Baby Genius's award-winning children's products teach babies and toddlers essential skills through the power of music. Based on a bounty of research, the company's DVDs enrich the learning experience by merging classical pieces and familiar songs with vibrant images, keeping kids entertained for hours. Parents can sit back while animated animal educators teach pocket-size pupils better motor skills, dictionary-defying vocabularies, vampire-free counting, and nap-inducing dance moves that ready little ones for kindergarten and beyond.
At Nori Sushi Bar and Grill, chefs fuse traditional methods with new-wave techniques to transform fresh seafood into more than 20 specialty rolls. These include rolls stuffed with shrimp tempura and Red Dagon with spicy tuna, cucumber avacado, topped with cajun tuna and habanero masago that looks just as good on a plate as it would beneath a Christmas tree. But Nori’s selection stretches beyond sushi to full entrees, such as the teriyaki steak topped with a house teriyaki sauce. Diners enjoy the dishes inside the restaurant, which is adorned with bamboo plants and cat statues, or outside on the patio, next to the sand-colored exterior and underneath crimson umbrellas.
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.
Sport Sushi showcases seafood and rice in myriad combinations under the glow of six mounted flat-screen TVs that broadcast sports games. Spicy yellowtail hand rolls, stacks of nigiri, and salmon rolls fill the menu, which also boasts specialties including tiradito, a dish that pairs thinly sliced raw fish with spicy citric olive oil, and cabo tataki sashimi, seared tuna with spicy garlic and cilantro ponzu sauce. Parties can settle down at tables or perch themselves at the sushi bar where they can watch the chef’s agile hands through glass panels or simply stare lovingly at their own reflections.
Following the success of their flagship restaurant in Oceanside, Love Boat Sushi expanded into Fashion Valley, San Marcos and onto Rancho Bernardo Road in 2009. At Love Boat, the fish is fresh and the ambiance buoyant with energy, with friendly sushi chefs adding to the high spirits. Diners looking to go big should order their eponymous Love Boat sushi dish, a plate overloaded with California rolls, tempura, spicy tuna, steak and chicken teriyaki and plenty of sushi and sashimi. Other local favorite rolls include the Hotty Hotty, Chef’s Specialty and Albacore Delight. For around $10, lunchers tend to opt for the quick-service combos, complete with sushi, tempura or teriyaki, with soup and salad on the side.
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.