The ongoing onslaught of sushi burritos shows no sign of stopping. In addition to versions vended by SushiPop and Muiishi Makirritos, Pokéworks also now offers its customers the option of enjoying its poké bowls Texican wrap style.
Ever fascinated by novel fusion food, I decided to put two sushi burritos to the test in terms of three factors: construction, components, and consumer-friendliness. The contenders? The aforementioned Pokéworks and Muiishi Makirritos, though it should be noted I eschewed the latter’s “burritos” (made with fried chicken or cooked bulgogi) in favor of its “makirritos,” which I believe more closely approximate sushi (maki, really) via their incorporation of fried fish. Here’s how the fare ... well ... fared:
Muiishi Makirritos and Pokéworks both utilize glutinous rice as a binder of sorts for their burritos but in slightly different ways. Pokéworks employs a fancy-schmancy press that actually transforms the rice itself into a wrap, while MM uses the standard dried seaweed followed by a layer of rice. While I appreciated Pokéworks’ innovation, I am partial to tradition, which in this case made for a more flavorful and sturdier casing.
Winner: Muiishi Makirritos
Pokéworks has the clear advantage in this category given that its brick-and-mortar location permits a Chipotlesque model of topping election that enabled me to adorn my salmon and scallop poke burrito with a whole lotta stuff, specifically cucumbers, cilantro, sweet onion, ogo seaweed, wasabi aioli, seaweed salad, pickled ginger, and garlic crisps.
As a food truck, Muiishi Makirritos is reasonably limited in its ability for self-indulgent burrito customization and generally sticks to formula, with some allowance for a few add-ons (avocado, fried egg) at extra cost. I thought my Swaggy Dog makirrito with fried shrimp, corn fritters, crab stick, avocado, and cabbage plus a side of not-so-spicy aioli presented lovely piscine and botanical flavors as well as varied supple and crunchy textures; however, at the end of the day, it was no match for my own Pokéworks invention.
Leaving aside wait-time, which is longer at Muiishi Makirritos (not gonna punish them for being more popular during lunchtime and having fewer staff), I judged the “consumer-friendliness” aspect of my sushi burrito experience based on service and experience. Both establishments receive high marks for affable, courteous clerks, especially at Muiishi Makirritos, where employees regularly show grace under the pressure of large numbers of people literally crowded around their truck.
Pokéworks’ pressed rice format necessitates its sushi burritos be served in paper to keep the burrito intact, which makes them more portable though slightly more difficult to eat as you must unwrap on the run. In turn, Muiishi Makirritos’ "naked" burritos are easy to gobble; however, the lack of packaging can mean (unfortunately for this reporter) losing half of your meal because you tripped over the curb.
Winner: Neither? Both?
In conclusion, it seems Pokéworks and Muiishi Makirritos are comparable in quality. If you’re having trouble deciding which to enjoy any given day, do as I do and look to Mother Nature. On nice days, I bask in the sun with a burrito from MM, and when the rain clouds gather, I visit Pokéworks.