If you’ve been looking for a new twist on standard sushi recipes, there’s no need to continue your hunger strike*.
Rock N Roll Sushi — an Alabama-based sushi chain with a location on Jefferson Highway next to Pearson’s Travel World — is a Lava Cantina-esque restaurant with rock regalia painted on the walls and TVs with music videos (one such video that played when we visited was Kiss, without makeup).
The restaurant features a menu with deep fried rolls, raw classics and any other genre of sushi imaginable. Specialty rolls are named after rock legends that range from Elvis and the Beatles to Motley Crue and Metallica.
A standout on the menu that'll make even singer Eddie Vedder howl, the Pearl Jam roll has a combination of raw fish, spicy mayo and sweet chili sauce that make it a sweet and spicy concoction.
Lance Hallmark, co-founder of Rock N Roll Sushi, said his wife, Gerri, created the Pearl Jam roll recipe while working with a chef to develop the restaurant’s menu.
Why the name Pearl Jam was assigned to the roll, Hallmark can’t remember (even though the clear allusion to "Yellow Ledbetter" is right there with the use of yellowfin). However, the recipe was good enough to stick in the setlist, he said.
“There’s no real profound thing behind the Pearl Jam (name),” Hallmark said. “We were fans of the band and liked that roll, so we when came up with that roll it just kind of stuck. But it’s one of our most popular ones.”
Rock N Roll Sushi’s popularity in the Baton Rouge area also has grown quickly. The chain already has 14 locations, including the Baton Rouge locale. Local franchisee Chip Burr is already working on a second spot for the capital city. Hallmark said the existing Baton Rouge store is one of the strongest locations in the restaurant’s chain.
Hallmark attributes the success to the “American style, Hard Rock Café” atmosphere that his restaurant offers.
“Nobody had really kind of Americanized that concept yet,” he said. “We attract people from every step, from just your basic novice who has never eaten sushi before all the way to the connoisseur.”
*The song "Hunger Strike" is by Temple of the Dog, which features Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, so we'll allow it.
Here are 5 additional Pearl Jam-style sushi rolls we would like to see:
"Do the Evolution" roll: Every time you eat a new part of it, you hear the intro to "Do the Evolution," which features a howl from Eddie Vedder. Featuring caviar and spicy mayo.
"Not For You" roll: In which you have to yell, "This is not for you!" before eating each piece. Topped with regret.
"Eddie Vedder's California Surf" roll: With avocado, cream cheese, brown rice and a copy of his solo album, "Ukulele Songs."
"Ten" roll: Featuring three good pieces and then seven undercooked pieces, but man, those first three pieces are hits, baby, hits!
"Rearview Mirror" roll: This one is intense. It never lets up. A real fan favorite that will having you throwing your plate at the window once you're finished. Featuring Sriracha, tuna, Kimchi, Tiger sauce and those crispy things (loads of them). It's all flash fried and thrown onto the plate with absolutely no sense of presentation.
Editor's note: Sorry, I'm a huge Pearl Jam fan. I could write 20 more of these.