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Popular sushi food truck rolls with changes and creative new recipes

Couple that runs Samurai Sombrero has settled into newly-decorated spot on 22nd Street, east of Pantano
Posted at 9:21 AM, Mar 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-19 12:35:24-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) -- — In this latest visit, we're staying eastside and going back to a popular food truck, though the business is now set up at a new home base on 22nd Street, just east of Pantano.

The duo running Samurai Sombrero are pushing their creative boundaries while offering a range of affordable rolls and entrees.

The first thing we noticed arriving on the lot was a blast of art. Co-owner Gabriela Delgadillo said a young artist asked her and chef Jesus Oleta if they could capture their fun, creative energy on a hard canvas. His vision birthed a kaleidoscope of colors with octopus legs and seafood dotting the old gas station pump roof.

We're here for the magic that happens in the kitchen. Inside the truck, Oleta ratchets up the spice with a 'Heart Attack' roll that won't stop your heart, but will make you feel the heat.

First, Oleta dropped battered jalapeños in the oil. The sizzle works up an appetite. Oleta said he likes to wait a couple minutes for a crust to develop, though he prefers his a little more chewy.

Once they're done, Oleta rolls out the rest of the ingredients: cream cheese, avocado and tempura shrimp.

That is the filling, and the bed, for the friend jalapeños. After adding a couple splashes of pink sauce, Oleta broke out the tool that brings the real heat: a blowtorch to char the rolls. The last layer on this lunch was imitation krab and a sweet eel sauce.

Oleta also showed us one of his recipes where bubbles of crispy tempura give the roll its unique crunch. Let them form, and once they're done, it's time to go fishing and sift through the catch.

The protein in this dish is a mix of krab and ground spicy tuna. Add a little avocado and lay the ingredients on a bed of those crunchy bits.

Both Delgadillo and Oleta said they like to make recipes that appeal to both the simpler sushi fans, while more adventurous eaters can try something new without breaking the bank.

It's what has earned them enough of a following that they are expanding, opening a second location at American Eat Co., 1439 S. Fourth Ave., tentatively on March 26.

If you have recommendations for that go-to spot with your favorite snack or meal, send an email to Your pick may get featured here on Tasting Tucson.

José Zozaya is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. Before arriving in southern Arizona, José worked in Omaha, Nebraska where he covered issues ranging from local, state and federal elections, to toxic chemical spills, and community programs impacting immigrant families. Share your story ideas and important issues with José by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.