Kabuki Roll
Akabanebashi: American
Kabuki Roll (Akabanebashi: American)
Kabuki Roll
Open 11:30am-2:30, 6-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
no smoking: No smoking

Although you may occasionally run across a California roll in a Tokyo sushi shop as a novelty item, other types of American-style inside-out rolls are pretty much unheard of. That's why this small local sushi counter is such a great find - they offer American classics like Caterpillar Rolls and Volcano Rolls, deluxe items like Spider Rolls (with soft-shell crab), and oddities like chicken with mozzarella, basil and tomato - nearly fifty varieties in all.

Part of the fun of a large and varied menu like this is taking the time to explore the many options and finding your favorites. We especially enjoyed the combinations of complementary ingredients in rolls like the Spicy YT (yellowtail with crunchy cucumber, flying-fish roe, scallions and chili mayonnaise) and the Dragon Roll (unagi, imitation crab, cucumber and avocado). The Salmon Skin Roll incorporates burdock root to add an appealing crunchiness, and the salmon in the Philadelphia Roll is nicely set off by the silky, creamy combo of ripe avocado and cream cheese.

The spicier rolls here like Cajun Tuna, Spicy Tuna and Volcano are well balanced in flavor, and perhaps more subtly spiced than the original America versions, although the Death Roll, livened up with Blair's Death Sauce, may be the exception to the rule. Starters and side dishes cover a wide range, from Caesar and Cobb salads to Mushroom Ajillo and Deep-Fried Camembert.

There are some nice budget-friendly wines served by the glass or bottle to go with your meal as well as plum wine, sake and basic cocktails. The dining area is fairly compact - just a counter and one table in front, and two more small tables in a back room. Budget around Y2500-3500 at dinnertime. Take-out is available at both lunch and dinnertime.

Minato-ku, Higashi-Azabu 2-4-7.

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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended