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Best of 2003: Best Rock'N'Rolls

Sushi On the Rock
7734 Girard Avenue, La Jolla
858-456-1138

If you're looking for purist Japanese-style sushi, then it's hard to choose between Sushi Ota and Sushi Kazumi. But if you've got a yen for "party sushi" -- the big, elaborate, multi-ingredient rolls that arose when sushi collided with Los Angeles -- the clear winner is Sushi On the Rock. "Rock'n'rolls" are their specialty. The ocean-fresh "orange crush" shows off crisp-tender asparagus, crunchy cucumber, wasabi tobiko (flying fish caviar), and creamy avocado, all rolled in perfect rice, with slices of rich raw salmon wrapped around the exterior and daikon sprouts waving from the end pieces. A shrimp tempura roll offers a sheet of deep-fried salmon skin wrapped around shredded crab, warm tempura-fried shrimp, daikon sprouts, and black sesame seeds, dressed with streaks of Japanese mayo.

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