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The Surfside
4527 Mission Boulevard, Pacific Beach

Monkfish liver is a Japanese delicacy that resembles -- well, it's best described as the duck-liver mousse of the ocean. It shows up only intermittently, usually at sushi counters, where chefs face the challenge of finding optimal ways to highlight its velvety, spongy texture and slightly gamy flavor. At Surfside, they cut the liver into quarter-inch-thick slices about the size of a 50-cent piece, and drop the disks into a martini glass on top of a lemon slice, which adds a citrus note to balance the richness. Then they dress it with a bracing, virile dressing of soy and sweet sushi vinegar. Together, the liver and its sauce create a yin-yang in your mouth.

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