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Dish of the Month: Mola

Crispy Spicy Tuna Roll the Main Event at Mola

By Max McCrory

I often have trouble finding new things to try at sushi restaurants, where many only serve standards such as California rolls and salmon avocado rolls. Don’t get me wrong—those dishes are classics for a reason—but sometimes I want to branch out and try a new roll.

Mola is the perfect place to test out some new, tasty options!

Located in East Liberty, Mola has an expansive menu with a number of unique options, as well as twists on classic favorites. Its menu offers more than just sushi—it offers a variety of small plates, bao buns, rice bowls, and dessert options.

A few of my favorite things to start with are the spicy edamame, handmade pork and chive dumplings, and the crispy chicken bao bun. It would be easy to fill up on appetizers here, but you have to save room for sushi, which is the main event. The restaurant offers many sushi options with handrails, nigiri, and cut rolls, and while it carries traditional rolls, there are also more interesting options such as yellowtail jalapeño and spicy scallop.

One of my favorite rolls is the crispy spicy tuna; while you can find spicy tuna rolls at many spots, the crispy aspect adds a new dimension to this classic. The roll starts with fresh, bluefin tuna from local seafood vendors, which is then combined with a spice mix. The exact ingredients are kept a secret, but trust me, it will clear your sinuses!

When I first saw crispy mentioned on the menu, I thought it meant deep-fried, but Mola doesn’t deep fry anything on their menu. They top this roll with puffed rice, which contrasts with the soft sushi rice and fatty tuna. The spice, the texture, and the quality of the fish all come together to make this meal a must try at Mola.

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