Exotic fish waggle their fins at passersby from their aquarium at Fugu's Sushi & Wok, daring visitors to experience the ocean with all five senses. Yellow lights bathe dark wood tables in warmth as guests dive into fresh sushi, sashimi, and other cool treats. From behind the sushi bar, a skilled chef rolls and chops 60 types of maki and nigiri, including yellowtail hand rolls and two-piece bites of squid and octopus. Specialty rolls arrive accented by ingredients such as avocado, chili sauce, and white or brown rice and radiate more color than a rainbow trapped in a gumball machine. Warm Chinese entrees such as walnut shrimp and cashew chicken brim with earthy flavors, which pair nicely with the restaurant's selection of sakes and crisp white wines.
Dousing 16 different pasta dishes in housemade sauces, the chefs at Voce Del Mare foster gustatory glee while creating Italian cuisine during dinner and lunch. Inside the warmly lit dining room, servers dot white tablecloths with classic Italian appetizers, meaty or vegetarian salads, and seafood entrees. Contributing to the eatery's elegant ambiance, the gentle tinkling of piano music fills Voce Del Mare on weekend evenings. Delicate wrought-iron ferns creep up the white bar, giving way to slate-gray tiles and a smiling, solar-powered bartender. In the dining room, simple chandeliers illuminate dark-wood furnishings, potted plants, and the latticework of wine-bottle holders.
At Sadaf, variety is the main attraction. Kebabs arrive at tables skewered with juicy bits of chicken, seafood, beef, or lamb and share plate space with saffron-seasoned basmati rice. Exposed-brick walls show off bas-relief carvings of ancient symbols such as the Faravahar, which represents the Iranian nation. A ceiling painted to look like a clear sky with a thin veil of clouds and in-flight birds looks down on diners as they dig into lamb shank, boneless-chicken kebabs, and other delicacies. Weather permitting, guests can snag a seat on the front patio and scan the skies for majestic, soaring ostriches.
George's on the Cove couldn't exist anywhere else. Executive chef Trey Foshee—one of Food & Wine magazine's 10 Best New Chefs in 1998—grounds his seasonal menus in the very essence of San Diego and La Jolla Cove. Along with using locally-sourced produce and seafood, Trey and his kitchen staff create dishes that encapsulate Southern Californian flavors as they routinely spotlight one noteworthy ingredient amid other foraged and freshly-caught accents. This dedication to local culinary character, as well as the panoramic ocean views afforded to virtually every table, led Frommer's to laud it as, "Perhaps La Jolla's signature restaurant." Flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows, chefs put a contemporary spin on classic fish tacos by replacing tortillas with corn-nut-encrusted slices of raw yellowfin tuna, and then wrapping the slices around diced tuna tartare and fried avocado. A seasonal a la carte menu often includes items such as california lamb loin and shoulder with charred eggplant and pine-nut risotto, and the bistro menu features potato gnocchi with bay scallops, roasted fennel, and sage. To compliment each meal, servers recommend bottles from the restaurant's massive list of domestic and international wines, which earned Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence. Reaching three levels, the restaurant provides both casual and refined dining atmospheres. On the ground floor, California Modern offers three distinct dining experiences: patrons may order a la carte items, commit to a six-course tasting menu, or fully discover Chef Foshee's philosophy by trying the TBL3 dining experience. At Table Three, patrons enjoy 12–14 courses, which function as more of a narrative than a menu. The courses incorporate local ingredients as well as the Mexican, Chinese, and Japanese cultural influences that define San Diego's cuisine and character. On the middle level, George’s Bar fosters a casual dining experience with a surplus of draft beers accompanied by the bistro menu and large televisions that frequently display sporting events. Upstairs, the Ocean Terrace provides the most stunning views and opportunities to spot floating islands, earning a place on Travel and Leisure magazine's list of the World's Hottest Rooftop Restaurants.
Cuisine Type: Jewish and New York style delicatessen.
Most popular offering: The Boss sandwich
Reservations: Not offered
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Metered street parking
Handicap Accessible: Yes
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Our authentic, New York style menu features top-quality meats and imported fishes, along with overstuffed sandwiches and delicious daily homemade soups and sides. Breakfast is served daily with flavorful omelettes, lox, and challah french toast.
What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?
I grew up in my father's restaurants, and that's where I first developed a passion for food. Surrounded by amazing chefs, I learned all there is to know about the kitchen. I soon found myself working behind the line and creating my own dishes and recipes.
What?s the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
Since there is no doubt that the East Coast has some amazing delis, and San Diego lacks authentic delicatessens, it's always a great compliment when former New Yorkers equally compare me to their favorite delicatessen back home.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
All meats are imported from both Chicago and New York, and our fish is also imported from New York and Nova Scotia. We serve top quality graded cheeses and have fresh, local bread delivered daily. The owner and managers work hands-on at our restaurants every day to make sure our customers are served well.
Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach boasts a carnival of eating and drinking establishments, but locals in the know gravitate to PB Mika Sushi for fresh fish with a casual, friendly ambiance. For nearly a decade, amiable owner Asako Fujio has helmed this authentic sushi joint that seats 44 patrons. Fresh fish at supremely reasonable prices is the theme here, and it’s a good one. Diners enjoy yellowtail sashimi, oysters, octopus, uni and a variety of rolls, but simple and decadent. The Caterpillar Roll features eel, cucumber, crab and avocado with eel sauce, while the chef’s special Ryan Roll is a tantalizing beauty – spicy tuna, cucumber, albacore, avocado and ponzu sauce. The casual feel comes in the form of sake bombs, sports on flatscreens and savvy sushi masters enlivening the scene with their fun, upturned banter.