Monday, October 3, 2011

Sushi Ninjas

If you love sushi and you love a good bargain, check out Sushi Ninjas. Sushi Ninjas is a new food truck that recently debuted in San Diego. While I’ve been turned off by food trucks lately, Sushi Ninjas has renewed my excitement with their affordable prices and tasty rolls.

Update: A second piece on Sushi Ninjas with some different items is published here.

Sushi Ninjas is owned by best friends Danny Jeon, a UCSD graduate, and chef Jin Kim, who has worked in the sushi restaurant industry in Los Angeles and San Diego for over a decade.

Life is full of crazy coincidences. The other day I was driving home when this truck caught my attention. I noticed the illustration of a ninja with some sea creatures. Then I read the name “Sushi Ninjas,” which just so happen to combine FH’s two favorite things.

After I got home, I decided to look them up. I was checking out the menu on their website, when I noticed that their main page showed their latest tweets. And it just so happened that their tweet 1 minute ago was the following:

@kirbiecravings KIRBIE!!!! we would love to have you stop by for a visit!

What the ?? I was a little stunned. I picked up my phone, and sure enough, they really had just tweeted me at the exact same moment I was browsing their site. What are the chances?

Well, with the shout-out, obviously I needed to pay them a visit.

I’ve mentioned a few times now that I’ve lost interest in food trucks. I’ve found that the majority of them overprice their food and a lot of it is just mediocre. Sushi Ninjas has decided to go the opposite route. Their mission is “to deliver the highest quality sushi for a very affordable price.” When I started browsing the menu I ended being shocked by the prices in a good way. Everything was priced lower than I expected. In fact, Sushi Ninjas offers some of the lowest prices I’ve seen for sushi in San Diego. We’re talking Sushi Deli-esque prices.

Probably the biggest price shocker was their sushi combo. Five pieces of nirigi and an eight piece spicy California roll for only $6.

For those feeling a little unsure about eating sushi off of a food truck, thanks to the know-how of marketing coordinator Jane Lee, who has a wide knowledge of the sushi industry from her working experience, Sushi Ninjas uses the same local provider that is used by most of the sushi restaurants in San Diego, including places like Blue Fin Fusion.

The next day, I went over and ordered my sushi. I watched as they made the sushi fresh after I ordered.  In addition to the sushi combo, the menu offers a variety of handrolls and cut rolls. All the rolls had mouthwatering descriptions and clever names (Afro Ninja, Jessica Albacore, and Kamikaze, to name a few). I had a hard time choosing only a few to order.

We ordered the sushi combo. I still can’t believe this was only $6.

I thought the cuts of fish for this combo was decent. Not outstanding, but then it is only $6. It was fresh, decent, and filling.

We also ordered Skittles and Afro Ninja rolls.

Because the containers were hard to see the sushi in the full details, I decided to take them out for better pictures. Plus some of them were so pretty.

Skittles roll is basically a Rainbow roll.  The roll is stuffed with spicy crab, avocado, cucumber, topped with fresh tuna, salmon, red snapper, shrimp and avocado.

Afro Ninja. Spicy tuna, spicy crab, fiery jalapeno, cream cheese, avocado. Deep fried and smothered with eel sauce and creamy, spicy mayo.

This was FH’s favorite. I liked it too. I had a hard time choosing a favorite because I liked all the rolls I tried. They were too different for me to choose my favorite.

Finally were ordered the Crispy Albacore and Serrano-Hamachi.(This was definitely too much food for the two of us, but there were so many things we wanted to try!)

Cripsy Albacore. Stuffed with spicy crab, shrimp tempura, avocado, topped with albacore, crispy onions, garlic chips, and drizzled with ponzu. I really enjoyed the garlic chips. Normally I don’t eat garlic, but the fried garlic managed to be intense without being overwhelming.

Serrano-Hamachi. Stuffed with spicy tuna, cucumber, chives, sprouts and topped with yellowtail, cilantro aioli, and fiery serrano chile peppers.

We both enjoyed the food here. We thought the rolls were creative and tasty and better than a lot of other restaurants in San Diego charging a lot more for similar quality rolls. We plan on stopping by here often.

Find out Sushi Ninjas’ latest schedule through their website and twitter.

Sushi Ninjas Food Truck on Urbanspoon

 

10 Responses to “Sushi Ninjas”

  1. 1

    Mary — October 3, 2011 @ 8:53 am

    I read about their truck awhile ago – definitely haven’t seen a sushi truck before! Kudos to them for coming up with that and for keeping it affordable. I’ve been making the rounds of a few different trucks and it does seem like some of them have some pretty pricey food. Hopefully I can check out this truck sometime.

    • Kirbie replied: — October 3rd, 2011 @ 10:08 am

      I’m so happy about their pricing. I definitely feel like a lot of trucks overprice their food. I could understand it more if I didn’t have to drive to reach them, but since I usually still have to drive, then I don’t like paying more than I would at a restaurant.

  2. 2

    James — October 3, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    I agree with you on the pricing, but are you serious about “quality”

    Granted I only got the sushi combo, but the cuts of the fish were pretty thin and there was very little flavor in the fish itself. I felt the traditionally more oily cuts (maguro, yellowtail, salmon) lacked the oils that give a better mouth feel and enhanced flavor in sushi.

    The sushi rice also seemed to have a strong sesame component vs the more expected rice vinegar…

    • Kirbie replied: — October 3rd, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

      I thought the quality of the sushi combo was decent for the price, which is what I said in my review. I don’t think it’s extremely high quality, but it’s decent for the price. II think where they shine is on their rolls, which offers a lot of different flavors. I didn’t notice the sushi rice having too strong of a sesame component.

  3. 3

    James — October 3, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    @Kirbie – Ah ok, reading closer now I do see that you particularly ecstatic about the combo. I was skimming the review earlier and I think I was influenced by both your opening and closing statements.

    I ordered the combo because I figured it would give me the purest idea on the quality of the product. I didn’t want to ask a lot of questions about their product and have them figure out I was going to be reviewing their food. What put me off about the rolls was all of them featured “spicy crab” or “spicy tuna” as the filling. I feel like the hot sauce and mayo could be used in these situations to potentially cover imperfections in the product quality.

    I guess there are some places where you just order rolls (Zen 5) and it works out really well. I could probably visit again in the future to give them another shot based on your review.

    • Kirbie replied: — October 3rd, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

      Ah okay. Yeah I tend to get chatty and I know a lot of people just skim over reviews. For the rolls, given the prices I was expecting something like Sushi Deli where everything tastes the same. Despite most of the rolls featuring spicy crab or tuna, they do have a lot of variation on sauces and toppings, including some ingredients I don’t usually see on rolls that make the rolls pretty good. While they aren’t serving top notch quality sushi, given the prices, I was just looking for something that is fresh and tasty. I think there are a lot of overhyped and overpriced sushi restaurants in SD which are serving about the same quality fish, but charging double for their rolls (which don’t taste that great). So in comparison to those place, I think Sushi Ninjas is a pretty good deal.

  4. 4

    Rodzilla — October 11, 2011 @ 3:43 am

    You have to keep it in context, James. Nobody would expect Kaito level stuff to be served from a truck – especially at these prices.

    If you’re looking for the epitome of quality, you probably need to look elsewhere. But this looks a lot better than some of the places in the same price range.

    • Kirbie replied: — October 11th, 2011 @ 8:34 am

      That’s basically my perspective. The prices they are charging; they aren’t going for gourmet. Most places in SD charge $10-14 for rolls that taste about the same and use around same quality for fish. I think the stuff served here is pretty good considering the prices. I try to keep my expectations based on the prices and what the restaurant is going for.

  5. 5

    James — October 11, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    @Rodzilla – I definitely wasn’t expecting Kaito quality. Looking at some of the rolls, I do think the quality on the rolls is higher. However, for the sushi combo (which was the only thing I ordered), I didn’t think the quality was particularly high – even Kirbie agrees with me on this to some extent.

    • Kirbie replied: — October 11th, 2011 @ 9:43 am

      Yes I agree. the quality of the sushi combo was just so-so. It was only $6, but I would prefer getting the cut rolls or handrolls because the sushi combo didn’t do much for me.

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