The Non-Safe Choice: Bagu's Bagel Balls

While researching an upcoming review, I found myself at Bagu, the (relatively) new South Minneapolis Sushi/Thai joint across the street from Turtle Bread Co. and Pumphouse Creamery.

As part of a newly hatched plan to make an effort to order the most novel, weirdest, and/or most initially off-putting item on any given menu I encounter, I ordered the not entirely pleasant sounding Japanese Bagel Balls as an appetizer.

For some reason, I was anticipating an actual spherical, golf-ball sized bagel, covered in sesame seeds, deep-fried tempura style with the promised ingredients (fresh salmon, cream cheese and green onions) squirreled away inside. Sadly, no: This was, instead, a collection of five squat, tempura-fried, not-quite-futomaki sized sushi rolls with a ponzu-like sauce splashed upon them.

For $7.50, the Bagel Balls are a substantial Japanese appetizer. One or two bagel balls, it turns out, are plenty for the typical human being. The cream cheese is pleasantly fresh beneath the tempura coating and sauce, but the salmon fights to get noticed, and the overall effect doesn't quite live up to the (equally non-traditional) Philly roll, in terms of expressing the ingredients in a harmonious manner. In short, you've gotta be careful when you deep fry anything, sushi included; ingredients that used to sing will often be reduced to a damp, muffled whisper.

Bagu's Bagel Balls Price: $7.50 Fear and/or Confusion Factor While Ordering (out of 10): 5 Actual Fear and/or Confusion Factor, While Eating : 2 Taste: 5

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