This restaurant is a great example of why I use and contribute to TripAdvisor. This was my first visit to San Diego (a professional conference) and i was looking for a sushi place within walking distance of my hotel. Taka stood out because of the number of reviews, the positive nature of them and the multiple references to good food and atmosphere.
It became immediately obvious that I had made a good choice because on both occasions that I visited the people sitting around me were regular customers who lived in the area and who were more than happy to engage in fun conversation and recommend their favorite dishes. I was amused that both chefs who served me were surfers and so were some of the customers and they enjoyed sharing their daily surfing stories. That is why I returned the very next night and found more surfing friends of the chefs at the sushi bar.
I started with a martini which was very good and surprisingly inexpensive. In fact, their drinks menu offers many choices that are quite reasonably priced. They offer a variety of sakes and beers. Sake is offered in 4 and 8 ounce carafes and by the bottle. Prices ranged from a low of $13 to $15 for the 8 oz to about double that. Be judicious unless you want to spend a lot. There are good, quality offerings at the lower price ranges.
The sushi menu, while excellent and ultimately reasonable relative to quality, is more expensive.
The quality of the food is really top notch and the chefs will gladly explain where each item came from and recommend how it should be eaten, as you would expect in a good sushi restaurant.
If you are a big eater like me, a roll is highly recommended. I had the rainbow one night and the spicy tuna roll the next night. Very good.
I then went with Omakase, chef's choice of sashimi, again on both occasions. The first chef who served me recommended it, and by the second night I knew I would have it again. The price is variable. The first night was $55, the second $75. The first one was more generous with the uni (which was truly exquisite) but the second one had giant clam and a few other items. I especially enjoyed the mackerel, salmon, giant clam, ikura, uni, and usually finished with wonderful sweet sea eel (anago). The ama ebi was good, but I was disappointed by the fried heads (too greasy, which seemed to suggest that the oil was not hot enough). They offer seasonal items and lobster was the main course here including the moving live whole lobster. It is fascinating to watch, but I really do not need my food to move (a bit too Klingon for my taste). The lobster miso soup and tempura did look fantastic. Did not even ask what it cost!
Again, if you are a bit eater like me, you will spend $150 to $200 in the blink of an eye (actually it will take you a while to eat that much). But you will be happy that you enjoyed great sashimi and sushi and, since I was traveling alone, I really enjoyed the conversation at the bar with customers, chefs and servers.
Many of the servers speak Spanish and the chefs speak it a little bit as well.
The sushi bar is popular, but finding a seat, perhaps after a short wait for one or two people is common. Tables should probably be reserved, especially on Friday and weekend days.
I will definitely visit whenever I make it to San Diego again!
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