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That time the affordable sushi didn't sell out

Prices already too good to be true

Poke bowl with ahi, spicy crab, and spicy tuna
Poke bowl with ahi, spicy crab, and spicy tuna

The man had a problem that I could help solve. And all I had to do was eat good, well-made sushi at a bargain price.

Place

Yoshino Japanese Deli

2913 State St, Carlsbad

I’d shown up to Yoshino Japanese Deli, late, like I always seem to do. The locally beloved fixture of Carlsbad Village closes in the early afternoon, at 1pm, or maybe 2. Really, whenever chef/owner sells out of his slim assortment of maki rolls and poke bowls.

A tiny sushi deli in Carlsbad Village

On this afternoon, I got lucky. Here it was nearly 2:30, and instead of the familiar shut-up storefront, I saw him bustling around inside the tiny sushi deli, with the door open. He hadn’t sold out yet. And he seemed in a dealmaking mood.

One of the reasons Yoshino’s sells out often is that its prices are pretty incredible for what you get. Simple maki rolls go for $6.50, and the especially popular poke bowls $8.50.

You can call them poke bowls, you could call them donburi or chirashi. They’re made with a base of sushi rice, topped by an assortment of fish and garnishes. The one I grabbed featured ahi tuna sprinkled with sesame seeds, spicy crab, and spicy tuna; along with avocado and seaweed salad. It comes in a plastic bowl with a clear plastic lid.

Sitting inside Yoshino’s glass counter, alongside similarly packaged maki rolls, it resembles grocery store sushi. Except this is way better, and cheaper.

I don’t want to say how much cheaper, because the guy was a motivated seller this afternoon, and gave me an exceptional price. But I didn’t pay anything close to $8.50 for that poke. I can say the sushi rice had that lovely rice vinegar tang, and the spicy seafood salads had some legitimate kick, a fine antidote to the overly sweetened bowls served by the faddish spate of fast casual concepts named Poke [fill-in-the-blank].

Of course, the maki was even cheaper. But even at Yoshino’s regular prices, it’s well worth grabbing and going. I’m not saying we should all show up at 2:15 and hope Yoshino had a slow day. But if you happen to walk by some afternoon, and spot a sushi chef eager to sell out of food so he can close for the day, help the man out, and eat some cheap seafood.

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Poke bowl with ahi, spicy crab, and spicy tuna
Poke bowl with ahi, spicy crab, and spicy tuna

The man had a problem that I could help solve. And all I had to do was eat good, well-made sushi at a bargain price.

Place

Yoshino Japanese Deli

2913 State St, Carlsbad

I’d shown up to Yoshino Japanese Deli, late, like I always seem to do. The locally beloved fixture of Carlsbad Village closes in the early afternoon, at 1pm, or maybe 2. Really, whenever chef/owner sells out of his slim assortment of maki rolls and poke bowls.

A tiny sushi deli in Carlsbad Village

On this afternoon, I got lucky. Here it was nearly 2:30, and instead of the familiar shut-up storefront, I saw him bustling around inside the tiny sushi deli, with the door open. He hadn’t sold out yet. And he seemed in a dealmaking mood.

One of the reasons Yoshino’s sells out often is that its prices are pretty incredible for what you get. Simple maki rolls go for $6.50, and the especially popular poke bowls $8.50.

You can call them poke bowls, you could call them donburi or chirashi. They’re made with a base of sushi rice, topped by an assortment of fish and garnishes. The one I grabbed featured ahi tuna sprinkled with sesame seeds, spicy crab, and spicy tuna; along with avocado and seaweed salad. It comes in a plastic bowl with a clear plastic lid.

Sitting inside Yoshino’s glass counter, alongside similarly packaged maki rolls, it resembles grocery store sushi. Except this is way better, and cheaper.

I don’t want to say how much cheaper, because the guy was a motivated seller this afternoon, and gave me an exceptional price. But I didn’t pay anything close to $8.50 for that poke. I can say the sushi rice had that lovely rice vinegar tang, and the spicy seafood salads had some legitimate kick, a fine antidote to the overly sweetened bowls served by the faddish spate of fast casual concepts named Poke [fill-in-the-blank].

Of course, the maki was even cheaper. But even at Yoshino’s regular prices, it’s well worth grabbing and going. I’m not saying we should all show up at 2:15 and hope Yoshino had a slow day. But if you happen to walk by some afternoon, and spot a sushi chef eager to sell out of food so he can close for the day, help the man out, and eat some cheap seafood.

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