A few weeks ago, I attended the Noridojo Pop Up at Pow Pow, located in the H-Street Corridor. This was a two-time event (same day, two different seating times) in collaboration with Sticky Rice, another restaurant that specializes in plant-based Asian fusion food. These items are being considered for adding to the permanent menu, along with future pop-up collaborations. The menu of the event was a pre-designed 7 course meal (with a couple surprise items in-between), as well as a choice of two drinks provided by Hill Prince, a local cocktail bar. All of the food was vegan, along with the drinks.

1. Drink: New York Sour

Sara Shelton

For my libation, I picked out the New York Sour, which was described as containing "Jack Daniels, Lemon, Simple Syrup, and Aquafaba." Aquafaba is often used as a substitute for egg whites in vegan cuisine. The foam on the top of the drink you see in the photo is made of blended aquafaba. It was very tasty, and very strong, which is all you can ask for in a drink!

2. First Course: Pretty Pumpkin

Sara Shelton

The first course was a sushi dish described on the menu as containing "(a) pink soy wrapper with Japanese pumpkin, cashews, yuzu beet, cashew mozzarella, served with okayu miso." My friend and I both agreed that it remarkably tasted like elements of fall. The pumpkin was deliciously sweet, and provided an exquisite contrast to the smokiness of the mozzarella. This was one of my favorite courses overall due to its uniqueness and perfect flavor balance.

BONUS: Miso Soup with Rice

Sara Shelton

This was the first of the "surprise" offerings in between dishes that were distributed while waiting for one of the main courses to be prepared. This was traditional miso soup with white rice. The soup was incredible, but the rice was undercooked. That being said, it was still very good -- especially since it wasn't something I was expecting.

3. Second Course: The O.G.'s

Sara Shelton

This course consisted of three variations of sushi rolls:       1. Spicy Tvna (not tUna!), Cucumber, Spicy Mayo                2. Spicy Crvb (not CrAb!), Avocado, and Plant-Based Tobiko

 3. Eggplant Ell, Green Rice, and Hemp Seeds              These were all incredibly delicious, with each roll having its own distinctive flavor. My favorite was the Green Rice roll because I personally love eggplant, and it had the perfect amount of crunch from the hemp seeds. 

Bonus: Sweet Potato Svlmon

Sara Shelton

This was the extra dish I never knew I needed. The faux salmon did not taste like salmon, even though it had the same texture and appearance of salmon. This was made from kabocha, which is a type of squash. It was cooked to perfection as well, and practically melted in my mouth. I would've loved if this was a main menu item so I could've eaten more of it...

4. Third Course:  The Group Hug

Sara Shelton

This was my favorite sushi overall! It contained "purple rice, cashew mozzarella and avocado, tempura fried like a big warm hug, served with country kabocha." The tempura was excellent. I usually like tempura, but it usually loses a few points with me for having too much oil residue from deep frying. This tempura, however, was perfect: completely crunch with no soggy-ness whatsoever. The drizzle on top of kabocha complimented the dish well.

5. Fourth Course: Angry Jakku

Sara Shelton

This sushi plate I would say, was the most unique. This dish was described as containing "pineapple kimchi, avocado and fresh cilantro, topped with Korean bbq jackfruit and Aji sauce." The jackfruit topping added a smoky and sweet flavor that complemented the pineapple kimichi very well. The Aji sauce was very unique: neither my friend nor I could put our fingers on what exactly it tasted like, but agreed that it tasted very good.

6. Fifth Course: Tori Karaage

Sara Shelton

This was my friend's choice favorite overall. This dish was described as "Japanese fried plant-based chicken in a red pepper sauce." The plant-based chicken had an amazing texture that mimicked the real thing, and had a crust that was delicious. The red sauce complimented the dish well and gave it a spicy kick. This was definitely the richest dish overall, and when I started to really feel full. This seems like something that Pow Pow should definitely consider adding to its permanent menu.

6th Course (and final!): Katsu Masubi

This dish was composed of "panko fried pork seitan, cashew mozzarella topped with pineapple and fresh cilantro, served with karasbi nanohana." I, unfortunately, was unable to take photos of this final dish as well as dessert, but neither stood out to me as much as the previous dishes did. Maybe my tastebuds were too overloaded with the rest of the delicious menu by this time, but the Katsu Masubi tasted very similar to the Angry Jakku. 

Overall, I loved the Noridojo Pop Up experience. It was incredibly innovative plant-based sushi. My friend and I are both vegan and were thrilled that we had the opportunity to try sushi specifically made for plant-based diets. Does this food interest you? Keep your eyes peeled for the next Noridojo Pop-Up event, coming soon!

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