Learn to Roll Like the Pros at Roppongi's Monthly Sushi School

That's going on my resume!
March 6, 2013

On the first Saturday of each month, Roppongi Sushi & Asian Fusion Restaurant in La Jolla offers a most entertaining and enjoyable Sushi School where attendees learn the art of spinning rolls while sampling unlimited sake, followed by a 2-course lunch.  After customizing and eating your own spicy tuna and California rolls, participants are treated to an elegant salmon dish, followed by a palate cleansing sorbet dessert, then sent home with their own sushi making kit and a nifty certificate - all for $40 per person!  Mark your calendars and add a new culinary skill to your collection.

When you arrive at Roppongi for the 12:30pm class, you'll be escorted to the back dining room where each seat is set with a mini sushi station - rice, sliced proteins and veggies, nori (seaweed wraps), sesame seeds, a cutting board, a water bowl, a moist towel and a Seran wrap lined bamboo rolling mat.  After the 15 minute buffer window for the tardy, Sushi Chef Takuya Kudo instructed us on how to roll an inside-out (rice on the outside) spicy tuna roll.  The extremely friendly server - PJ - began pouring domestic Moma Kowa sake shots right from the get go, because as he said, "You only live once so you might as well do it with a buzz!"  All in attendance l appreciated that sentiment and indulged.  Our group probably had 12 or so sake shots during the course of the almost 2 hour experience.  By the end we were slammin' them in unison as we cheers!'d one another.  Kampai!!!

Spicy Tuna roll on top and California roll on bottom
Although Roppongi's Sushi School is somewhat simplified in that it leaves out two of the most difficult elements of sushi preparation - making the rice and slicing the fish - Roppongi's professional sushi chef was attentive to each student, ready to answer any and all questions, and ensured that everyone grasped the process before moving on.  In reality, the rolling part is quite simple as long as you keep your hands wet enough to battle the stickiness of the rice.  After finishing the construction of our two sushi rolls, Chef Takuya circled the tables cutting them to perfection.  Sake flowed, we all enjoyed the fruits of our labor, then we got to sit back and wait for the main course from the kitchen.

As our hot lunch was being prepared, each table was presented with an appetizer of seasoned edamame.  The salmon came out perfectly cooked, flaking apart atop a bed of slightly sauteed cucumber and seaweed, dressed with a shichimi pepper butter reduction.  Our meal finished with a refreshing mango jasmine sorbet and more shots of the slightly sweet Tozai unfiltered Snow Maiden sake.  Kampai....again!

We were sent home with a gift bag that included a bamboo rolling mat, sushi rice, rice vinegar for making the rice, instructions for preparing, and a voucher for a free dessert at Roppongi.  Once again, all this costs $40 per person, making it quite the value for the experience, the knowledge, the food, and the swag bag.  Here's a tip though if you plan on attending Sushi School at Roppongi, don't eat breakfast that day and think about arranging for a ride home!

Roppongi Sushi and Asian Fusion Restaurant is located at 875 Prospect Street in La Jolla.  The next sushi school is Saturday, April 6th at 12:30 pm.  For more information visit Roppongi's website and be sure to follow on Facebook and Twitter.