BuddingVeg.com Foodie Spotting : Beyond Sushi NYC
Scenario: you’re a budding vegetarian who’s ready to move into a true plantae-only diet, but you don’t want to forsake one of America’s most treasured imported delights- sushi. Fortunately, the culinary capital, New York City offers an inventive solution for plant eaters who still want to get their roll on. Enter, Beyond Sushi.
Beyond Sushi is a vegan sushi eatery that was started by kosher chef, and former “Hell’s Kitchen” contestant, Guy Vakin. Vakin saw a huge opportunity to allow vegetarians, pregnant women, and the health conscious to still enjoy sushi. After all, a towering spicy tuna roll laced with mayo and shrimp tempura pieces many not be the healthiest choice.
BuddingVeg.com’s Stephanie Chin visited Vakin’s second and most recent retail location in the arguably socially-conscious (ok, hipster), zen East Village location for a taste of the whole-grain and pickled veggie mash-up action. The space is intimate and seats are limited (only accommodates 10-15 patrons), but it’s worth waiting or resuming to take out. Let us tell you—you can forget your toro makis, this non-fish sushi is as tasty as they say it is.
Up for review is “Combo Meal #1”—one roll and two individual pieces, a great value at $7.50. Among the must-tries are the spicy mang roll ($6.50): eight plump pieces of toasty, flavorful, black rice, avocado, mango, cucumber, and spicy veggies, served with kick-ass toasted cayenne sauce—definitely the best part of the roll, giving the just-right spike of necessary heat to balance the sweetness of the mango. An added bonus? You can eat all the spicy mayo you want because in keeping eggs-free, Beyond Sushi’s sushi mayo is made from silken tofu, so it’s easy on the waistline.
For the individual pieces, we like the enoki and seaweed; simple yet flavorful in its raw form. The house shiitake teriyaki sauce accompanies the former, which is not unbearably sweet—just enough to balance the bitterness often perceived with funghi. The seaweed is mixed in with a sweet soy mirin sauce, mimicking the delights of a freshly made, crunchy seaweed salad. The baked tofu piece is passable, but the July “Piece is the Month” is not—go get it while you still can! The unnamed monthly star is comprised of six grain rice, fava bean pods braised with coconut milk, garlic and cayenne: sweet and savory, creamy goodness.
Other non sushi items to try on the menu:
- Chia seed pudding: vanilla pudding, chia seeds with finely chopped cinnamon roasted apples &
- Caramel sauce: a concoction that may put the famed raspberry-adorned chia seed pudding at NYC chain Le Pain Quotidien to shame.
- Fresh made juices : the coconut water/OJ combo is like a heart-healthy creamsicle on your tongue.
Service is DIY, but it’s ok because here’s it’s all about the vegan foodgasm. Kudos to Vakin’s henchmen for their A-game on making raw food taste this good.
More information and locations: