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El Sushi Loco Sushi y Mariscos, located off of West Holt Avenue in Pomona, offers a hot, spicy take on Mexican-Japanese fusion.
The restaurant originally started in 2010 as a Mexican sushi cart called “Sushi-Island.”
Today, El Sushi Loco has two other restaurant locations at La Puente and Downey.
At its Pomona location, you cannot miss the building from the street view, as it looks slightly out of place between a U-Haul Rental and an Alta Dena Dairy grocery mart.
Inside, you hear the beats of Spanish reggaeton playing throughout the restaurant, and the open layout gives you a full view of people enjoying their meals.
The dimly lit room is juxtaposed by the neon blue lighting installation above some of the booths.
Booths line both sides of the restaurant and expand further with a bar area where they make their long list of drinks and alcoholic beverages, including homemade specialty drinks, like horchata, margaritas, mojitos and bottled beers.
It was fairly empty for a weekday afternoon. I was escorted to a booth and handed the large menu filled with bright photos of plates to choose from.
The array of menu items quickly made me feel overwhelmed, yet the waiter was more than happy to share customer favorites and ease my indecisiveness.
Just as I would have at a traditional sushi restaurant, I ordered an appetizer of edamame; the edamame here was offered with a garlic spice. Between every few bites, my glass of water came in handy, as the spice was evident.
The waiter brought out a small basket of tostadas and crackers with a grilled chile guero, a yellow chile that I snacked on before my food came out.
El Sushi Loco has a diverse range of food options other than just sushi; all of which are appealing to your eyes and stomach. I ordered whatever the waiter advised was most popular, although the restaurant also offers seafood, tostadas and main dishes like their spicy noodles with your choice of meat marinated in a teriyaki and special spicy sauce.
One that caught my attention, in particular, was the coco aguachile, which reminded me of a ceviche served in a coconut.
The waiter recommended the copa medina, which was a large margarita glass lined with shrimp. The juice concoction they were soaked in dripped on the table, making me use extra napkins as I ate. It was a perfect amount for two people.
My main dish was called the El Emperador, a $13.99 circle of warm crunchy sushi filled with avocado, cream cheese and shrimp topped off with imitation crab meat and a sweet eel sauce encompassing a cilantro sauce in the center. Every bite was delicious.
While the food was pricier than I had anticipated, ranging from about $10.99 to upward of $25.99, the portions were large enough for more than one person.
Thankfully I was able to take leftovers home to continue enjoying my newfound fusion of food later that day.
El Sushi Loco Sushi y Mariscos in Pomona is located at 1542 W. Holt Ave. and is open every day from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
All of the menu items are available to preview at elsushiloco.com.
Jaycie Thierry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.