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Costa Rica Foodie – Samurai, Sushi in Escazú


Three words. Costa Rica Roll. It’s the best sushi roll on the planet. Undoubtedly not Japanese, but certainly invented and perfected in Costa Rica. Well, Samurai to be exact. I’m referring to the Japanese hibachi and sushi place in Plaza Itskatzu on the west side of Escazú. Say that three times fast.

Now, I haven’t had all the sushi in Costa Rica (yet), but so far in San Jose, Samurai is the best. The atmosphere is great, the sushi is fresh and there’s an unmatched variety of everything. Although the prices seem a bit high, the portions are exceptionally big. From the seaweed or Thai salads, to the monstrous sushi rolls (look up name), tempura vegetables, and main courses, you could share almost everything and still be plenty satisfied.

The hibachi chef performance leaves a little something to be desired, but the food is great. I’m sure it has a little to do with the enormous amounts of butter and garlic used. But, the drawback is that they don’t have the mysteriously delicious white sauce, most times referred to as Japanese shrimp sauce. I was kind of dumbfounded and assumed the chef just couldn’t understand my sub-par Spanish, but no, they just don’t have it. Maybe it was something made up in America and we’ve all been brainwashed (like with so many other things) to think it really was a Japanese sauce.


Well, back to the sushi. My two favorite rolls (I’m not much of a Nigiri or Sashimi-type girl) are the spider roll and the hidden gem called the Costa Rica Roll. The Spider Roll, including fried soft-shelled blue crab uses essentially the same ingredients in any restaurant, but it can go terribly wrong if the crab is bad. The Costa Rica Roll is tempura shrimp and cucumber in the middle with seaweed and rice wrapped around it, and finally sweet plantains and avocado slices on the outside. It sounds very wrong to mix those foods together and to season it with wasabi and soy sauce, but it’s an amazing surprise the first time you taste this thing. Total sushi heaven.

It did take a local to show us the Samurai ropes and to convince us to try the Costa Rica Roll. My husband and I were skeptics, as you might imagine, but now we’re hooked. Don’t just take my word for it, get over there and try it.


Ashley Blevins is the author of Costa Rica Page’s new column “Costa Rica foodie”. For additional information about cheap food in Costa Rica, visit her blog at:    www.cheapfoodhere.com

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Written by Ashley Blevins

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