Sushi Ota, San Diego

Sushi Ota, San Diego

Sushi Ota was a much anticipated restaurant for CK and I. We had read that this was one of the best sushi joints in San Diego, and we were excited to try it out for ourselves. When our friend TT from LA decided to visit, we all agreed to meet at Sushi Ota.

This is not the easiest restaurant to find. It is tucked in a dark corner of a strip mall, and is a sharp turn from a busy intersection at Mission Bay Drive. In addition to the restaurant being hard to find, it is also hard to secure a reservation...especially at the bar. If you can snag a seat at the bar, you may be lucky enough to be served by Chef Ota himself. I've heard that his selections are always extraordinarily presented.

To start, we each had a bowl of miso soup.

Miso Soup
Miso Soup

I, of course, had to order the Kumamoto oysters on ice. The oysters were accompanied by a light soy sauce and scallions. The oysters were very fresh, but I would have preferred less soy sauce. I found it drowned the taste of the oysters.

Kumamoto Oysters
Kumamoto Oysters

Next was the toro special, fatty tuna belly in a light soy sauce. This was excellent.

Toro: Fatty Tuna Belly

We ordered an assorted tempura dish to share. This had a combination of shrimp and veggies. The tempura batter was very nice.

Assorted Tempura
Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura

We had heard that the sea urchin is a must try, so we ordered it. I have to admit, it was my first time ever trying sea urchin, and I wasn't accustomed to the texture. Sea urchin is 100% roe, and is very creamy in texture. It was neat to try, but I can't say I love it. Looks like a bowl of tongues, doesn't it?

Sea Urchin
Sea Urchin

Finally, we ordered sushi combo B. This was an assorted platter that had: tekka (tuna roll), kappa (cucumber roll), tuna, yellowtail, squid, shrimp, eel, sea urchin, and egg. The sushi was fresh.

Sushi Assortment
Sushi Combo B

Were we floored by the food? Not exactly. But in all fairness, I don't think we ordered the right stuff. Looking back, our dishes were quite conservative.

Next time, I'll definitely try to score a seat at the bar.

Sushi Ota
4529 Mission Bay Drive
San Diego, California, USA
Telephone: 858-270-5047

Sushi Ota on Urbanspoon


I know San Diego, it's one of the most beautiful city in USA
My son lived for one year studiing
but I don't know this restaurant

This is supposed to be a 'hidden gem' sort of place. The place is tiny and is crammed a stripmall beside a convenience store. describes it well "Unlike many of San Diego's other popular sushi bars, Sushi Ota is not a place to see and be seen. It's simply a place to enjoy some of the best sushi in town."

Next time order Sashimi Ota; its a sample of whatever is best, and can include Aji, live Amebi or lobster, toro, uni etc (2 can share as an appetizer). Then follow with omakasi nigiri, and you will get the full experience.