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Few would think, “I’ll head down to Old Town and poke around in mini-malls between liquor stores and hair salons. Maybe I’ll find some great Edo-style sushi there.”

Nevertheless, that happens in this town sometimes. Barbarella’s discovered that the tapas and rolls at Sushi Tadokoro are 100% legit, but she didn’t get into the nigiri that much since there’s only so much of a menu someone can get into before it’s time to go home! I had heard that Tadokoro was great spot to go for Jiro Dreams of Sushi-style a la carte service, and boy was that ever the case.

None

It’s tremendous to be served one bite at a time, and drink green tea while silently contemplating just how beautiful a single piece of fish can be. The sushi chef prepares each piece with the right flavors. The rice underneath the sushi was exquisite; sweet, flavorful, and toothsome. I could have eaten an entire bowl of it by itself, but the nigiri really shone.

Lightly cured halibut had a delicate, sweet taste offset by just the tiniest addition of housemade soy sauce. Tender akami tuna ($2.50), from a Hawaiian bigeye, had the strongest wasabi bite of anything served. Mackerel and kohada (gizzard shad), both “shiny fishes” with high oil contents, were amazingly sweet. The mackerel benefitted from a transparent sheet of tofu skin and the delicate kohada looked beautiful, with its blue-spotted skin scored to reveal the deep flesh beneath.

Geoduck clam, worth every penny of $6 for a single piece, got a twist of lemon and some shaved salt. The briny, chewiness of the clam warranted extended chewing and the flavor lingered on my palate until the next piece of sushi was served.

Perhaps the best piece of the night, zuke tuna ($3), was a piece of akami that had been marinated in a soy sauce broth and then dotted with a tiny speck of yuzukosho, which is a fermented chili pepper and yuzu spice that popped like nothing I’ve ever had before on a piece of sushi.

I ended the meal with a $6 piece of toro, which the chef expertly warmed on a dish for me before serving it.

What more can I say? I spent $40 (including the tip) for about ten pieces of sushi. Each one was a jewel, a beautiful expression of Edo-style sushi, particularly at the price.

Sushi Tadokoro
2244 San Diego Avenue
619-297-0298
Mon-Sat 5-10

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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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