Tessa CaseStaff Writer

It isn’t often that you hear the words “sushi” and “burrito” in the same sentence, and even less often to hear of a mound of sushi-grade Ahi tuna on top of Doritos. This is, however, exactly what you’ll find at Wasabi Juan’s, the focus of this week’s cheap eats.

Wasabi Juan’s is a “Mexinese” restaurant that aims to make sushi more fun and approachable, according to their website. Located in the heart of Avondale, this unique eatery invites you in with fun, bright colors and a balance between organic wooden tables, exposed brick and sheet metal contrasted with bright, Mexican-style lights and lanterns. They serve a variety of sushi burritos, tacos, appetizers and sides, all at affordable prices ranging from $3 to the most expensive dish, which tops off at $11.

A fan favorite, as well as my personal favorite, falls under the appetizer category, 4:20 nachos. This dish easily becomes a meal so long as you aren’t sharing and is a strange combination of flavors that surprisingly work. This dish is a heaping mound of spicy Ahi tuna and avocado atop Doritos, drizzled with chili mayonnaise and eel sauce and garnished with toasted, black sesame seeds. The best part? It only costs $7.

The 4:20 nachos are a wonderfully balanced dish. The spicy tuna has just enough kick not to be overpowered by the familiar flavor of Doritos, the eel sauce adds a perfect hint of sweetness and the chili mayonnaise and avocado add a perfect fat element that completes the dish and kicks your palate awake. If you’re feeling like treating yourself, you can also add a side of edamame or a miso soup for only $3.

This cheap meal can only be made more perfect by the ingenuity of the food, the welcoming environment and the fact that Wasabi Juan’s is a Birmingham-native restaurant.

Wasabi Juan’s definitely accomplishes its goal of making sushi approachable, and I highly recommend it to connoisseurs and newbies alike. The quality is fantastic, and the unique style bid all to come and have a bite.

Wasabi Juan’s is located at 4120 3rd Avenue South. Check out the menu at http://www.wasabijuan.com/menu.html.
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