Sushi and Ceviche, Peruvian ceviche, sushi, and Thai dishes are a surprisingly good fit. While many restaurants serve a Dragon Roll (shrimp tempura, asparagus, avocado, and special sauce), Komoon offers six variations: Black (topped with eel), Green (avocado), Pink (imitation crab), Red (tuna), Yellow (salmon), and Rainbow (tuna, white tuna, and salmon).
Originally from Thailand, John Augsondthung spent six years training as a sushi chef before opening Araya Sushi Asian Grill. He travels to Japan every summer to visit fish markets and experience new innovations. His maki variations include the Tuna Loco (a spicy tuna roll topped with chunk tuna, avocado, masago, and tempura flakes) and Sex on the Beach, which combines tuna with a white fish. “Tuna and hamachi is my favorite combination,” he says. “Together, they taste as good as they look.”