You missed out on the cronut. You spaced on the ramen burger. But you don't have to miss out on the latest in "here's a thing that's also another thing" food trend.
Soho Sushi Burrito, which opened its first Las Vegas location in October 2015, is expanding to a third spot, this one inside the UNLV Student Union. Half of the staff at the UNLV location will be students, serving up Mexican-Japanese fusion, which includes options for vegans and gluten-free diners.
Chef John Chien Lee sat down with us to talk Las Vegas, UNLV and combining tortillas and raw fish.
How long have you lived in Las Vegas?
I have lived in Vegas for more than 10 years. My family and I fell in love with this community from the very first day and every day we love it more and more. One of my partners was born and raised here and always tells me stories about growing up here with many great Rebel basketball teams in the '80s and '90s. His family still has season tickets and will be adding season tickets for football next year, too. Another one of my partners attended UNLV. Many members of our team have grown up here and half our staff on campus are actually students at UNLV.
What do you love most about living here?
I love how Las Vegas is a 24-hour vibrant community with so much energy and so many cool new things happening every day. I draw a lot of inspiration from this. But while we have many of the best parts of a big city, including the diversity, I love that Las Vegas is still very much like a small town in that people get to know one another and it's a very tight-knit community where people support one another. The team we are building at Soho Sushi Burrito is very much like our great city — diverse people with a lot of energy and creativity but also a very close family.
What are you most looking forward to in working with UNLV?
I am most looking forward to building relationships with the students, faculty and staff and becoming part of the Rebel family. The students of UNLV are the next generation of innovators and our future leaders. They have so many amazing ideas. I can't wait to get to know as many of them personally as possible. I am particularly excited for them to try my various creations and to get feedback from them on new ideas we can implement as we grow our local Las Vegas company. I am hopeful we can even add many more members of the UNLV family to our team so students and alumni can build and grow their careers with us as we grow Soho Sushi Burrito.
What’s your favorite item on the menu?
My favorite item on the menu has always been the Build Your Own because I love that people can customize and invent their own personal creations with their own combination of ingredients, whether as a sushi burrito or a bowl or even a salad. But now my new favorite is a special creation I made to celebrate the UNLV community and our new partnership together, the Hey Reb! It includes unagi, spicy tuna, surimi crab, cream cheese, vegetables, wonton strips, and crispy flakes. I love how it incorporates the colors red, black and white in the ingredients to symbolize the colors of both UNLV and Soho Sushi Burrito.