Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

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

Come for the sushi, stay for the eggplant

Nephew discovers raw truth about sushi

Deep fried shrimp head and mackerel bones at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar
Deep fried shrimp head and mackerel bones at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar
Place

Blue Ocean Sushi and Robata

2958 Madison Street, Carlsbad

“Wait! Sushi is raw fish?”

My nephew had this revelation while we were getting read to chow down on an assortment of mackerel, octopus, raw shrimp, bluefin and other delicacies at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar in Carlsbad.

Chilled oysters with a green apple-wasabi mignonette at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

“Yeah. It’s raw and it’s good.”

My nephew recently turned 21 and, until recently, was a vegetarian. My brother and I decided to educate him on some of the finer things in life: Japanese food and specialty cocktails — both of which are a specialty at Blue Ocean.

Considering that I live in La Mesa, Carlsbad might seem a long drive for sushi, but it’s really good food. And good cocktails — hic!

We started out with three appetizers: the chilled oysters with a green apple-wasabi mignonette, wagyu beef dumplings with kimchi, and caramelized eggplant with hazelnuts and sesame.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Caramelized eggplant at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

The dumplings were good, but the oysters were outstanding: fresh, briny, but clean-tasting. Even my nephew enjoyed them, and it was his first time trying them.

But the caramelized eggplant was a revelation: crispy, crunchy, and covered with a teriyaki-like glaze.

“Wow, they made eggplant not like eggplant,” said my brother.

It was the type of dish that I would drive back for.

Seaweed salad at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

So was my choice of cocktail: the Far East Ricky, a blend of gin, shiso (a Japanese herb), and cucumber.

“They go down really easy,” warned Marlene, our waitress.

Yep. A great summer cocktail.

My brother stuck with the Ginger Old Fashioned, and was very happy. Likewise, my nephew enjoyed the Firing Squad, which combines, tequila, bitters, pomegranate and pressed lime. It had a bloody mary feel that was bloody good.

Far East Ricky cocktail at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

We shared a seaweed in ponzu dressing. It was very refreshing. I think my nephew was bummed that in all his years of vegetarianism, no one had introduced him to the joys of seaweed. I’m a bad uncle.

For the sushi, I just put my hands in the sushi chef and he prepared a good variety of classics like bluefin, tako (octopus) and mackerel, and some adventurous choices — like raw shrimp.

“That shrimp was swimming 30 seconds ago,” said Andrew Halvorsen, the chef de cuisine. “If you like it, we’ll deep fry the heads. And the mackerel bones.”

Moscow Mule at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

We did and they came back a few minutes later battered and delicious.

“This is pretty good,” my nephew said.

“Yeah, it is,” said my brother.

What was especially cool is that Blue Ocean serves chopped up wasabi root, not a paste. The effect was spicy but in a way that allowed the flavor of each fish to come out. I may not be able to go back to paste again.

By that time, I had switched from cocktails to a Hitachino Nest White beer. White beers are usually food-friendly, but I thought the Echigo Rice beer that my brother ordered was a better fit with the cuisine.

Pork belly at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

My nephew slurped up his Moscow mule and ordered something called the Chim Chim Go Speed Racer.

“When you see a drink in a Japanese bar named after Speed Racer, you have to try it,” my brother egged on.

The Chim Chim blends gin with orange and absinthe. I thought it was great in sips, but a little goes a long way. My nephew was happy. Good thing, because I had ordered some robata.

Ginger-butterscotch pudding at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

Robata is a method of grilling that uses special Japanese charcoal heated up to 900 degrees. The foods cooked on the grill are flavored simply and beautifully.

The pork belly was especially sweet, salty and juicy, and came in cubes on a skewer. The black cod was more delicate and flaky.

My nephew enjoyed the mushrooms but I liked the peppery flavor of the grilled chicken gizzard, but the bacon-wrapped scallops were hard to beat.

For dessert, we had two choices:fresh strawberries with a coconut sorbet and a ginger-butterscotch pudding.

At any other meal, the ginger pudding with its gingersnap crust would be a home run, but it was really heavy compared to the previous dishes. The strawberries and sorbet capped things off nicely.

The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tesla drivers denounce Caltrans plans for road tax

"It's really unfair to the people who bought the EVs."
Next Article

BattleMage makes EverQuest Corpse Run

Corpse Run is a 6.3% dry-hopped ABV West Coast IPA brewed with Nectaron, Mosaic, and Motueka hops
Deep fried shrimp head and mackerel bones at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar
Deep fried shrimp head and mackerel bones at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar
Place

Blue Ocean Sushi and Robata

2958 Madison Street, Carlsbad

“Wait! Sushi is raw fish?”

My nephew had this revelation while we were getting read to chow down on an assortment of mackerel, octopus, raw shrimp, bluefin and other delicacies at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar in Carlsbad.

Chilled oysters with a green apple-wasabi mignonette at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

“Yeah. It’s raw and it’s good.”

My nephew recently turned 21 and, until recently, was a vegetarian. My brother and I decided to educate him on some of the finer things in life: Japanese food and specialty cocktails — both of which are a specialty at Blue Ocean.

Considering that I live in La Mesa, Carlsbad might seem a long drive for sushi, but it’s really good food. And good cocktails — hic!

We started out with three appetizers: the chilled oysters with a green apple-wasabi mignonette, wagyu beef dumplings with kimchi, and caramelized eggplant with hazelnuts and sesame.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Caramelized eggplant at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

The dumplings were good, but the oysters were outstanding: fresh, briny, but clean-tasting. Even my nephew enjoyed them, and it was his first time trying them.

But the caramelized eggplant was a revelation: crispy, crunchy, and covered with a teriyaki-like glaze.

“Wow, they made eggplant not like eggplant,” said my brother.

It was the type of dish that I would drive back for.

Seaweed salad at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

So was my choice of cocktail: the Far East Ricky, a blend of gin, shiso (a Japanese herb), and cucumber.

“They go down really easy,” warned Marlene, our waitress.

Yep. A great summer cocktail.

My brother stuck with the Ginger Old Fashioned, and was very happy. Likewise, my nephew enjoyed the Firing Squad, which combines, tequila, bitters, pomegranate and pressed lime. It had a bloody mary feel that was bloody good.

Far East Ricky cocktail at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

We shared a seaweed in ponzu dressing. It was very refreshing. I think my nephew was bummed that in all his years of vegetarianism, no one had introduced him to the joys of seaweed. I’m a bad uncle.

For the sushi, I just put my hands in the sushi chef and he prepared a good variety of classics like bluefin, tako (octopus) and mackerel, and some adventurous choices — like raw shrimp.

“That shrimp was swimming 30 seconds ago,” said Andrew Halvorsen, the chef de cuisine. “If you like it, we’ll deep fry the heads. And the mackerel bones.”

Moscow Mule at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

We did and they came back a few minutes later battered and delicious.

“This is pretty good,” my nephew said.

“Yeah, it is,” said my brother.

What was especially cool is that Blue Ocean serves chopped up wasabi root, not a paste. The effect was spicy but in a way that allowed the flavor of each fish to come out. I may not be able to go back to paste again.

By that time, I had switched from cocktails to a Hitachino Nest White beer. White beers are usually food-friendly, but I thought the Echigo Rice beer that my brother ordered was a better fit with the cuisine.

Pork belly at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

My nephew slurped up his Moscow mule and ordered something called the Chim Chim Go Speed Racer.

“When you see a drink in a Japanese bar named after Speed Racer, you have to try it,” my brother egged on.

The Chim Chim blends gin with orange and absinthe. I thought it was great in sips, but a little goes a long way. My nephew was happy. Good thing, because I had ordered some robata.

Ginger-butterscotch pudding at Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar

Robata is a method of grilling that uses special Japanese charcoal heated up to 900 degrees. The foods cooked on the grill are flavored simply and beautifully.

The pork belly was especially sweet, salty and juicy, and came in cubes on a skewer. The black cod was more delicate and flaky.

My nephew enjoyed the mushrooms but I liked the peppery flavor of the grilled chicken gizzard, but the bacon-wrapped scallops were hard to beat.

For dessert, we had two choices:fresh strawberries with a coconut sorbet and a ginger-butterscotch pudding.

At any other meal, the ginger pudding with its gingersnap crust would be a home run, but it was really heavy compared to the previous dishes. The strawberries and sorbet capped things off nicely.

Comments
Sponsored

The latest copy of the Reader

Please enjoy this clickable Reader flipbook. Linked text and ads are flash-highlighted in blue for your convenience. To enhance your viewing, please open full screen mode by clicking the icon on the far right of the black flipbook toolbar.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

German Cultural Minister tried to cancel Wagner

Wagner doesn't appeal to the young because he makes too many demands
Next Article

Jakob Nowell takes up his father’s role as Sublime frontman

New lineup will perform at Bayfest on July 20
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.