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Oshi, it’s Chef Jun Sushi

Raw fish and flames flavor new Bay Ho restaurant

Salmon oshi aburi sushi: pressed into box-shapes and charred with a blowtorch
Salmon oshi aburi sushi: pressed into box-shapes and charred with a blowtorch

The place is familiar, and it turns out I’ve been here before, when it was a low key spot serving hot sandwiches, salads, and bar food. But it looks different now, with cherry blossoms painted on the walls, and many varieties of sushi on the menu. Chef Jun Sushi & Kappo opened a few months ago, and has made the casual Bay Ho property its own.

Place

Chef Jun Sushi & Kappo

4033 Avati Dr, San Diego

There are higher end sushi options, including fatty tuna ($42) and uni sashimi ($35), revealing the chef’s interest in highlighting quality ingredients. But the vibe here suggests a more easy-going sushi eater, the type of place friends might gather to drink beer and sake, while sharing baked fish collar and sushi rolls after a day playing at the beach or bay.

Yellowtail belly, well served at Chef Jun’s

No reason it can’t be both, I guess. It serves ramen and teriyaki, too. I suppose if I lived up that hill off Morena Boulevard, I’d want it to be a little more everyman than the city’s highest rated sushi destination, Sushi Ota, sitting on its pedestal just a mile away.

Priced per pair, I still find myself indulging in the yellowtail belly nigiri ($7.50 compared to $17 for the fatty tuna). It’s brushed with house made soy sauce and topped with wasabi root, and confirms this could be a place to bliss out on delectable fish next time I have a full wallet. Omakase goes for $75 here, heading up a few intriguing combos including seven pieces of chef’s choice nigiri for $21.

A Bay Ho restaurant location turned sushi spot

But I’ve really come looking for an interesting little tidbit on the menu I spotted online: oshi sushi.

This forerunner of nigiri sushi presses rice and fish together into a brick shape, historically cured or cooked fish. Sliced into smaller bricks, it looks like a selection of nirgiri that have been compressed into boxes. Chef Jun’s offers six pieces each of salmon ($12), shrimp ($13), or lobster ($16.50) oshi sushi.

A bluefin tuna hand roll ($5.75), served in a shot glass

What I learned after trying the salmon oshi sushi is that Chef Jun’s is served aburi style, meaning part cooked part raw. Specifically, here they marinate the fish in a mayo-like mix of canola oil and egg yolk, and torch it, searing and charring the surface while inside remains raw and buttery.

Be sure to add oshi sushi to whatever you order at Chef Jun’s — I couldn’t get enough of it. The mix of salt, oil, fat, and smoke in the fish put it over the top, whether as a premium bar snack, or part of a sushi feast. Heck, even if you don’t live in Bay Ho.

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Salmon oshi aburi sushi: pressed into box-shapes and charred with a blowtorch
Salmon oshi aburi sushi: pressed into box-shapes and charred with a blowtorch

The place is familiar, and it turns out I’ve been here before, when it was a low key spot serving hot sandwiches, salads, and bar food. But it looks different now, with cherry blossoms painted on the walls, and many varieties of sushi on the menu. Chef Jun Sushi & Kappo opened a few months ago, and has made the casual Bay Ho property its own.

Place

Chef Jun Sushi & Kappo

4033 Avati Dr, San Diego

There are higher end sushi options, including fatty tuna ($42) and uni sashimi ($35), revealing the chef’s interest in highlighting quality ingredients. But the vibe here suggests a more easy-going sushi eater, the type of place friends might gather to drink beer and sake, while sharing baked fish collar and sushi rolls after a day playing at the beach or bay.

Yellowtail belly, well served at Chef Jun’s

No reason it can’t be both, I guess. It serves ramen and teriyaki, too. I suppose if I lived up that hill off Morena Boulevard, I’d want it to be a little more everyman than the city’s highest rated sushi destination, Sushi Ota, sitting on its pedestal just a mile away.

Priced per pair, I still find myself indulging in the yellowtail belly nigiri ($7.50 compared to $17 for the fatty tuna). It’s brushed with house made soy sauce and topped with wasabi root, and confirms this could be a place to bliss out on delectable fish next time I have a full wallet. Omakase goes for $75 here, heading up a few intriguing combos including seven pieces of chef’s choice nigiri for $21.

A Bay Ho restaurant location turned sushi spot

But I’ve really come looking for an interesting little tidbit on the menu I spotted online: oshi sushi.

This forerunner of nigiri sushi presses rice and fish together into a brick shape, historically cured or cooked fish. Sliced into smaller bricks, it looks like a selection of nirgiri that have been compressed into boxes. Chef Jun’s offers six pieces each of salmon ($12), shrimp ($13), or lobster ($16.50) oshi sushi.

A bluefin tuna hand roll ($5.75), served in a shot glass

What I learned after trying the salmon oshi sushi is that Chef Jun’s is served aburi style, meaning part cooked part raw. Specifically, here they marinate the fish in a mayo-like mix of canola oil and egg yolk, and torch it, searing and charring the surface while inside remains raw and buttery.

Be sure to add oshi sushi to whatever you order at Chef Jun’s — I couldn’t get enough of it. The mix of salt, oil, fat, and smoke in the fish put it over the top, whether as a premium bar snack, or part of a sushi feast. Heck, even if you don’t live in Bay Ho.

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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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