Trailer Thursday: The tuna sashimi and tongue-numbing sansho peppercorns are rocking at SushiBox!
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Last time I tried a sushi trailer, it was mid-June. The air undulated with heat waves, sweat beaded on my forehead, and even clocks melted onto the ground. “Uh-oh,” you say. “Food poisoning?” Surprisingly, no. Sushi A-Go-Go’s rolls were solid then and are now. But before the sweltering weather comes calling again and anything raw from an outdoor space sounds a little fishy, take this opportunity to try the new kid in town: SushiBox. Don’t miss the tuna sashimi, a well-balanced lunch of seared tuna slices in a chili marinade, served over tsuma salad, a microgreens salad with shredded carrots, cucumber, and rich, caper-looking Japanese sansho peppercorns, accompanied by a ginger salad dressing and two crunchy, peppery lotus-root chips. Though the sansho peppercorns didn’t have quite the magical tongue-numbing effect I was expecting, the entrée was delicious and satisfying. If you’re craving some sticky rice, pair it with one of their excellent rolls. I liked the spicy tuna, with a sizable, solid nugget of red flesh and crunchy cucumber, Japanese white onion, and a daikon sprout peeping out of each piece. The chili aioli sauce on top was tasty, though too mild. The avocado roll, with ground pink peppercorn, lemon zest, volcanic salt, and black and white sesame seeds, made a great vegetarian option, the fresh, lemony flavor brightening up a somewhat basic roll. Even the octopus and soba noodle salad was nice and light, with flavorful, marinated octopus bites and long buckwheat noodles. The overly acidic yuzu sauce on top was a slight downer, but overall, the special of the day worked well. And I’m always a sucker for salmon nigiri. Served with a dollop of wasabi hiding under the fish and a hint of lemon zest, the fresh fish and tasty rice packed a wallop of flavor. Next time you’re downtown, stop by this chill (and chilled) recycled shipping container, constructed by the same folks who brought you La Boîte. Executive chef Ben Crockett, who has been rock and rolling with sushi for seventeen years and has worked in the food industry with heavy-hitters like Wolfgang Puck, spends all day in the trailer’s kitchen, churning out sushi that’s ready to go and/or made to order. I myself can’t wait to go back: Word on the street is that his next batch of sansho peppercorns is strong enough to tingle your tongue into a coma. 215 Congress Ave. (512-851-0001). Open Mon–Fri 11–3. Closed Sat & Sun. Posted by Megan Giller