Yesterday, indie catering company Beyond Sushi celebrated the grand opening of its first restaurant on 14th Street, just east of Union Square. One thing missing from the opening-party menu? Fish.
The vegetarian restaurant, created by Hell’s Kitchen finalist Guy Vaknin, takes fish-free sushi to a new level, filling rolls with green beans instead of salmon, and shitake in place of tobiko. The avocado gets to stay.
The elaborate rolls all come with custom sauces—and they’re more wholesome on the outside, too. Instead of the traditionally sugared white rice served with sushi, they’re wrapped with black rice or a six-grain medley that includes brown rice and rye berries. The black rice rolls are gluten-free, and seven of the nine rolls are vegan.
Tiffany Louie, Beyond Sushi’s creative director, says that the most popular rolls are the Sweet Tree, with avocado, sweet potato, and alfalfa sprouts (which was also our favorite!), and the Spicy Mang, with avocado, mango, cucumber, and a spicy mixed veggie topping. “The topping mimics the texture of raw fish, like spicy tuna, so if people are trying to switch over to more plant-based foods, they won’t miss the fish as much,” Louie explains. It also helps that all of the rolls are bursting with flavor.
The menu also includes a few cold-pressed juice blends, like Watermelon Lemonade with Fresh Mint, which you’ll most likely want to sip on the go since the space is primarily built for take-out (and delivery), with just three four-seat tables in-house.
Plus, we have a feeling the small restaurant will soon be packed with yogis from Union Square’s million-and-one studios. —Lisa Elaine Held
229 E. 14th St., btwn Second and Third Aves., Union Square, 646-861-2889, www.beyondsushinyc.com