A build-your-own sushirito with fried shrimp, avocado and a lot of other things. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com
A build-your-own sushirito with fried shrimp, avocado and a lot of other things. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

TNT Diner

Sue Kidd has the latest South Sound restaurant news, with openings & closings, recent reviews and more.

TNT Diner

Sushi burrito: Bad food dare or delicious creation? Your call

November 11, 2016 05:00 AM

UPDATED November 15, 2016 07:44 AM

Yes, it’s faddish.

Yes, it’s an odd mish-mash of culture and flavors.

And admit it. You’re curious.

The Tacoma area usually is impervious to food oddities the likes of sushi burritos, a mashup of Mexican street eats architecture and Japanese sushi ingredients.

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for unlimited digital access to our website, apps, the digital newspaper and more.

We’ve yet to see the appearance of ramen burgers, waffle tacos or red velvet fried chicken (yes, those are all totally things in other parts of the country).

But now we have a restaurant that serves sushi burritos. And sushi tacos.

Oh, and Hawaiian poke bowls, but those were around here long before sushiritos or sushi tacos.

Trapurito’s opened Nov. 2 in a strip mall in Bonney Lake that was the former home of the original Trapper’s Sushi, which moved across the shopping center to a bigger location in September. The Trapper’s chain is eight restaurants strong with a ninth coming to Parkland, but Trapurito’s is the first sushi burrito concept from owner Trapper O’Keeffe, who opened the first Trapper’s (back then it was called Sushi Town) in 2004.

O’Keeffe’s vision is to merge the make-it-any-you-want-it service at Taco del Mar or Subway with his modern Americanized interpretation of Japanese sushi. That Americanized sushi edict results in combinations at Trapurito’s such as raw yellowtail with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, raw salmon with crunchy wasabi peas, and breaded fried shrimp with habanero masago. It sounds like state fair food as interpreted through a sushi chef, right?

Here’s a first-bite report of an inaugural visit. It’s this newspaper’s policy to withhold criticism of a restaurant during its first month, which is why the focus here is on descriptions.

Ordering: Head to the back of the restaurant where the menu is displayed on screens. Paper copies are at the other end of the counter if you prefer to peruse the old-school way.

Seating: About 20 seats and five tables. When this place picks up momentum, expect you’ll have to do takeout.

Wrappers: One is a nori seaweed sheet with rice inside. The other is listed as “tofu and rice.” It’s actually soy paper, a pliable sheet that is similar to what you’d bite into on a Vietnamese salad roll. The soy paper option is interesting in that the rice is on the outside, like a uramaki sushi roll. Just beneath the rice is the sticky, pliable tofu paper.

Inside: Pick from a list of raw fish (tuna, yellowtail, yellowtail, masago) or cooked fish (shrimp, imitation crab, grilled scallops, Dungeness crab blend) or other options, such as grilled chicken or tofu. Build-your-own options are priced per meat/fish filling. One meat or fish filling is $10. Get three for $12.

More inside: Pick from a list of vegetables that includes avocado, romaine, cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro or tempura coated mushrooms or zucchini. Crunchy ingredients include fried onions, wasabi peas, tempura crumbs and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Eight sauce choices range from teriyaki to sweet chili, chili garlic, Sriracha, garlic jalapeno and wasabi mayo.

Pre-fab fun: If you can’t take on the stress of building your own, no worries. There are 11 signature burritos ranging from the Robinson ($12) with fried shrimp and raw salmon to the Smith ($12) with crab, shrimp and masago.

Veg-friendly? You bet. Try the Brown ($10) with tempura-fried portabello and zucchini and the Johnson with tofu ($10).

I tried: The Jackson ($12) with three kinds of raw fish cut into jiggly cubes — yellowtail, salmon and tuna. The crunch was amped up with breaded fried shrimp, and cool crunch came from romaine and cucumber. A creamy layer of avocado and jalapeno cilantro sauce finished the burrito wrapped up in nori and a vinegar-tinged layer of sushi rice. Hat tip to the line chef: the big burrito did not fall apart until I took the paper wrapper off.

Also tried: A build-your-own bonanza with as many ingredients as I thought would split open the soy paper (tofu and rice) wrapper. I failed. The paper did not rip. In fact, it was as sturdy as the nori-wrapped burrito. These things are completely portable, surprisingly.

Because you’re wondering: No, I did not order Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. I don’t get paid enough for that nonsense.

Get the: Wonton-wrapped tacos with Dungeness crab and shrimp, a textural bonanza that slipped between crunchy and creamy. An order of four was $14. Wonton tacos also available with chicken ($10), salmon poke ($12), yellowtail ($14) and tuna ($12). The tacos also can be made with a low-carb lettuce wrap.

Next time: I’m trying the poke bowls, which are rice, fish and veggies with spicy raw fish ($12-$14 each).

Coolest thing ever: To-go packets of Sriracha, the popular spicy condiment. I do not admit to pocketing five of those for unforeseen spicy sauce emergencies. Nope.

Also try: Sushi burritos can be found at Happy Teriyaki No. 4 in downtown Tacoma and Gari of Sushi in Tacoma’s Lincoln District.

Trapurito’s

Info: 20649 state Route 410 E., Bonney Lake; 253-891-2046 or facebook.com/Trapuritos.

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.