Powerfully pleasing sushi in downtown OKC.
When we Americans say “sushi roll,” we tend to mean one of two Japanese concepts: maki and uramaki. The former is a roll with seaweed (nori) around the outside; the latter inverts the wrap, putting nori inside the rice but around the filling. It turns out that sushi has a very complex set of names and descriptions related to how the dish is served. Four of the big five are very common in Oklahoma: maki and uramaki, plus sashimi and nigiri. The fifth, temaki, is a cone-shaped presentation that you can occasionally find at restaurants dedicated to traditional sushi.
For most of us, though, eating sushi is about the rolls. Park Harvey Sushi at 200 N. Harvey Ave. downtown has been a destination since 2009 for lunch, happy hour and dinner, and the focus of its menu is definitely rolls. Sure, there are the usual suspects on the appetizer menu — gyoza, edamame, calamari and even wings — but the menu is dominated by rolls. Park Harvey changed hands in 2022, when the original owners retired and sold the concept to Will Cook and Will Scott.
“The previous owners decided to be full-time grandparents, and we didn’t want the place to change,” Cook said. “We’d been regulars for more than a decade; I have a food service background, and the other Will is an energy guy. Because we wanted to keep things very similar, Freddy — the previous owner — left much of his memorabilia for us to use in the restaurant.”
In order to put a personal stamp on the new space, the Wills have made minor changes to the menu, including the wings, and Cook is always working on feature items. Given that it’s OKC, they decided to add two rolls to the selection: the Spicy Cowboy and the Spicy Cowgirl.
The Spicy Cowboy features a filling of tempura shrimp and avocado (it’s healthy!) with crab, spicy mayo and red sriracha sauce outside. (Red because Park Harvey also has yellow sriracha, and it’s wonderful.) The roll combines the fried food we Okies love with a variety of textures and a slight kick of heat.
The Spicy Cowgirl has smoked salmon, avocado andcucumber inside — again, healthy! — with tempura crab, garlic mayo, yellow Sriracha and tobiko (flying fish roe) on the outside. This roll offers some heat, too, but it’s a much more layered effect on the flavors with a little more freshness thanks to the cucumber. Both are delicious, and even Sooner fans will enjoy them.
“We take seriously the idea that we’ve inherited something that we love,” Cook said. “We are doing things to make it our own, but we also look at this as carrying on a legacy. We’re proud of that, and we’re happy to be a part of keeping Park Harvey Sushi going.”