The New Age egg roll is a menu meme of such surpassing sturdiness that it’s really no longer a trend. Non-trad egg rolls with hearty fillings can have the look and heft of a luscious, fat Cantonese classic, but what’s inside is decidedly Western, like the quite cheesy cheese steak rolls at Del Frisco’s Grille ($13). Even Foodbeast’s getting in on the deal, with its recent shawarma egg roll how-to.
My favorite rendition by far is also the Irish-est, as it happens, at Dublin 4 Gastropub in Mission Viejo. Yes, even though they’re called Reuben rolls, and the dipping sauce is a luxe take on Russian dressing, it’s all-Irish, all the time, at D4. Chef David Shofner corns his own beef and ferments his own sauerkraut, and then wraps these premium items up with Kerrygold Blarney cheese into a roll that’s even greater than the sum of its quite estimable parts. A shared order of these ($13) with drinks is the first thing dispatched after we settle in, while I consider the mains and pretend there’s an iota of a chance I’ll deviate from fish and chips ($20). Chef Shofner was nice enough to share his recipe some time ago for the buttery smashed peas that accompany the fish—you can click here to try for yourself. I highly recommend. But even better is to have the dish as made in Shofner’s kitchen—just don’t skip the first-course Reuben rolls.