Sushi is amazing for approximately 501 million reasons, the number one reason being that it tastes so darn good. At Cupcake Sushi in Key West, Florida you can chow down on sweet dessert versions like the Snickers roll or the sea salt caramel roll. If you head to Copenhagen, Denmark you can indulge in sushi/sandwich hybrids known as “smushi” at a spot called the Royal Smushi Cafe. If you’re a staunch traditionalist, you might prefer to dine on the omakase and sashimi at a spot like Sushi Tomi in Mountain View, California. Needless to say, we’ve encountered quite a few different takes on sushi over the years, but nothing prepared us for the golden hued glory of the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos roll you can nab at Sushi Confidential in Campbell, California.
Before we talk about that hot mamma, we should give you a bit of background. Sushi Confidential is the brainchild of Randy Musterer who is best known as Sushi Randy to most folks in downtown Campbell. Musterer and his crew opened Sushi Confidential’s doors almost six years ago and business has been booming ever since. In fact, there are actually two Sushi Confidential locations, one in Campbell and the other is located inside San Pedro Square in San Jose, California.
We kicked our meal off with quadruplets, or more specifically, four spicy jalapeño boats. The boat presentation has changed over the years (note to Sushi Randy, we’re digging the latest iteration), but the taste remains just as delightful. Tempura jalapeños are stuffed with cream cheese and spicy tuna then topped with green onions, tobiko, macadamia nuts, spicy spy sauce and unagi sauce.
Next up was a bowl of ramen. It’s a bit of a hidden secret that Sushi Confidential has ramen. If you don’t see it on the menu, don’t be too concerned. Just ask your server about it. On rainy Silicon Valley days, you’ll be glad that most people in the Bay Area aren’t aware that this sushi joint serves up steaming bowls of goodness. (If everyone knew that Sushi Confidential makes a mean ramen, we’re pretty sure there would be a line out the door on drizzle days.) The tonkatsu ramen you’ll find at Sushi Confidential consists of a creamy pork broth made with marinated pork belly. One of our favorite parts of this dish is the soy marinated egg they pop in your bowl. If we had an extra stomach, we’d be tempted to add an additional marinated soft boiled egg into the mix, but we need to stay focused. Remember, we’ve still got a Flamin’ Hot Cheetos roll coming up. The standard ramen also comes with black chili paste, mushrooms, red curry pickles, green onions, bean sprouts, adorable little fish cakes, pickled radishes and chili oil. Each bowl is garnished with kaiware sprouts and shredded nori.
In addition to Sushi Confidential, here’s a list of other neat little local spots you might enjoy checking out in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We’re kind of obsessed with shishito peppers, so we also ordered the shishito kamikaze roll. We thoroughly enjoyed the blend of spicy tuna combined with blistered shishito pepper tempura and cream cheese. The roll is crowned with even more tuna, spicy spy sauce, unagi sauce and jalapeño slices.
At first blush we were concerned the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos roll was bound to, well, flameout. That being said, we’ve dined at Sushi Confidential a bunch of times before and we’ve never been disappointed by the omakase (chef’s special) rolls we’ve ordered in the past. Clocking in at a relatively steep $16.00 (slightly more than the cost of two California rolls at Sushi Confidential), we really didn’t want this roll to let us down. We crossed our fingers and toes and hoped for the best. We were ready to resign the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos roll to the list of things you have to try once, but never add to your regular rotation… until we bit into it. The Flamin’ Hot Cheetos roll is amazingly good. Like so good, we’ll probably be ordering it again even though our wallet is not going to like that idea very much. The roll consists of shrimp tempura surrounded by cream cheese and avocado topped with spicy crab, spicy spy sauce, jalapeño and, of course, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Since we haven’t kept our experience at Sushi Confidential even the slightest bit private, we’ll let you in on another secret, happy hour. Every day both restaurant locations feature a dual happy hour from 3:00pm to 6:00pm and then again from 10:00pm until they close. Happy hour means that items like the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos roll go down in price from $16.00 to $13.00. Tempura avocado, a house special that is normally $8.00, drops down to just $5.00. There are also other grub deals and specials on cocktails, draft beer, hot sake, house wine and sake bombs too. Sushi Confidential even serves a number of vegan options (sizzling teppan, donburi rice bowls, etc.) all day long. Since we’re a bit concerned that our Flamin’ Hot Cheetos roll obsession could be long term, chances are we’ll be saving money right along side you during happy hour.
Address: 247 East Campbell Avenue
Campbell, California 95008
*A second Sushi Confidential location can be found in San Jose, California.
Hours: Monday Through Saturday 11:30am to 11:30pm, Sunday 9:30am to 10:30pm
Phone: (408) 596-5554
Pricing (All in USD): Starters $5.00 to $16.00, Nigiri and Sashimi $5.00 to $13.00, Sushi and Sashimi Combinations $15.00 to $27.00, Signature Nigiri $9.50 to $10.50, Signature Sashimi $16.50 to $17.50, Confidential Rolls $13.00 to $24.50, Classic Rolls $5.00 to $15.00, Cooked Rolls $10.00 to $17.00, Vegetarian Rolls $10.00 to $14.50, Gluten Free Rolls $13.00 to $17.00, Tonkatsu Ramen $16.00 (Additional Toppings Are Available), Salads $7.50 to $20.00, Hot Entrees $18.00 to $24.00, Sizling Teppan (Hot Griddle) $13.50 to $17.00, Udon $14.00 to $17.00, Donburi (Rice Bowls) $12.00 to $15.00, Kid’s Menu $4.00 to $8.00, Sides $3.75 to $5.75, Beer $5.00 to $10.00, Wine $5.00 to $42.00, Top Secret Cocktails $11.00, Confidential Cocktails $12.00, Sake $8.00 to $28.00, Sake Bombs $5.00 *Prices on some items may be reduced during lunch and happy hours.