Ever find yourself having a craving for sushi while simultaneously yearning for some Mexican goodness? It can be a tough toss-up. But now, thanks to a new sombrero-wearing samurai in town known as Wasabi Juan, you no longer have to choose one or the other … you can have both! Perhaps you’re wondering, Well, is it sushi? Or is it tacos and burritos? And the answer is yes! It’s both. Sushi ingredients are served in a rice paper-like soy wrap, burrito-style, in a hard-shell corn taco or as nachos, which are actually Doritos. Repeato, por favor? Yeah, we were a little skeptical at first glance at the menu, too. I mean, spicy ahi tuna with avocado and unagi sauce served over Dorito nachos? Who thinks of these things?
The owners, Barby and Luis Toro, and partner chef Kelly Viall, originally planned on bringing this popular West Coast concept to fruition with a food truck, but given the city’s not-so-food truck-friendly ordinances, they were forced to reconsider. Approached by Avondale Brewery’s Coby Lake about occupying one of the buildings that backs up to the brewery, it seemed like a perfect fit, especially with a built-in customer base from which to draw. Since the restaurant space is not much bigger than a food truck with order-at-the-counter service and limited seating, patrons can take their food inside the brewery or its courtyard and enjoy it with a cold one.
A unique blend of flavors comes together in this Asian-Mex fusion fare. Wasabi Juan’s opened last summer at 4120 Third Ave. S., in Avondale, joining the up-and-coming neighborhood’s growing entertainment and dining scene. And while this restaurant may not replace your favorite sushi spot, the creative concoctions do satisfy that itch for something new.
Wasabi Juan’s is open Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. They also make sushi platters for catering with 24-hour notice and offer a “sushi chef for hire” party option. Call (205) 703-8891 for details.