WORTH THE TRIP : Golden Ocean Roll

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fried sushi is a tasty trend found at New Tokyo restaurant, where some of the maki (seaweed-wrapped) rolls are deep-fried or contain fried ingredients. The Golden Ocean Roll ($12.95) is filled with raw seafood and avocado, dipped in tempura batter and fried, then cut into 10 pieces. The slices are dabbed with a spicy sauce and dusted with flakes of 24-carat gold, a touch chef Eizi Nakazima picked up in his native Japan. The tempura coating -- inspired, the chef says, by the warm sand during a Hawaiian sunset -- lends a satisfying crispness.

The islands are also evoked by the popular Hawaii Volcano Roll ($11.95), filled with avocado, imitation crab and crunchy shrimp tempura. The six pieces are layered into a triangular shape; a lighted candle perches on the top and "lava" (the secret spicy sauce) pours down the sides. Sushi purists will shudder, but it's a lot of fun. Both rolls are served with miso soup.

New Tokyo, 12115 Darnestown Rd., North Potomac, 301-208-1430;http://www.newtokyorestaurant.com.

-- Elizabeth Chang Know of a dish that's worth the trip? E-mail food@washpost.com; be sure to include "Worth" in the subject field.

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