I am a practitioner in sushi appreciation. My diet consists of vegetables and fish, so yeah I take a good sushi roll, pretty damn seriously. So I could hardly contain my excitement when I found Sushi Stop, a sushi restaurant in Old Town Pasadena that serves all plates for the small price of $3.25. Since my wallet is a barren wasteland after I splurge on regular, super high priced sushi, a roll for $3.25 was music to my poor college student ears.
Sushi Stop itself was not hard to find, however once I stepped into the small narrow restaurant I had almost wished I didn’t find it. The monotonous, dull, brown wallpaper made me feel as if I was being engulfed by a room of depression. The atmosphere was busy with hungry patrons, but I hardly saw a smile on any faces. I tried to turn and find escape, but the hostess was actually quick at finding me a spot at the bar.
Walking to the counter is nearly impossible, with an aisle that only fits one person at a time. I was basically in a conga line trying to get to my seat, and once I sat down I realized my elbow space was even smaller. My social anxiety was screaming almost as loud as the voice in my head telling me to just get sushi somewhere else, but I couldn’t ignore my uncontrollably growling stomach. Ordering was simple, just like everything else in the restaurant. I indulged in my sushi obsession, and ordered yellowtail, a salmon avocado roll, spicy tuna guacamole, baked salmon roll, freshwater eel and a tofu salad. Overall the total was $24.61.
Although my wallet didn’t cry, my stomach and taste buds certainly did.
The sushi rolls came out quickly to my satisfaction, but I would’ve been more satisfied if they never came out at all. The salmon avocado roll doesn’t deserve to be named as such because apparently the chef’s were too stingy to put any avocado! I had one small excuse for a chunk of avocado and I couldn’t have helped but feel cheated.
I had hoped that the sushi avocado roll would be my last disappointment, but just like midterms week, the suffering never ended.
I love spicy tuna,I love guacamole, so this was supposed to be my dream roll. I had never thought it would’ve turned into my nightmare. If you’re going to offer a spicy tuna roll, make sure the tuna is at least SPICY. My disappointment was almost cured by the fresh guacamole on top, but I was cynical and my appetite was already ruined.
At this point I was already close to tears. Midterms get my really emotional, and I was just trying to enjoy some sushi therapy.
The closest I got to reconciliation was through the baked salmon roll and the tofu salad.
The baked salmon roll was the best thing that I decided to order, and I regret not ordering five more rolls of it. It was pure happiness in my mouth, and for the minute that it took me to eat the entire roll ( I devoured it), I forgot that I was ready to cry with disappointment only a few seconds before. The joy continued when I got the tofu salad. The salad tasted like summer, which sounds like a cliche. But you try looking at a fresh bowl of bright green leaves, carrot shavings, and vibrant tomato paste, without telling me you’re eating a bowl of sunshine. What’s ironic about the amazing tofu salad is that it was my second favorite menu item at a restaurant supposed to be known for their SUSHI.
Yes, the decor was terrifying and dull. And the sushi was a roll full of lies (most non spiciest tuna ever), but my experience wasn’t as bad as it seemed to be. For $3.25 a roll, you’re basically getting what you pay for. If you need a quick place to get mediocre cheap sushi, then Sushi Stop is the perfect place.