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Traveling all the way to PB for sushi

Mister Sushi has been serving up rolls for 40 years

The saucy business end of a Spicy Yellowtail roll
The saucy business end of a Spicy Yellowtail roll
Place

Mister Sushi

1535 Garnet Avenue, San Diego

My friend Leslee knows that David and I love Japanese food, so she was shocked to learn that we hadn’t heard of Mister Sushi in Pacific Beach.

I explained to her that I just never go to Pacific Beach. It’s out of the way, it’s “over there,” it’s barely in my periphery.

Tamago nigiri
Agedashi tofu
A damn good crunchy roll

She says I need to fix this perception and begin discovering the area again. When she mentioned the place is right on Garnet, I felt especially remiss. I hadn’t been to the area since Great News! closed, and even then, if we were going to eat, David and I always and happily ended up sipping Spanish wine and sharing tapas at Costa Brava.

“Well, you’ve just got to meet Tony. He is Mister Sushi, and he’s been the chef there since, like, the ’80s,” Leslee said. She obviously didn’t realize that she already had me at “sushi.”

Leslee told me not to judge the place by its looks, so of course I didn’t. (I rarely do, as I’ve had my share of awesome food at many a proverbial hole in the wall.)

As we often do when trying out a new sushi spot, David and I were quick to order tamago nigiri (sweet egg) and agedashi tofu. Both were up to snuff, tasty and pleasantly textured.

When it came to the rolls, we first ordered another staple, the crunchy roll. They were a mouthful, with larger-than-I’m-used-to pieces. The crunchy bits were fresh and crispy, and the bright orange, fun-to-pop-in-your-mouth texture of the tobiko was a nice addition.

Baselines established, we next ventured into house specialty territory, ordering two specialty rolls. First, there was the Spicy Yellowtail, topped with avocado, sesame seeds, and a little too much of the special sauce. Still, it was a toothsome sweet-savory complement.

The Number 18 special roll
Mister Sushi himself

Then we shared the famed #18 (the specials have numbers instead of names), which was also Spicy Yellowtail topped with spicy tuna, the same special sauce (though a more moderate amount of it), and squid-ink-dyed tobiko. The “spicy” fish had a nice kick, but I’d still put it in the mild category, closer to a three on a one-out-of-ten scale.

I sometimes worry with spicy rolls that the spice is being used to mask the taste of day-old fish, but I detected the pleasant, clean flavor of tuna beneath the added flavors. As someone who lives for the salt/sugar combo, I enjoyed what the sweet sauce brought to the otherwise savory, salty, and spicy roll.

Mister Sushi himself was friendly and helpful but mostly quiet, focusing on the task at hand, preparing the next roll to go out. He seemed to know everyone. I could see why Leslee liked it so much, and I vowed to trek over to PB again soon.

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The saucy business end of a Spicy Yellowtail roll
The saucy business end of a Spicy Yellowtail roll
Place

Mister Sushi

1535 Garnet Avenue, San Diego

My friend Leslee knows that David and I love Japanese food, so she was shocked to learn that we hadn’t heard of Mister Sushi in Pacific Beach.

I explained to her that I just never go to Pacific Beach. It’s out of the way, it’s “over there,” it’s barely in my periphery.

Tamago nigiri
Agedashi tofu
A damn good crunchy roll

She says I need to fix this perception and begin discovering the area again. When she mentioned the place is right on Garnet, I felt especially remiss. I hadn’t been to the area since Great News! closed, and even then, if we were going to eat, David and I always and happily ended up sipping Spanish wine and sharing tapas at Costa Brava.

“Well, you’ve just got to meet Tony. He is Mister Sushi, and he’s been the chef there since, like, the ’80s,” Leslee said. She obviously didn’t realize that she already had me at “sushi.”

Leslee told me not to judge the place by its looks, so of course I didn’t. (I rarely do, as I’ve had my share of awesome food at many a proverbial hole in the wall.)

As we often do when trying out a new sushi spot, David and I were quick to order tamago nigiri (sweet egg) and agedashi tofu. Both were up to snuff, tasty and pleasantly textured.

When it came to the rolls, we first ordered another staple, the crunchy roll. They were a mouthful, with larger-than-I’m-used-to pieces. The crunchy bits were fresh and crispy, and the bright orange, fun-to-pop-in-your-mouth texture of the tobiko was a nice addition.

Baselines established, we next ventured into house specialty territory, ordering two specialty rolls. First, there was the Spicy Yellowtail, topped with avocado, sesame seeds, and a little too much of the special sauce. Still, it was a toothsome sweet-savory complement.

The Number 18 special roll
Mister Sushi himself

Then we shared the famed #18 (the specials have numbers instead of names), which was also Spicy Yellowtail topped with spicy tuna, the same special sauce (though a more moderate amount of it), and squid-ink-dyed tobiko. The “spicy” fish had a nice kick, but I’d still put it in the mild category, closer to a three on a one-out-of-ten scale.

I sometimes worry with spicy rolls that the spice is being used to mask the taste of day-old fish, but I detected the pleasant, clean flavor of tuna beneath the added flavors. As someone who lives for the salt/sugar combo, I enjoyed what the sweet sauce brought to the otherwise savory, salty, and spicy roll.

Mister Sushi himself was friendly and helpful but mostly quiet, focusing on the task at hand, preparing the next roll to go out. He seemed to know everyone. I could see why Leslee liked it so much, and I vowed to trek over to PB again soon.

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Comments
1

My favorite little sushi spot! You definitely capture its charm in this review. I'll have to try the tamago nigiri next time.

Oct. 21, 2015

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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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