Location: 4033 Avati Dr, San Diego, CA 92117
If you love Japanese food on a budget without sacrificing quality Chef Jun Sushi and Kappo restaurant is THE place to go! This hole in the wall place is nestled in a small quiet mall near our local Costco and boy was it such a good find. For those unfamiliar with Kappo cuisine, it’s basically a set multi-course meal designed by the chef for you to enjoy….which by the way is one of the specialties of this restaurant.
Okay so let’s get right to the food shall we? They offer 3 different kappos on the menu and we decided to go for the mid price range ($37) Jun San combination. For this price you get a total of 9 different items including dessert…an automatic SOLD to me haha!
The first course is your typical edamame beans lightly salted as a nice light snack to get the appetite going followed by a simple miso soup. Next course we had a 4 piece salmon sashimi topped with a jalapeno relish. So good! The fish was really fresh and buttery with a nice hint of spice from the jalapeno relish giving an extra kick from the wasabi soy sauce I dipped it in, delish!
Our waiter then brought us the next course which was the 4 pieces of nigiri: salmon (topped with jalapeno relish), albacore (topped with avocado and sesame seeds), yellow tail belly (topped with black tobiko), and bluefin tuna (topped with black tobiko). I love the presentation and how Chef Jun artfully tops each piece with a unique garnish. Again the fish was super fresh and the nigiri was skillfully made.
Now comes my FAVORITE and part of the meal….the Salmon Oshi! I mean look at them! Those glistening pieces of sushi like pieces ever so lightly charred with a blow torch. To be honest, my husband and I had no clue what an oshi was but after some googling it’s like a variation of a nigiri sushi but the fish and rice is pressed in a box and cut into individual pieces. I have never seen this in any other Japanese restaurant so it was truly a treat to try it out.
Upon first bite….WOW….the first thing you taste is the richness and butteriness of the salmon, then the slight smoky taste of the charred top, followed by the slight vinegar flavor of the chewy rice. OMG mind blown deliciousness…seriously!
It was so good I was sad we only had 3 pieces so we ordered another from the menu this time shrimp. It came as 6 pieces which was awesome! Double yay! Equally as delicious with a little more texture from the bouncy shrimp. I could be wrong, but I think the the tops were brushed with some Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie?) and torched to give a pleasant richness to the dish. Man I’m just drooling thinking about this! They do have a lobster version which will be next on our list the next time we go back.
So after all those goodies, we were given a hand roll stuffed with spicy tuna…not bad but I like the oshi better. And to round things off the last main course was a nice bowl of udon noodle soup, a tasty sweet and salty seaweed broth with great bouncy noodles. Now we were hungry that night and I had a craving for ramen so I also ordered their Tonkotsu Ramen which had a light broth and not bad to satisfy your desire for warm comfort food.
This was a lot of food for 2 people and I think price point, quantity, and quality wise the kappo meal was an AWESOME deal! I mean we were super full but of course we always have room for dessert which happened to be a 2 little cute mochi ice creams, one mango and the other strawberry.
All in all, Chef Jun has quickly become a regular go to Japanese spot in our books and we’ll be coming back to try more of their delicious menu items. Their staff is also really friendly and our experience there was very positive! You never know what hidden gems you may find behind a Costco plaza, I highly recommend you give this place a try if you’re in the area.