This rice paper roll puts healthy on the wrap

The rice paper roll tops the Taste of Tokyo menu as one of its healthiest, unique dishes.

Fresh tuna, salmon, crab stick, cucumber, carrots, romaine lettuce, asparagus and avocado wrapped in rice paper offers a fresh, light lunch. It’s served with a side of seafood sauce, which is one of the restaurant’s secret recipes.

Located in Destrehan 13 years, Taste of Tokyo considers this rice paper roll as its own and among its healthy offerings, said Manager April Ball. It has no rice in the filling, which also cuts a few calories.

Like the rice paper roll, many of the restaurant’s offerings are original creations, Ball said.

Even the wrapping can be modified for the customer.

Left: The Love Boat for Two with assorted sushi and sashimi.

Don’t like rice paper? Try a seaweed or soy wrap.

Some of these rolls are served with as many as four to five sauces at a time, which Ball said are also original to the restaurant. Choices include honey, Ponzu, Sriracha, eel and spicy mayo to highlight a roll.

“I think people are becoming conscious and aware of eating healthy,” Ball said of customers seeking healthier eats. “A lot of people are asking for rolls that don’t have rice or whether they can have rolls without rice, asking for more vegetables in their rolls and people asking for vegetarian options or gluten free.”

Taste of Tokyo offers a gluten-free soy sauce as more people are diagnosed with a gluten allergy. An increasing number of customers are asking for brown rice in their rolls.

“We have a huge menu from the kitchen, but rolls are the main thing,” Ball said. “For people scared of sushi, there is something for everyone. We have hibachi, noodles and rice.”

And, even with these many choices, Ball says the chef is available to tailor a roll or sauce to taste on the fly.

Chef Frank who has been with Taste of Tokyo for 11 years.

“They are not all raw,” she said of the rolls. “There are cooked, fried rolls and rolls that have no fish.”

With some customers traveling as far as 45 minutes to get this cuisine, Ball said their lunch crowd includes a surprising variety of people.

“We have people come in from clearing sewage lines for lunch and order the same thing as the people on the golf course,” she said. “Our lunch crowd is plant workers, representing 90 percent of our lunch crowd. Lent is extremely busy for us on Friday nights.”

Many also come for the fusion cuisine with this Japanese restaurant offering a “Po-Boy Wrap” and “Boudin Roll.” The fusion cuisine doesn’t stop there with more locally named like the Destrehan roll with snow crab, white fish, asparagus and smelt roe dipped in tempura batter and fried. It’s rich, fried and the choice for many customers.

Other localized named rolls include the Ormond Delight, two rolls named after local companies Shell and Valero, as well as area colleges including LSU and Tulane. There’s also the Levee roll, as well as Plantation roll for local palettes.

“It’s truly all about customer service and making the customer happy,” Ball said. “Very rarely do we have to say, ‘No.’”

About Anna Thibodeaux 1981 Articles
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