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Sushi fans head to Serra Mesa

Reservations required at Kokoro

Sashimi
Sashimi
Place

Kokoro Restaurant

3298 Greyling Drive, San Diego

You have to want to go to a sushi bar such as Kokoro. Apologies to Serra Mesa residents, but this place isn’t near anything. Chef/owner Akio Ishito claims “many Japanese” seek out his restaurant, and the non-Japanese sushi nerds who may consider Sushi Tadokoro’s location next to that liquor store in Old Town much too mainstream seem to like it.

Kokoro Restaurant

In fact, on any given day a handful of people have had the foresight to make a reservation three days in advance for one of Ishito’s $45, $65, or $85 omakase menus. They will “ooh” and “aah” over braised spinach with enoki mushrooms, skipjack tataki with yuzu ponzu, and a discrete sashimi plate bearing just the right amount of toro. Soups (such as a delicate clam dumpling version) in crystal-clear broths, braised duck with taro and potato dumplings, and grilled salmon with edamame paste demonstrate that there’s more to a tasting menu than sushi and sashimi.

Diners might find the nigiri plate somewhat meager, with just mackerel, shrimp, and eel to tide them over before fried smelts with curry salt. But probably not. By the time they arrive at gelato (delivered from L.A. in accordance with the chef’s old business affiliations), they should be happy.

The sushi nerds sitting at the bar should buy Chef Akio Ishito a beer before they leave. Especially on slower nights. Given that they have to be a little nerdy to go there in the first place, and they probably spent upwards of $100/person on a meal, they probably will.

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Sashimi
Sashimi
Place

Kokoro Restaurant

3298 Greyling Drive, San Diego

You have to want to go to a sushi bar such as Kokoro. Apologies to Serra Mesa residents, but this place isn’t near anything. Chef/owner Akio Ishito claims “many Japanese” seek out his restaurant, and the non-Japanese sushi nerds who may consider Sushi Tadokoro’s location next to that liquor store in Old Town much too mainstream seem to like it.

Kokoro Restaurant

In fact, on any given day a handful of people have had the foresight to make a reservation three days in advance for one of Ishito’s $45, $65, or $85 omakase menus. They will “ooh” and “aah” over braised spinach with enoki mushrooms, skipjack tataki with yuzu ponzu, and a discrete sashimi plate bearing just the right amount of toro. Soups (such as a delicate clam dumpling version) in crystal-clear broths, braised duck with taro and potato dumplings, and grilled salmon with edamame paste demonstrate that there’s more to a tasting menu than sushi and sashimi.

Diners might find the nigiri plate somewhat meager, with just mackerel, shrimp, and eel to tide them over before fried smelts with curry salt. But probably not. By the time they arrive at gelato (delivered from L.A. in accordance with the chef’s old business affiliations), they should be happy.

The sushi nerds sitting at the bar should buy Chef Akio Ishito a beer before they leave. Especially on slower nights. Given that they have to be a little nerdy to go there in the first place, and they probably spent upwards of $100/person on a meal, they probably will.

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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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