Tsuruya Sushi – San Diego, CA

Sushi Plate

Red Snapper Sushi (in foreground)

Ohyou Sushi

Halibut (Ohyou) Sushi

Red Snapper Sushi with Thin Sliced Green Onions

Red Snapper Sushi topped with Thin Slice Green Onions

Fresh Water Eel Sushi

Broiled Fresh Water Eel (Unagi) Sushi

Kirin Ichi-Ban with Empty Sushi Plate

Kirin Inch-Ban Beer with Empty Sushi Plate

Bing On-Line provided 200 results for the search request “sushi restaurants san diego, ca, us”. At this point, I think that the search engine just gave up. Aside from setting the stage that San Diego has it’s fair share of restaurants that serve sushi. It is safe to assume that competition among restaurants serving sushi in San Diego must be fierce and in turn creating an environment where it would be difficult to have a bad sushi experience in San Diego, CA.

Initially, the only reason why Tsuruya Sushi was selected was that it was located near the hotel at I-8 and Rosecrans Street. However, after the first meal, I knew I was hooked. Last year I would fly in and out of San Diego and every opportunity that I could find I would eat at Tsuruya Sushi. The prices were within the expected range for a sushi restaurant, the quality and the freshness of the fish is unparalleled, the serving size of the sushi is very generous and the service is friendly and professional.

When I heard that I was to be flying back into San Diego this month, I knew that I would have to coordinate my schedule to eat at the restaurant at least once. Last night was that opportunity and I was not disappointed by the experience.

Aside from being greeted quickly by the friendly hostess as expected, it less then 30 seconds before both Itamae who were there last year immediately recognized and fondly greeted me. You could see it in their eyes that they remembered this gaijin.I sat down at the sushi bar and made small talk with both Ken and Andy the sushi chefs.

Normally I would sit in front and Andy’s station, but this evening those seats were filled so I sat in front of Ken. Either Itamae is excellent and a consummate master of their profession. Aside from the normal selection of sushi that I selected; salmon / sake (the fattest, most succulent mouthwatering melt in your mouth salmon I have ever experienced), smoked salmon, seared tuna and fresh water eel / unagi, I asked Ken what he recommended. Without hesitation, Ken suggested the halibut / ohyou and the red snapper. Both are favorites of mine, but are not always available. I relaxed, drank my Kirin Ichiban and waited for Ken to prepare my first round of choices.

I first tried sushi (nigiri-zushi) back in 1992 in Singapore and have been a fan of this Japanese cuisine from the very beginning. I have even gone as far as to make sushi at home to satiate my craving for raw fish. I have eaten eaten sushi served at Chinese buffet restaurants (I know, so pathetic), takeout from grocery stores and many different sushi restaurants big and small around the United States. The sushi at Tsuyura Sushi is probably some of the best sushi that I have eaten. Are there establishments that are better, fancier and more authentic for what that is worth? The answer is yes, most likely. I know the importance between balancing quality, price and quantity and Tsuyura Sushi would be hard to beat. I do not go to sushi restaurants to snack on a couple pieces of sushi, a sushi roll and a bowl of edamane. I go to eat and when I leave I want to feel like I ate a meal.

In short, there are no complaints about Tsuyura Sushi and I cannot imagine why anyone would be disappointed with their meal.


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