Foodie Events / Restaurants

Austin’s Vegan Sushi Girls Create Buzz With Pop-Up Series — Now These Entrepreneurs are Trying to Turn I.S. Sushi Into a Full Restaurant

All Vegan Sushi Rolls Surprise

BY // 12.15.20

The Austin food scene keeps booming with new plant-based options. I.S. Sushi recently hosted a pop-up East Austin vegan restaurant Counter Culture. I.S. Sushi co-creators Sarah Sinclair and India Lovejoy served up their signature vegan rolls, which were available for dine-in or takeout.

The best friends dreamed up I.S. Sushi last summer, seizing on their shared love for good, healthy food. Head chef Sinclair — an Austinite, model, artist and longtime vegan — spends hours in the kitchen, perfecting the art of plant-based cooking and sushi rolling.  Lovejoy, the I.S. Sushi’s head of business, also supports Houston artists through her Black Buddha Creative Agency. The Houstonian worked in internal operations and was membership manager at Project Row Houses in the past.

The two combined their culinary and visual arts expertise to make a guilt-free dining experience for vegan foodies. Over the past couple of months, they’ve been hosting I.S. Sushi pop-ups all around Austin. 

“Our goal is to create delicious plant-based sushi that promotes the well being of all living creatures and the planet,” Lovejoy says. 

Sinclair makes rolls that are nutritional, balanced and, perhaps most importantly, filling. “As a vegan, it can be difficult to find a meal that is super filling,” Sinclair says. “So we wanted to make a cuisine that was not only tasty but satisfying.”

I.S. Sushi X Counter Culture

For their most recent pop-up, Sinclair and Lovejoy teamed up with the popular vegan restaurant Counter Culture. The event was a major success with I.S. Sushi doubling its previous sales record. 

“This was an awesome opportunity because Counter Culture is a very established vegan eatery in Austin that has a huge following,” Lovejoy says. “We got to experience a whole new audience of vegans, vegetarians and even meat lovers.”

Sinclair prepared sushi rolls that customers didn’t even realize were vegan.  The signature dish was The Super Chef Special Roll, filled with a rainbow of vegetables including pickled cabbage, cucumber, avocado and jalapeños. Topped with spicy crab and a dab of sriracha, this top-seller compares to a classic California roll. 

“We wanted to emulate flavors that sushi lovers would be used to and comfortable with, so the transition to vegan sushi would be much easier, ” Sinclair says. 

Another favorite was The Shroomin’ Around Roll, which has stir-fried shiitake mushrooms and green onions, topped with sriracha mayo and fried oyster mushrooms.

A top seller, The Shroomin’ Around Roll has stir-fried shiitake mushrooms and green onions, topped with sriracha mayo and fried oyster mushrooms.

She’s A Cancer Roll imitates a spicy crab roll and was named after Lovejoy’s astrological sign.

You could say Sinclair and Lovejoy are on a roll. And they don’t plan on slowing down. The two continue to plan future pop-ups and dream of opening their own restaurant in Austin.

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