Why is Eating Sushi From a Truck Considered Brave?
For lunch purposes I have a love hate relationship with sushi. On one hand I don’t feel like anybody should ever have to spend more than $10 for lunch. On the other hand, oftentimes (though not always) you get what you pay for- and that tenet is never more true than it is with sushi. It is practically impossible to get a filling sushi lunch for under $10 (the keyword is filling), and when we do find one- it’s usually the kind of place that makes people cringe. (Like New York City sushi from a drugstore. Or a 99 Cent Store.)
So, naturally, when I moved to Los Angeles fans of the site (here and in NYC) wanted me to continue the Midtown Lunch tradition of sushi “bravery”. And here that means eating sushi from a truck!
I really don’t get why sushi from a truck is considered so cringe-worthy. Even some of the most hardcore street food eaters I know will hesitate when it comes to eating sushi being served off of a truck. What’s the big deal? In fact, knowing the stigma facing trucks these days I’m almost less scared eating sushi from a truck. Because they know that one sick person (or an untimely visit from the department of health), and their business is finished. And all the lame street food fearing co-workers we’ve ever worked with will cry out “I told you so!?!” as if nobody ever gets sick from brick and mortar restaurants.
That being said, while I don’t distinguish between truck and non truck sushi- you clearly have to distinguish between cheap sushi and real sushi. I love dropping $100 on a perfect omakase just as much as anybody- and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but the fish out here is leaps and bounds above what you get in NYC… or at least cheaper. But I’m not spending that kind of money on lunch, and even some of the better $17 chirashi bowls are too expensive for this cheap ass. So what’s left for under $10? The cheap stuff.
Fishlips’ menu is pretty standard for cheap sushi (california, spicy tuna, and “crunchy” rolls are the cornerstones) and they offer half rolls and decently priced lunch combos for those who like mix it up.
This small lunch set was $6.95. (For an extra $1 you get 6 pieces of roll instead of 4.) Not great, but not terrible. And the little pieces of “temari” are just adorable! Sadly, they’re smaller than your typical nigiri so it’s not a ton of food. But the rice is well done when compared to most pre-packaged lunchtime sushi (I’m looking at you Whole Foods) and everything is made to order. The fish tasted fresh, and the wasabi was was spicier than some of the dumbed down crap you get at fast food places in NYC (and maybe here, although I’m not as sure about that.) As for the spicy tuna roll, it was tasty but mayo-less (a good thing or a bad thing depending on who you ask!) It was all surprisingly decent for fast food sushi.
I can’t resist crunchy shit on my cheap sushi, so I tried a half crunchy roll as well ($3.50). Is what it is… and for people who prefer cooked stuff, you can’t go wrong with shrimp tempura.
I’ve got no fear eating sushi from a truck- but even I will admit to having pretty low expectations ( expectations that were completely exceeded.) Should have known that even sushi from a truck in L.A. would be far better than anything you can get in NYC for the same price. But more than that it will make your boring co-workers think “Ewwwwwww! I can’t believe you’re eating that.” And that’s the most important Midtown Lunch test of all.
- Eating anything from a truck is more fun!
- Sometimes you want something sushi’ish, for under $10… Fishlips is a better option than most at this price point.
- The wasabi is super spicy. Bonus!
- How adorable are those temari things?
- Cheap and made to order. I like it.
- Sorry, sushi from a truck is gross. Won’t do it.
- What’s the point of eating spicy tuna if it’s not covered in mayo!?
- Sushi is one thing I don’t mind paying more than $10 for.
- It’s not *that* cheap. There are better brick and mortar sushi places near my work for the same price
- Spicy tuna rolls? California rolls? Crunchy rolls? There are so many better sushi options in L.A. Don’ t need to be wasting your time on that crap…