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made to order OMUSUBI... on Main St in Santa Monica?! Sunny Blue Cafe

So... driving down Main st today on the way to an appointment... hungry... did I just see a sign for omusubi? I pull a u-turn and sure enough, the sign says Sunny Blue- Omusubi and frozen yogurt.
The place is tiny, hole-in-the-wall, even, but cheery enough inside. There are two chalkboard menus- one for omusubi and the few savory sides and one for yogurt.
The omusubi run between $1.75 and $2.50 each- I tried both the miso beef and the spicy salmon. Miso beef was nicely meaty flavored and the salmon was shredded and mixed with a spicy mayo. The ratio of filling to rice to crunchy bite of nori is just about perfect for my tastes, and most importantly she makes each one from scratch right in front of you so the seaweed is still crisp when you get it.
I was asked if I was going to eat the omusubi immediately, otherwise the nori comes separately- a nice touch.
There is complimentary mugi (barley) iced tea to sip as you wait for your order.
I did not try the side dishes but I saw tsukemono, daikon salad, hijiki salad, and pickles, all for cheap prices.
The girl behind the counter seemed surprised at how familiar I was with the items she serves and told me she wanted to expand into serving hearty fall/winter soups, noodles, and oden (or did I imagine the oden part? man I wish someone on the westside would start making oden....)

Anyway, when you are in Santa Monica check out this cool little place- I want her to do well!

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  1. oh, maybe calling it a cafe is a bit over-ambitious. There is no inside seating, and a few stools outside to perch on while you munch your snacks.

    1. I completely agree, Sunny Blue is wonderful. Everything tastes very fresh and is made to order. I've gotten some to go for the beach and the nori is wrapped in an extremely convenient plastic pouch that you open from the middle without disturbing the bundle of rice and filling. I like their frozen yogurt a lot too, right now they have natural and grapefruit flavors. A very inexpensive and satisfying lunch!

      1. Place Link for Sunny Blue

        sunny blue cafe
        2728 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

        1. This place is awesome. Got a curry pork, scallion and onion. It was made fresh and very tasty.

          1. Thanks so much for the review! I had sniffed this place out recently and we didn't get a chance to go! Now I'm extra curious! :D


            1 Reply
            1. re: Dommy

              I had been talking to a really nice "Yelper" the other day and she mentioned this place to me. So I went in and ran a search and up popped jdw's review. Someone had even already added the place link, so when I added it to the review it resurrected jdw's post. We might go tomorrow and if it works out I'll add my take on it here. My wife keeps saying "That's what my mom has been making for our son all these years" and I keep trying to tell her "Not the same thing from what I read" - But we will see.

            2. Just had two different ones, a curry and a beef. Both were wonderful and much more filling than I was expecting. Hope this place makes it as this shows off musubi in a way I have never experienced it before. Even the nori wrapper is a revelation. I would call this the Japanese equivalent of steamed bao (and very excellent bao at that). Great snack (or even beyond snack) food.

              1. Please explain for us not quite as sophisticated diners--what is omusubi? And what are the defining characteristics of good omusubi as opposed to just the run of the mill omusubi?

                1 Reply
                1. re: coffeebrownies


                  Quality of the rice, the filling and the freshness and (for me) thinness of the nori wrapper all get some of the credit in a high quality o-musubi.

                2. Okay I am officially addicted to this place. Sunny Blue, why do you have to be so far from my house?

                  1. Resurrecting an old post here but it's a new discovery for me - and a happy one at that! Little bombs of warm chewy flavor. Having grown up on pasty flavorless oatmeal in the midwest, this is what I would have longed for at breakfast time had I known it existed. We sampled three before resuming our lattes (it was an unexpected stop) and enjoyed each more thant the last - hijiki, mushroom miso, and chicken curry. Reluctantly left, but went back later today to get a half dozen more to bring to a friend's place. Glad I'm biking distance from this new regular spot. Can't wait to see more places like this in la, but i am guessing there is a bit of finesse involved in the success. Still, I saw mention that one half of the owners wants to expand to soups. Bring it on!

                    Also, kudos to the owners and staff who are lovely and gracious.
                    PS - read the yelp reviews - lots of folks complaining about the price. WTF is wrong with those people? How about try making it yourself?