Cheers: Sushi is changing shape

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

I love a good maki sushi roll. I also dig raw fish in the form of hand rolls, nigiri and sashimi. Skip the eel sauce, the ginger and the wasabi; just hand over the fish.

Recently, while scrolling through Instagram, I saw some of the creations that Dearborn’s Xushi Ko was churning out that made my sushi-loving heart take notice.

Billed as a halal hibachi grille, this restaurant also has a sushi bar that serves sashimi salsa chips, a sushi tower (a deconstructed sushi roll stacked in colorful layers instead of rolled up) and rolls with unusual ingredients like tabbouleh, sweet potato, banana and other fruits.

On the appetizer menu, the avocado spiral is something I’ve never seen before. It’s a sliced avocado spread out and filled with minced tuna or salmon mixed with spicy sauce, scallions and lemon. The avocado is twisted back into a ball around the filling and topped with tempura flakes. The result hits all the right notes: sweet with some crunch on the outside, and citrus and a bit of heat on the inside.

At 16351 Ford, Xushi Ko, which will celebrate its fourth anniversary in May, is open daily for lunch and dinner. It’s a popular around lunch because of a lunch specials menu (note: there is no bar). Those in a rush can order online at

This week the Yuzu Sushi Co., 32832 Woodward in Royal Oak, will have its grand opening. The dine-in or carry-out cafe takes all that’s delicious about fancy specialty maki and rolls them up like a California-style burrito.

A dozen options are available — such as the Yuzu Special with raw tuna, lettuce, avocado, cucumber, pickled red onion and dressing — and each can be ordered as a burrito or as a bowl, with brown or white rice.

Also on the menu are six styles of poke (a Hawaiian raw fish salad dish), miso soup, salads, edamame and potato chips. Tofu can be substituted for any fish on any item.

Further south on Woodward, Inyo in Ferndale is a go-to spot for expertly-plated and unusual sushi items. One of their most popular appetizers is the spicy tuna pizza, which pairs spicy tuna with mozzarella, avocado, jalapeno slices and eel sauce atop a thin crust.

Adventure dinner

Show:UP! pop-up dinner is coming to Detroit this weekend for three events with an air of mystery.

It’s a standard pop-up in the sense that diners get a fixed-price, multicourse meal with some drinks in a cool setting, but the exactly location is kept a secret to ticket holders until 24 hours before the event. In the past, Show:UP events have been held in New York City penthouses and a modern DC rowhome.

Show:UP Detroit is 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday. The entire dinner lasts two-and-a-half hours and only about 12 guests are present at each seating. Tickets, $110, can be purchased in advance at

(313) 222-2402

Twitter: @melodybaetens