ABC News' Danielle Genet reports:
Beyond Sushi, Manhattan's newest sushi joint, hopes to revolutionize your sushi experience. If you are tired of the typical California Roll or Vegetable Roll and fail to find palate pleasure when devouring raw fish, Beyond Sushi will revitalize your taste buds with an original take on the classic favorites.
Opened in July, Beyond Sushi offers its patrons vegan-vegetarian sushi and emphasizes a "green" lifestyle. Owner and executive chef Guy Vaknin (foodies will remember Chef Guy from his appearance on Gordon Ramsay's "Hell's Kitchen,") was inspired by his kosher upbringing and recent transition to a healthful vegan diet. Chef Guy wanted to create a high-quality product, while also maintaining top health and taste standards. "Once people taste it, they'll come back," he said.
The rolls contain creative mixes of fresh fruits, vegetables and black or six grain rice. The Sweet Tree roll includes six grain rice, avocado, sweet potato and alfalfa sprouts and the Spicy Mang roll includes black rice, avocado, mango, cucumber and spicy veggies. Each roll is garnished with low-sodium freshly made sauces such as Toasted Cayenne, Jalapeno Wasabi, Chili & Mango, Carrot Ginger, Tofu & Miso and Shitake & Teriyaki.
Chef Guy cannot guarantee an all-vegan menu because some of the sauces contain egg products. But he is aiming to go completely vegan in the next six months. Additionally, nutritional information will be shared on the restaurant's website as the exact nutritional count is determined.
Vegan sushi is just one of many vegan food trends sweeping the country. Ellen DeGeneres, Alicia Silverstone and Lea Michele are advocates of a vegan lifestyle. If health and taste are not reason enough to give this sushi a go, vegan sushi tends to have a shelf life of three days when refrigerated. Sushi made with fish tends to spoil after only 24 hours.
But, Chef Guy does recommend his sushi be eaten at the time of order for best texture and taste. Additionally, vegan sushi is a suitable option for pregnant women and as a catering choice that holds up much more safely than traditional sushi and sashimi. If sushi isn't your cup of tea, Beyond Sushi also offers gluten-free rice paper wraps, rice bed salads and fresh made juices.
Beyond Sushi has much in store for its future. Chef Guy is using social media platforms to build his brand. On Facebook, sushi fans are encouraged to send in ingredients for the "Roll of the Month."
The contest notes that all suggested ingredients be meat and dairy free, as in congruence with the restaurant's concept. Another promotion: If you "like" the page on Facebook or "follow" them on Twitter, you'll receive a free individual piece of sushi on your visit.
Moving beyond its social media presence, Beyond Sushi has marketed its product to neighborhood gyms and students, offering 10 percent off for students and gym members with ID. When asked of plans for expansion, Chef Guy commented that he has been talking to food distributors about bringing his sushi to other stores, but at the moment he plans to completely focus on his newest venture.
With a modern, eco-friendly atmosphere and high-quality ingredients and combinations, Beyond Sushi is taking the steps it needs to ensure its lasting and expanding future in the New York food world … and beyond.