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Overpriced underperformer

Gaslamp sushi contender Full Moon plays at being upscale, delivers mediocre quality at elevated prices

21st-Century version of You Only Live Twice?
21st-Century version of You Only Live Twice?
Place

Full Moon Sushi

926 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

Shave ice oysters, unpleasant to eat

Gaslamp newcomer, Full Moon Sushi, spent extra time in the buildout phase, but that’s OK, since the restaurant ended up with a very chic look. Mid-century American cues combine with Japanese-ish touches, like the shōji-inspired suspended ceiling above the sushi bar, to give the place a kind of 21st-century You Only Live Twice appearance.

Full Moon bills itself as “luxurious yet affordable,” which is basically the opposite of reality. With prices approaching upscale sushi joints like current-favorite Shino, affordable is the wrong word for Full Moon. A couple, drinking sake and ordering freely, could easily get up to $100/person, with some individual orders of nigiri running $10/piece.

Expectations run high at such costs, and Full Moon looks on paper as if it could deliver, but the results don’t hold up. With a few dishes, the kitchen is obviously trying. Shave ice oysters on the half shell ($11) are a cool idea, but the experience of actually eating the dish is rather unpleasant. Since oysters are a one-bite food, the frigid dollop of asian pear shave ice spooned onto each oyster is an unavoidable blast of cold, straight to the ice cream headache zone. Here is a prime example of a well-intentioned dish that simply doesn’t work.

Inexpert sushi at high prices

Inexactitude plagues the sushi. The rice is too sweet, too sticky, and insufficiently toothsome to have the real character of great rice. Expensive fish shines on its own, but the more difficult fishes reveal imperfect technique. Over-cured and roughly handled mackerel is the worst, but even medium-expensive selections like various sea breams don’t receive elegant treatment, and end up tasting muddled and indistinct. The tamago is too sweet, and the amberjack needs more of a citrus dressing.

These are the kinds of things that shouldn’t be a problem at Blue Moon’s price point. We’re not talking outright bad sushi here—it’s OK at best—but the asking prices are in no way justified, and it’s impossible to favor the restaurant with anything beyond a “meh.”

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21st-Century version of You Only Live Twice?
21st-Century version of You Only Live Twice?
Place

Full Moon Sushi

926 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

Shave ice oysters, unpleasant to eat

Gaslamp newcomer, Full Moon Sushi, spent extra time in the buildout phase, but that’s OK, since the restaurant ended up with a very chic look. Mid-century American cues combine with Japanese-ish touches, like the shōji-inspired suspended ceiling above the sushi bar, to give the place a kind of 21st-century You Only Live Twice appearance.

Full Moon bills itself as “luxurious yet affordable,” which is basically the opposite of reality. With prices approaching upscale sushi joints like current-favorite Shino, affordable is the wrong word for Full Moon. A couple, drinking sake and ordering freely, could easily get up to $100/person, with some individual orders of nigiri running $10/piece.

Expectations run high at such costs, and Full Moon looks on paper as if it could deliver, but the results don’t hold up. With a few dishes, the kitchen is obviously trying. Shave ice oysters on the half shell ($11) are a cool idea, but the experience of actually eating the dish is rather unpleasant. Since oysters are a one-bite food, the frigid dollop of asian pear shave ice spooned onto each oyster is an unavoidable blast of cold, straight to the ice cream headache zone. Here is a prime example of a well-intentioned dish that simply doesn’t work.

Inexpert sushi at high prices

Inexactitude plagues the sushi. The rice is too sweet, too sticky, and insufficiently toothsome to have the real character of great rice. Expensive fish shines on its own, but the more difficult fishes reveal imperfect technique. Over-cured and roughly handled mackerel is the worst, but even medium-expensive selections like various sea breams don’t receive elegant treatment, and end up tasting muddled and indistinct. The tamago is too sweet, and the amberjack needs more of a citrus dressing.

These are the kinds of things that shouldn’t be a problem at Blue Moon’s price point. We’re not talking outright bad sushi here—it’s OK at best—but the asking prices are in no way justified, and it’s impossible to favor the restaurant with anything beyond a “meh.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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