Neighborhood restaurants fusing Sinaloan-style seafood and “Mexican sushi” have been a thing in and around LA for years now, which means it’s about time for them to trend here in Las Vegas. Hence our discovery of Sushi Culiacan on East Charleston, and sister restaurant Mariscos Aguachiles Culichi in North Las Vegas. Both serve Sinaloan-style raw and cooked seafood dishes like oysters, ceviches, molcajetes and aguachiles, but Culiacan gets crazy with wild sushi rolls that will make purists cringe.
You might have been exposed at some point in your sushi-loving life to a breaded and fried roll of rice filled with shrimp, crab and cream cheese, but here it’s topped with serrano chili and Chihuahua cheese—the stuff commonly used in queso fundido—and called the Viagra ($11). If that sounds goofy, it’s just the beginning. The Pariente ($12) has beef, chicken and bacon inside, all cooked, lucky for us. Several more steps into madness, the baked Villa Villa roll ($13) has bacon and fiery caribe peppers with shrimp and cheese and a lot of sweet eel sauce. A lot. If you’re tired of getting sushi with avocado or cream cheese crammed inside, note that almost all of these rolls have avocado and cream cheese.
It can be fun, but it’s all a bit much. Foodie bloggers have equally recommended and derided it. I say take your friends and order something silly, just for kicks, but focus on the delicious seafood dishes at Culiacan, like the over-the-top Altata oysters ($14 for six), served on the half shell and loaded with ceviche and “drowned shrimp” swimming in a spicy red sauce with a Michelada vibe. Order the Tostada Sinaloa ($10) and you’ll get enough crunchy corn discs and ceviche of scallop, shrimp and octopus to feed an army.
And not all of the “sushi” is ridiculous. The Malécon ($16) is deep fried, sure, but there’s marinated octopus and shrimp inside and spicy squid bits and avocado on top. If you’ve read this far, you can handle spicy squid bits. You’re an adventurer. Go all the way.
Sushi Culiacan 4420 E. Charleston Blvd. #5, 702-906-2525. Daily, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.