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Roll Up, Roll Up

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The humble maki roll—raw fish and vegetables coated with vinegared rice and wrapped in the lightly toasted seaweed known as nori—is a staple of sushi menus. But it can also be a canvas for creativity, as the Rainbow Roll at Japonica (100 University Place; 212-243-7752) proves. A spectacular outer layer of bright ruby roe, pink salmon, and vivid green avocado and spinach dazzles the eyes with color, then surprises the tongue with a contrast between crunchiness and creaminess. But the real treat is an inner core of velvety tuna and rich, melting yellowtail that’s as fresh as it is soft. There’s a bonus, too: This eight-chunk wonder is big enough to serve as a meal on its own. Maybe that’s why stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Elvis Costello, and Diana Krall are regulars.


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