CLAIREMONT AND NORTH PARK. I miss sushi. After I became vegan, I came down with a big case of sushi envy. While sitting at sushi restaurants, I picked at bland avocado or cucumber rolls while my friends gushed about their rainbow and spider rolls. But then I stumbled upon Sipz. Vegan rolls crafted with creativity and injected with flavor. A game changer.
Sipz is not limited to vegan sushi, however. It originally debuted as a coffee/boba tea shop in 2002. Since then, the menu has expanded into a “fusion” of Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese dishes, the majority of which are vegan.
This is the joy of Sipz. Options. From stir fries and curries to soups and sushi, it would take months to eat through all the vegan plates. Or list them in a blog. However, I will highlight some of my favorites . . .
I recommend trying the Seaweed Salad appetizer. It is a curious mix of salty and sweet. And don’t we get bonus points for eating the sea vegetables, packed full of peculiar minerals and vitamins? I say yes!
My favorite vegan sushi roll at Sipz – or in the world – is the Dynamite Roll. Traditionally, a Dynamite Roll is made with fried prawns and vegetables, topped with a spicy mayonnaise dressing, then heated. The Sipz version rolls avocado, cucumber, tofu, and “crab,” which are then baked and drizzled with a spicy house sauce. It takes about 10 minutes to bake, but it is well worth the wait. (After all, you are busy savoring your seaweed salad.) If you can deliver an entire piece into your mouth – with toppings intact – you have surpassed my Sipz skills.
My other “go to” roll at Sipz is the Caterpillar Roll. Traditionally, the interior of a Caterpillar Roll contains eel and vegetables, and avocado tops the exterior. From the outside, the Sipz version is identical, featuring vibrant, green avocado and a teriyaki sauce that punctuates the “head” of the caterpillar with a pair of eyes. Inside, however, you will find shitake mushrooms (playing the role of eel), yam (best supporting actor), and cucumber.
Let’s not forget desserts. I cannot pick a favorite. The cupcakes, cookies, and brownies are all amazing. On my most recent trip, I branched out and tried the Stuffed Coconut. Imagine a whole young coconut stuffed with sweet rice, mung beans, and warm coconut cream, then topped with salty, crushed, peanuts. Whatever you are picturing in your mind, the real thing is better. I nearly balked at mung beans being an ingredient in a dessert but went forward based on my faith in coconuts and the fine folks as Sipz. Both delivered. The dessert is sweet – but not too sweet – and now ranks as one of my favorites.
Sipz has two locations: one in North Park and one in Clairemont. Please note that the vegan sushi is only available at specific times. The Clairemont location offers vegan sushi from 5pm to close every day. The North Park location also offers vegan sushi from 5pm to close Sunday through Thursday, but serves rolls ALL DAY on Friday and Saturday.
5501 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92117
3930 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104