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Vegetarian View: Sushi Pop (Houston)

Vegetarian View: Sushi Pop (Houston)
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Monthly Feature
Mondays are for restaurant reviews. Molly gives you her take on Sushi Pop–through the eyes of a vegetarian!

Rate each category on a 1-5 star rating.
Overall Vegetarian Selection: (4) Stars
Brief Take: When I mention to people that I went to eat sushi I usually get a puzzled look back. “But isn’t sushi fish?” is the usual response that follows the perplexed facial expression. Yes, sushi indeed is typically fish but there are a few vegetarian (and vegan) selections at most places.

Sushi Pop met my expectations for a decent vegetarian section and when I say decent I mean I had options to choose from and was not cornered into ordering the only roll on the menu. Before I went, I looked at their menu online but when I got to the restaurant there were several more additions on the menu for me to chose from.

Ordered Dish: (4) Stars
Brief Take: Sushi Pop’s motto is “Fresh, Fast Sushi.” Heading in I was a little weary about how the “fast” part was going to translate but I was pleasantly surprised at how good my food was. I know I don’t eat seafood, but my favorite sushi place is in Uptown Park and this sushi was just as good and well over half the price. (For you pescatarians, Keith was with me and thought his seafood rolls and shrimp tempura were very good and actually exceeded his expectations.)

My meal consisted of vegetable tempura, vegetarian egg rolls, avocado roll and Sushi Pop’s special roll, Veggie Pop, which had steamed spinach, tofu, avocado, cucumber and pickled daikon. Both rolls were tasty and rolled tight (read: no falling rice…pet peeve). The vegetarian egg rolls were not over cooked and were also delicious. The vegetable tempura was good as well but it only had white onion and sweet potato. I was hoping for a little more variety and this is one of the reasons I gave four stars instead of five.

The wasabi was a little scarce. I quickly used up all of mine and was stealing Keith’s. Excessive wasabi intake might be hereditary though. I once watched my dad eat a nickel size by itself and not even flinch. Our soy sauce bottle was leaky but the free soft serve in the back of the restaurant at the end of our meal quickly made up for that.

Healthy Rating: (4) Stars
Brief Take: Sushi is usually pretty healthy and my vegetarian kind is no exception. Although I didn’t get a lot of protein from this meal I did consume some vegetables and carbohydrates from the rice. I gave four stars out of five because soy sauce is universally extremely salty. The tempura is not exactly health food but it could be worse.

Overall Opinion: (4) Stars
Summary: Quick review of the overall eating experience…what was the restaurant like, service, etc)
Sushi Pop’s décor is a spin on 1950’s modern, I really liked it. I got the impression this place is trying to cater to a younger crowd. The XM/Sirus 90’s on 9 music station really wasn’t my choice of music and it was also a little too loud.

The staff was friendly and when we walked in a woman came from behind the counter towards the door and greeted us as she explained the ordering process. As their motto indicated, the overall service really was fast. Sushi Pop also serves several types of sake and Japanese soda too. I liked the open kitchen so you can see the sushi being made. The fish tank in the corner was a nice touch.

One last note, you must go to the restroom and wash your hands. Sushi Pop has the coolest Dyson hand dryer that in a Jetson’s fashion dries them at warp speed. You lower your hands and insert them down into this futuristic contraption and *poof* they are dry and warm. I felt like I was going to run into Rosie the Robot.