California Roll and Sushi is a hidden gem

(Photo by Brett Callwood)

Located close to the Westfield Mall but also kind of out of the way, in a little strip mall of its own, sits California Roll and Sushi. The sign is on the window but not above – we drove past it twice before finally finding it (and we were looking for it). But once you are on their premises, the place is great.

We’re making no bones about it – we love sushi and, by after years of experiencing different restaurants of varying standards, we feel like we know good sushi. We know, for example, that you should never buy sushi in a grocery store or (god forbid) a gas station. Even the higher end grocery stores can’t make their sushi on the spot so it’s inevitable that it will be refrigerated. The rice in sushi should be made fresh and served at room temperature. So that’s a no-no.

Obviously the fish has to be sashimi grade and very fresh. That’s the make-or-break. But the seaweed can’t be too chewy – the balance of ingredients has to be just right.

We have no complaints after visiting California Roll and Sushi. After ordering at the counter and taking our seats, we were presented with our soy bean appetizer (we usually know it as edamame, but no matter). The only slightly unusual thing was it was served shelled – that meant more beans but we didn’t get that satisfying “pop” experience as they fly out of the slippy casing and into the mouth. That said, they were perfectly salted and very tasty.

The edamame was only a warm-up for the sushi anyway, and we were eagerly awaiting the combo we had picked from the extensive, impressive and enticing menu. The restaurant offers two Sushi Specials and we opted for “Style B,” as it’s slightly bigger and we were splitting between two of us. 

That combo comes with six pieces of sushi and a fresh roll of your choice. We had the rainbow roll, and we were right to. Everything about the roll, and the six pieces of sushi, was spot on. The rainbow roll is so called because of the colorful array of fish that decorate the outer edge, and it’s a delight for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.

Overall, California Roll and Sushi is a bit of a hidden gem in Culver City, but it’s well worth seeking out.

California Roll and Sushi is located at 6251 Bristol Pkwy., Culver City 90230. Call 310-337-7775.