The Roll In California Roll and Sushi restaurant in Itaewon, South Korea, offers a filling and affordable meal.

The Roll In California Roll and Sushi restaurant in Itaewon, South Korea, offers a filling and affordable meal. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

SEOUL — Some argue that location is a key ingredient for making a restaurant successful.

I think the ability to get as many customers as possible in the door — along with the obvious delicious fare — is just as important.

So when Roll In California Roll and Sushi recently doubled its seating capacity without having to move from its spot right in the center of Itaewon, it jumped to the top of my list of favorite places to eat in Seoul.

Prior to the renovation, you could squeeze about 25 people in the first-floor restaurant, located at the Hamilton Hotel intersection, directly across the street from Gecko’s. I brought my family of five there for an early weekend lunch and was pleasantly surprised to find the new addition, partitioned with glass and colorful wall murals.

The menu includes Korean-style California rolls packed with shrimp or fish and lathered in various sauces, grilled shrimp, sashimi and fresh sushi.

To be honest, the toughest part of a trip to the Roll In is figuring out what to eat. Like most menus, this one starts with appetizers, including an avocado salad for 10,000 won, fried soft-shell crab for 15,000 won or high-end tuna, flounder and salmon sashimi plate for 55,000 won.

From there, there are three sets, A, B and C, of multiple choices of California rolls, each a little more expensive than the last. You can go cheap, with the 6,000 won Pink Lady (shrimp tempura, cucumber and spicy crab) from the A set, or go all out with the C set’s 12,000-won Lion King (crab, cucumber, salmon and tobiko lightly cooked with a cheese sauce).

Or, if you’re really hungry and can’t decide what you want, take a peek at the Special Menu section.

That’s where I found my Grilled Salmon Steak set for 18,000 won. The set came with a salad, four pieces of sushi, shrimp and sweet potato tempura, Japanese noodles and my choice of a five-piece California roll.

If you haven’t tried it yet, roll toward the Roll In for a great California roll experience.

Roll In California Roll and Sushi, Seoul

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily

Specialities: California rolls and sushi

Drink prices: 3,000 won and up

Clientele: Lots of expats and base folks

Dress: Casual

Location: Itaewon’s central intersection, across from Gecko’s

Telephone: 02-749-4277

Web site: None

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now