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Restaurant Review: Fusian

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: FusianPhoto by Mollie Lyman.
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It had to happen eventually. The Chipotle assembly-line BYOB (build your own burrito) style has invaded practically every eating genre: pizza, pasta, salads and stir-fry…

And now the South Campus Gateway has added a restaurant called Fusian, it serves assembly-line sushi.

Fusian is sort of cute, really. And sort of crowded too, with a long line at the order counter and fully-occupied tables in the dining area. Fusian offers the familiar schtick: choose a wrap (seaweed or soy), add a protein (you can have traditional seafood, or more midwestern, land-dwelling options), veggies and drizzles of sauces. Voila: sushi your way.

The line moves a little slower than the average Chipotle, and it seems like there’s much more agonizing in the ordering process. Apparently, the options of avocado or asparagus… or avocado and asparagus can lead to analysis paralysis in diners.

Fortunately, there are house roll suggestions, which can make the ordering process fairly painless for diners who are willing to let go of the reigns. The Spicy Tuna Roll ($7.25) feels like a familiar place to start. The tuna is rolled up inside a coil of rice and seaweed wrap, along with crunchy cucumber, green onion and avocado. Then, it’s drizzled with something called spicy mayo: it’s the mayo that’s divine. It makes everything rich and savory.

But Fusian does much more than traditional sushi rolls. Its menu also includes a Steak Roll ($7.75). It starts with a soy wrap, which is described as “neutral”, and that’s a great word for it. Where seaweed is fishy, soy wraps are flavor-free. There’s the ubiquitous sticky rice wrapped around “braised steak” (which is like long strands of roast beef) with asparagus, jalapeno, and green onion. This one is glazed with yakisoba sauce and wasabi mayo. Again, whatever these savory sauces add, it’s good.

A Shrimp Tempura Roll ($7.25) delivers a mix of breaded shrimp with avocado, asparagus, and again the spicy mayo. No complaints.

Of course, there is the option to be creative, and total creative control seems to be popular in the order line. It lets a diner put together something with avocado, cucumber and cream cheese ($5.75), which semed like a good idea. In the sauce department, the guy behind the counter got carte blanche: whatever his choices were, they were good. Trust your sushi maker.

In the sides department , the Cucumber Salad ($2.25) was pretty good – little crescents of cucumber soaked in a sweetish vinegar mixture. The cukes, however, were totally eclipsed by the Carrot Ginger Salad ($2.50). If there is such a thing as a salad worth fighting over, this is the one. It’s not for sharing, not even a bite. It’s based on lettuce, with long shreds of carrot on top. That combination sounds perfectly boring, but it’s tossed with some sort of savory, fresh ginger dressing that soaks every leaf with its addictive briny powers.

Seriously, the Carrot Ginger Salad could compete with french fries in a popularity contest… and win.

You can find Fusian in the South Campus Gateway at 14 E. 11th Avenue. It’s open daily from 11am -10pm.

More information can be found online at www.fusian.com.

Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.

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