ADDRESS: 1150 Morningside Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
It was my last night in the LA area before it was time to go back home to Florida. As luck would have it, my friend Angie was flying back into LAX from one of her trips, so I picked her up from the airport and we headed down to Manhattan Beach to catch up.
We stopped by two other restaurants to try and get a table, but struck out on both of them. It was a Tuesday night, and I was pretty surprised those places were super packed. But after a bit more walking around, we ended up heading away from the beachline a little bit, over towards a place called Fusion Sushi. I had spotted it on Google Maps after looking around a bit, and both of us were game for some sushi.
Maybe it was just me, but the main dining area itself gave me the vibe of being on the inside of a boat, namely one of those wooden sushi boats that you might see when people order a sushi & sashimi deluxe or something like that. I certainly appreciate the design of the menu layout, with the large number of photos, namely of the different sushi rolls, helping out to make some decisions. There were still two full pages of sushi rolls, which amounted to 39 different options to choose from. It took us a little bit, but eventually we were able to narrow it down to three to share between us.
Even though the dining area was moderately crowded, it looked like the sushi chefs were still able to keep up with the pace of getting the food out. Our three rolls came one after the other, probably a little over 10 minutes after we had placed our order. It boiled down to the Tornado Roll, the Déjà Vu Roll, and the Manhattan Beach Roll for us, which seemed to feature a pretty diverse mix of both flavors and types of fish.
The pictures on the menu had helped to prepare us a bit of what to anticipate, but even after the rolls got placed down on the table, I thought the visual presentation was very nice. With the various colors represented from the ingredients, the contrast provided by the black dishware made for a nice canvas. I first went in for a piece of the Déjà Vu Roll, which had spicy tuna, cilantro, scallions, avocado, and cucumber on the inside, topped with tuna and jalapeño slices. I really enjoyed the kick that the jalapeño provided, but the slight bite of the cilantro as an aftertaste was a pretty nice touch as well.
The Tornado Roll was up next, with the crispy potatoes on the outside helping it to stand out from the other roll options. Inside, there was a mix of spicy tuna, avocado, asparagus, and cucumber, topped off with some eel sauce and sesame seeds. I thought the crunch of the potatoes was definitely pretty nice, even if that did mask a bit of the spicy tuna flavor from the roll itself.
Last, but not least: the Manhattan Beach Roll. Blue crab, cucumber, asparagus, and avocado on the inside, with spicy tuna, jalapeño slices, and smelt roe on top. Sweet, spicy, and umami flavors blended together very nicely, with the asparagus and cucumber giving each piece a slight bit of a crunch. But in terms of my favorite roll of the three, it was probably the Déjà Vu. The tuna flavor was able to take center stage, and the jalapeño was just enough spice to tickle the taste buds. The cilantro, however, gave the roll another depth of flavor after the spiciness subsided.
Even though the other two restaurants we visited ended up being jam packed, it all worked out in the end because that opened the opportunity to stop in to try Fusion Sushi. There’s certainly no shortage of sushi roll options, if that’s what you’re looking for, but they do also stock some other Japanese dishes as well. The flavor combinations sound pretty intriguing amongst the various sushi rolls, and based off the pictures in the menu, the visual presentations will always be inviting you to dive right in.
Let’s now take a look at the Fusion Sushi Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
** Manhattan Beach Roll (pictured middle) **
Blue crab, asparagus, avocado, and cucumber on the inside, wrapped with soy paper and topped with spicy tuna, jalapeño slices, smelt roe, eel sauce, and Japanese mayo.
** Déjà Vu Roll (pictured right) **
Spicy tuna, cilantro, scallions, avocado, and cucumber on the inside, topped with tuna and jalapeño slices.
And finally, here are my rankings for Fusion Sushi:
Food: 4.5 / 5
39 different sushi roll options is certainly no small number to choose from. But between all those choices, the variety of flavor combinations really did sound intriguing. The three rolls that we got turned out to be delicious, and the freshness of the ingredients was pretty evident with each bite.
Atmosphere: 4.25 / 5
I want to say the boat interior feel was what the restaurant was going for, but I’m not exactly sure. Regardless, the dining room was able to hold quite a large number of people, but was still relatively spaced out enough to not feel overly crowded.
Service: 4 / 5
There were a few rotating waitstaff members that came over to our table throughout the meal, delivering our food or helping to refill our drinks. They give you an order sheet when you first sit down that you can fill out to turn in, but one of the waitstaff said you could also tell them your order as well.
Price: 4.25 / 5
For being situated in Manhattan Beach, the prices for the rolls were about what I expected them to be. Priced between a range of $13 to $19, the rolls were still pretty sizeable and the portions seemed reasonable for what you get. There was definitely a good amount of fish per roll as well.