A couple of years ago, I couldn’t eat raw sushi. I might as well have been a contestant Fear Factor, and you couldn’t pay me enough to eat it. Then, BOOM! My tastebuds changed. Now I can eat a raw oyster the size of a lung. Give me a fish straight out the water still flopping. I’m like an Alaskan bear at a creek catching a salmon out the water and biting its head off.
With my newfound love, I recently found myself at a Michelin Star Sushi Restaurant in New York called Sushi Azabu. They fly their fish in directly from Japan, and it made me think about life. Eating sushi, exploring Japan, eating ramen, and repeating crossed my mind. The bluefin tuna literally melted in my mouth, and I quickly realized: this is why bluefin tuna is endangered. In other words, I love sushi. But you know who else flies in fish from Japan? A little place called Kazu Japanese in Mandarin.
Kazu Japanese has won Folio Weekly’s Best Sushi every single year since they have been open. And for good reason: owner David Chen has a thing for quality. Not only is he the only sushi spot in Jacksonville that flies in fish from Japan, but he makes his own ginger dressing.
Most hibachi and japanese restaurants will serve you a basic sad looking lettuce salad. They will ask, “Ginger? Or ranch?” Kazu does this too, but they make their ginger dressing from scratch. When you taste it, it feels like you’ve been lied to for many years. It gives you the true essence of ginger, not that bottled stuff. That is when I knew that Kazu was special. I’ve hosted multiple dinner events at Kazu, and the ginger dressing is always a staple. He could easily cut corners, but it’s all about quality.
When my friends told me that he was opening a Sushi burrito restaurant, I was fired up. I knew David would bring the same quality from Kazu Japanese to Kazu Sushi Burrito. Yes, essentially it is an uncut fat sushi roll! You can make your own burrito Chipotle-style, or you can choose from the menu:
KAZU SUSHI BURRITO
Spicy Tuna, salmon, shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, mango, tobiko, tempura flakes, shrimp sauce
Tuna, salmon, white tuna, avocado, cucumber, cilantro, red onion, spicy mayo, wasabi mayo
Spicy tuna, spicy krab, seaweed salad, lettuce, sweet corn, mango, tempura crunch, sweet yuzu sauce
DYNAMITE BURRITO (FRIED)
Shrimp tempura, spicy krab, cream cheese, avocado, asparagus, red onion, bacon bite, shrimp sauce, eel sauce
They even did a special bluefin tuna sushi burrito at Kazu Japanese. You can also order a poké bowl or poké salad. My favorite is the Spectrum sushi burrito, and I add mango. It gives you a great mix of fish, veggies, and sauces. I see that people have been complaining about the burrito falling apart when eating it. The quick fix is to eat it like you would a Chipotle burrito: peel the paper back as you eat and the wrapping holds it together. Plan B is to switch the seaweed wrap for Soy Paper. The soy paper doesn’t have that pull when you bite it that seaweed does.
The response so far has been great, and I’ve been back six times since the soft opening. If you’re a sushi lover, this is a must. You can find Kazu Sushi Burrito at 6025 Bulter Point Rd, Ste 104 on the Southside. Follow them on Instagram at Kazusushiburrito, or visit their website, www.kazusushiburrito.com.