An innovator in field-to-fork fresh cuisine within the San Diego area, Arterra Restaurant and Outdoor Lounge specializes in contemporary and seasonal cuisine. Inspired by Southern California's signature fare, Executive Chef Jonathan Willis uses fresh and organic local ingredients to craft an eclectic, yet approachable menu.
Because their art has a small and edible canvas, sushi chefs must specialize in precision. They pick tiny yet often intense ingredients, packaging them neatly together for the best visual and flavorful presentation. At Tabu Sushi Bar & Grill, the challenge of their task is doubled—they wield spicy add-ons whose heat must balance the crispness of the seafood. The spicy lobster roll, for example, tops its mix of lobster, cucumber, and avocado with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce. There's also the sushi burrito, one of several fusion appetizers that wraps shrimp tempura and crab in soy paper, primed for dipping in house salsa.
Stuffed jalapeños, sushi tostadas, and rolls with habanero sauce bespeak the restaurant's fascination with the southwest. Still, there are classic Japanese dishes to be had. Entrees of chicken katsu and miso-glazed Chilean sea bass make for filling dinners, whereas bento box and teriyaki bowl lunch specials satisfy afternoon cravings. Hand rolls package eel and salmon skin inside seaweed shaped like a cone hat, which the staff imports directly from mermaid parties.
This vestige of traditional cuisine presents an all-encompassing menu of delectable dishes made from a jet-setting fish set flown in directly from Japan. Commence consumption with time-honored entrees such as sunomono salad, a marinated milieu of seasoned seafood and cucumbers ($9.75), or a grilled salmon filet brushed with house-made teriyaki sauce ($18.75). Rice-wrapped sushi rolls ($5.50) stuffed with delicately diced albacore tataki ($5.50) please uppity palates, and inside-out rolls, such as the avocado-coated caterpillar roll ($12.25), transport diners to an alternate universe funded by Dwight D. Eisenhower. Walls adorned with Asian artwork, a regionally inspired dining room, and a marquee sushi bar support Nobu's traditionally inspired space, ideal for tipping back glasses of wine, beer, or imported sake.
California is home to a rich ecosystem of farmers, winemakers, and fisherfolk, and Catch Seafood & Sushi takes inspiration from those resources. Drawing on wild-caught, sustainable sources, the chefs craft entrees that are rooted in Californian cuisine and inspired by international menus. There's classic fish tacos in salsa fresca and a housemade yogurt sauce, and a hearty swordfish club sandwich with lemon caper aioli. There's blackened mahi mahi with a spicy beurre blanc and a lemongrass-crusted salmon in Thai curry. And there's original sushi rolls such as the 007, with spicy tuna, sprouts, and green onions. Catch doesn't just serve the sea's bounty but makes withdrawals from the Earth's banks as well: the filet mignon is complemented by a garlic compound butter, and the vegetarian Stack comes with portobello, eggplant, zucchini, and roasted bell peppers.
After graduating from high school, Reza Karkouti dreamed of opening his own teriyaki restaurant. He garnered support from family and friends, and he and his father, Ahad, opened a tiny eatery called Tokyo's Teriyaki in Encinitas in 1992. Through hard work and an attention to detail, the restaurant's reputation grew, and the demand for juicy, teriyaki-glazed chicken and beef quickly spread to other cities. This led Reza’s younger brother, Amir, to help open a second location. Now a seven-location, family-owned chain, Surf Brothers Teriyaki still sees its two siblings focusing on customer service and quality products.
The duo chooses natural meats that are minimally processed, hand trimmed, and grilled, avoiding shortcuts such as microwaves, frozen foods, and laser-based slicing. Their Hawaiian-themed restaurants and catering business have been featured in numerous television spots, radio shows, and newspaper articles. Michelle Murphy Zive of SanDiegoFamily.com says the restaurant offers "a taste of Hawaii" and "healthy food served fast." The brothers give back to the community that helped them grow by donating to charitable organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Homes project.