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recommendations for San Diego...particularly sushi?

  • m

going on a mini-trip to San Diego visiting Sea World and the Wild Animal Park. Any recommendations for a good sushi restaurant that is ok with kids (we've got 3)? We'll be staying 2 nights so would like some restaurant recommendations (any cuisine) in the area. Thank you!

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  1. Where will you be staying. Sea World and The Wild Animal Park are not in very close proximity to each other.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DiningDiva

      we'll be staying in Rancho Bernardo. any recommendations near Rancho Bernardo, Sea World, and Wild Animal park are all appreciated. Thanks!!!

    2. Sushi Ota has good sushi and is near Sea World. However, I'm not sure how kid friendly it is. Maybe someone else can comment on this.

      Izakaya Sakura (slightly further east of Sea World) on Convoy has really good traditional sushi (ie: don't ask for CA rolls and other Americanized fare) as well as an izakaya menu (ie: Japanese tapas). It is definitely kid friendly, as I've seen young kids roaming/running around at times in there.

      1. Kaito in Encinitas is kid friendly. Our four year old is always sitting at the bar!
        Morita-san's sushi is some of the best we have ever had. Threads on Kaito:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/329090
        http://www.chow.com/places/7634

        7 Replies
        1. re: Pablo

          kaito should be your first choice when you're up north for the wild animal park.

          a second choice, just as kid- and family-friendly but not quite the same caliber sushi, and trendier/less traditional, is "sushi on the rock" at the forum shops in encinitas.

          sushi ota is way overrated, the only thing worth all the hoo-hah there is the albacore.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Encinitas is not really that close to Escondido where the Wild Animal Park is. You're talking about a 30-40 min detour southwest from the Animal Park.

            1. re: daantaat

              i know, but it's closer to the wild animal park than it is to sea world...and not too far from rancho bernardo.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Encinitas is not that close to RB. You have to take the 15 to the 56 west (10-15 minutes if there isn't traffic) and then head north on the 5 for another 15-20 minutes if there isn't more traffic. That's roughly a good 30-40 minute drive. I don't consider that "close" by any means. Maybe you can define what you mean by "close" or "not too far.'

                1. re: daantaat

                  i was thinking 30 minutes or less without traffic. when i lived in north county i used to make it to rb from encinitas much faster than you're proposing...then again i sort of have a lead foot, so perhaps my perception is a bit skewed ;)

                  anyway, i'm not the only one suggesting encinitas...kaito seems to be the consensus.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    More convenient to the WAP is the sushi place by the RB post office. I think it's called Akahara or something, it used to be Shien of Osaka. I'd avoid trying to go to Encinitas from Escondido during the evening rush hour.

          2. re: Pablo

            Definitely; Pablo's right. It hasn't really occurred to me until reading his post, but Kaito is indeed very kid friendly. Now that I think of it I've seen many, many a regular customer bring in their kids, definitely more so than any other sushi bar that I've ever been to. It's a very open, friendly, and free-wheeling environment, and as incongruous as it seems with such an environment, they also happen to serve the best sushi in all of San Diego!

            When you can combine the best of seasonal ingredients from Tsukiji, one of the most (if not the most) experienced and traditionally trained sushi chef in town, and an industrious sous chef with a passion for the traditional Japanese kitchen providing items that would not be out of place in a traditional izakaya, you have the makings for a very unique culinary tour every time you entrust your evening to this amazing culinary duo. (As Batman had Robin, Morita-san has Joe-san!) (And the magic words that tells them you are ready for this experience? Simple, just ask for omakase!)

          3. well, as Pablo knows, I am quite fond of Nobu and, having gone there for well over 10 years, I can vouch for it being very kid friendly. 101 in Solana Beach...