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kiyo's sushi downtown san diego - what a disappointment!

tastycakes Jul 1, 2009 02:18 PM

i was visiting family in san diego this weekend and my fiance and i felt like sushi. chowhound has been crashing our computer lately, so i took a chance and used yelp instead. the recs for kiyo's were pretty solid.

1st impression - very low key, minimal/tacky decor, but we were there for the food. we ordered omakase, and it was ALL nigiri - poorly cut, smeared with wasabi, and basically boring. there were some unusual choices like grouper and seabass. kiyo did ask us if we wanted less rice, and we said yes but there was no change in the portion size. perhaps we should have asked for no rice? my fiance did ask for uni and unagi when it became clear that there was not going to be any sort of variety and it was still the same price for both of us.

did we do something wrong? we are from los angeles and are used to eating at places like sushi ike, sushi zo, sasabune, etc. i always thought omakase is supposed to be the best representative of a chef's abilities and what is fresh that day. there was a very large party in back so the chef was quite busy, but we would have gladly waited for slower pacing and more interesting dishes. i had high hopes and was extremely disappointed.

  1. phee Jul 3, 2009 03:45 PM

    I'm really sorry to hear this. I'd been going to Kiyo's for years when it was on 5th, then when it moved downtown. I haven't been recently because I no longer work in the area, but it used to be very good.

    1. d
      DougOLis Jul 2, 2009 11:44 AM

      should have gone to Kaito

      1. Fake Name Jul 1, 2009 04:10 PM


        Kiyos was one of the first sushi bars in San Diego, just across the street from the Blood Bank. He was forced to move when the Blood Bank decided it needed a new parking lot. Kiyo was also a Gaslamp pioneer, and has been at that location for at least 20 years.

        1. c
          Cathy Jul 1, 2009 02:33 PM

          The thing you did wrong was use Yelp.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Cathy
            mliew Jul 2, 2009 10:35 AM

            Second that. Yelp is a good resource for finding places by area but I always cross check with reviews here since I don't trust any reviews on Yelp. I've never even heard of anyone mention Kiyo's sushi on this board so that would have given me pause for concern right there.

            Next time try Sushi Ota or Kaito.

            1. re: mliew
              daantaat Jul 2, 2009 08:05 PM

              3rd that. Go to Kaito. And do omakase w/ Morita-san. You won't be disappointed next time!

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