An appetizer big enough to be a meal!

What: The Heart Attack

Where: Otori Sushi, 68100 Ramon Road, No. A1, Cathedral City

How much: $12.95

Contact: 760-699-5486;

Why: Jalapeno popper + sushi = yum.

I like jalapeno poppers. I mean, what’s not to like about jalapenos being stuffed with cream cheese and then fried?

I also like sushi. I mean, what’s not to like about properly prepared fresh fish?

It should therefore come as no surprise that I absolutely love the Heart Attack appetizer at Otori Sushi—because it’s a mashup of these two lovely things: Jalapenos are stuffed with cream cheese and a mix of fish, then lightly fried and topped with delicious sauces. Four large pieces come per order; it’s enough to be a meal for most.

Otori Sushi is known for these sorts of creative, multi-ingredient sushi concoctions. Yes, the popular Cathedral City joint offers most of the fare one would expect to find at a sushi restaurant—like nigiri, sashimi, California rolls, shrimp tempura rolls, etc.—so if you’re someone who wants the fish and seafood to stand on its own, you’ll find plenty to like.

But then there are offerings like, say, the Roller Coaster Roll. Inside, you’ll find spicy tuna, shrimp tempura and avocado; on top, there’s cucumber and fresh albacore. Then on top of that is “fried crab stick topping,” which is exactly what it sounds like: Shoestring-size crab pieces that have been heavily fried. Then all of that is topped with sauce. It’s a lot—in fact, it had a bit too much going on for the hubby and me, although the guys sitting at the table next to us gave it their enthusiastic endorsement.

The Heart Attack appetizer also had a lot going on—but not too much. In fact, it was damn near perfect.

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...