by Sara Hayden
Spice-loving sushi fans have lots of flavors to sample at Sushinaloa in Redwood City. The chefs have foregone wasabi for chipotle, chiltepin and jalapeno, highlighting flavors from the Mexican state of Sinaloa.
"Sinaloa is a beautiful place…Our food is so good, that's the inspiration," says sous chef Oscar Barron. A selection of sushi rolls from Sushinaloa in Redwood City. (Image via Yelp)
The restaurant celebrated its grand opening this summer, launching a menu with what sous chef Oscar Barron says is "the best seafood in the Bay Area." It's a big claim, but one he's passionate about. Sushinaloa's dishes reflect some of those from Barron's home state.
"Sinaloa is a beautiful place. It has many beaches, with a lot of fresh seafood," says Barron. "Our food is so good, that's the inspiration — the inspiration is my state."
Dining inside or outside, guests can try the Sinaloan-style dishes at 2505 Middlefield Rd., formerly the home of Las Juntas Restaurant. Takeout is also available, as is pickup from DoorDash.
On Sushinaloa's menu is aguachile with shrimp, lime, cucumber, red onion and chili, as well as fish ceviche. There are big batches of crispy fish chicharrones, peel-and-eat shrimp by the pound, fried mojarra fillets and seafood-rich soups. Seafood such as shrimp, oysters, octopus, scallops and crab are served in fountains or towers, boats or platters.
A ceviche tostada at Sushinaloa in Redwood City. (Image via Yelp)
And then there's sushi — a specialty for Barron. He says he first started to learn how to make it with his friends in Mexico. With Sinaloa's beaches and access to fresh seafood, it was a natural fit.
Barron has carried the flavors of his hometown of Mazatlán, Sinaloa's capital, since moving to the U.S. three years ago. When he first arrived, Barron says he was surprised by what he ate, missing familiar flavors. "I come to the USA and say, 'What happened with the food?" He incorporated Mexican spices into his dishes, including sushi. "I thought, 'I can mix this sauce with chipotle and mayo,'" Barron says. Barron certainly can, and does.
At Sushinaloa, chipotle and chiltepin peppers add earthy heat to El Venenoso, a roll that features crab, onion, avocado and cucumber. Jalapeno packs a punch of spice in Sushinaloa's spicy tuna roll. With shrimp and beef, El Divorciado gives a taste of spicy surf and turf with chipotle and jalapeno sauce, tempered by cucumber, avocado and cream cheese.
The Venenoso roll at Sushinaloa: crab, avocado, cucumber, chiltepin, onion and chipotle sauce. (Image via Yelp)
There are land-locked sushi options too. El Pollo Loco is a roll that has chicken with avocado cream cheese and salsa, and El Chipotle has beef with cucumber, cream cheese and chipotle sauce. The Esquite Sushi features corn with cream cheese, avocado, sour cream and Cotija cheese.
"If you mix Mexican culture and Japanese culture, the food is amazing. It's a special combination," Barron says. "The result is amazing flavors."
Sushinaloa also offers rice bowls, quesadillas, tacos, burritos and burgers, but seafood is the star — especially the sushi peppered with different spices.
"It's a new experience," Barron says. "It's so good."
Sushinaloa // 2505 Middlefield Rd., Redwood City; 650.771.1620
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