Sushi Yaro

Sushi Yaro
7905 Engineer Rd.
San Diego, Ca 92111

This past weekend we celebrated Baby Bro's girlfriend's bday.  The birthday girl requested sushi for her birthday dinner. She originally wanted to try Sushi Ota, but the earliest reservation time we could get was 9:30. Way too late for dinner.

So then my sister asked me if I had any suggestions.  The criteria were as follows: 1) somewhere new, 2) sushi, 3) close by. I immediately thought of Sushi Yaro. As you may recall, I've tried to eat at Sushi Yaro twice now, but failed because I went at the wrong hours.


Sushi Yaro is owned by sushi chef Sam, who is pretty well known in San Diego. By the time I learned of him through other bloggers, he had taken a break from the restaurant biz in San Diego. Now he is back with a new restaurant, so I have been eager to check it out.

Our reservation was for a Saturday night. When we arrived the place was packed. Being Saturday, I wasn't too surprised. However, the staff seemed surprised and overwhelmed by how busy they were. In fact they were so busy, that despite our reservation, we weren't seated until almost forty minutes after our reservation time. And we didn't all get our food until about an hour after that.

It was a bit frustrating, but it was hard to be annoyed because the staff was really friendly and kept apologizing.

Usually I'm not much of a sashimi eater, but it seems to have been growing on me. In fact, in the weeks leading up to this dinner, I had a serious craving for some fresh sushi. Since we were sitting at a table that night and not at the bar though, we didn't order much sashimi.

The menu can be found on their website.  Here is what we had that night:

While we waited for our food, we were served bowls of shredded pickled radish.

Fried calamari.  This was served with sweet potato fries. In addition to the regular dipping sauce, we were given some dumpling dipping sauce, which the waitress told us Sam said was delicious with the calamari.

Waikiki roll:

Yaro Special #1

Dragon roll:

Caterpillar roll:

I loved the detail in the front and also the little butterfly on top of the stick.

Toro special that was on the board that night. For $9.50, we got 8 pieces of soft, yummy toro:


BBQ beef dinner, served with macaroni salad

Some of the sushi rolls have interesting names..One that caught our attention was "One night stand," which is basically a special roll of the chef's choice. When I read the name, I assumed that it just meant a roll that tastes unbelievably good.  Birthday girl ordered the roll, and what was put in front of her is one of the most amusing food images I've ever seen:

Apparently the name actually comes from this presentation of the sushi…It had our table in a fit of giggles. The birthday girl turned all shades of red.

A spicy ramen that was on the board special

Six in a box:

This looked pretty intricate. The outside was seared. The inside has different fish that are placed in different compartments of the roll. There is also supposed to be uni in here, but I didn't taste or see it.I think it may have been overwhelmed by the other ingredients.

Another roll with an interesting name was the "Oh My God" roll. It's supposed to be very spicy, making one exclaim "Oh My God"

So how spicy was it? People had different reactions. For those who have a pretty weak tolerance like BF, it was really spicy and he did utter "Oh My God."  Birthday girl was equally intolerant and had tears come to her eyes. However, for others at the table that have a higher tolerance, the roll wasn't so bad.

For anyone celebrating their birthday, they are presented with some ice cream mochi and candles and a song. There were quite a few birthdays being celebrated the night we went:

Towards the end of our meal, one of the waitresses came over to ask us how we had heard of Sushi Yaro because Sam was curious. I told her that we had learned of them through Kirk of mmm-yoso.

A few minutes later, another waitress popped in on us and asked us if we were students. I was confused by the question, and we told her that some were, some weren't. She said the reason she was asking was that they aren't used to getting new customers and that most people who show up are regulars, like Kirk. She seemed confused on how we knew Kirk. In hindsight, I should have explained that I knew Kirk through blogging, but I wasn't quite thinking straight that night (moving all day will do that to a person), so I don't think my answer really cleared anything up.  

To end the night, we were treated to some complimentary beef skewers.

I love skewers of meat.

By this time, the sushi bar had quieted down. Sushi Chef Sam came over to talk to us for a little bit.

At the end of the night, I asked everyone what they thought. We all agreed that we would avoid coming here on a Saturday, but would enjoy coming here on a less crowded night and eating at the bar. Sam was so friendly and seemed like a great person to converse with while eating at the bar.

Sushi Yaro on Urbanspoon

11 comments on “Sushi Yaro”

  1. Looks like Sam’s having a lot of fun with some of the rolls, haha. Seems like you all had a nice dinner.

  2. The one night stand roll cracks me up!! Now that’s my kind of sushi chef…
    Argh, I wish we had time to stop in on Saturday when I’m in SD… Oh well, maybe I’ll have to plan an SD trip specifically for eating!

  3. Hey Kirbie – I usually avoid later hours during weekend evenings because the place is crazy! Early on on Fridays and Saturdays….. like around 530 is not bad. Being an old fart, I like to kinda relax when eating so I usually end up going on Mondays and Tuesdays. It looks like you had a nice dinner!

  4. That one night stand picture doesn’t do the roll justice! Can’t even see the “hairs” on the balls or the cute tadpole like sperm! 🙂

  5. It was fun. I’m not very much into large crowded spots anymore, so I’m looking forward to a more quiet night there. The rolls were interesting. 😉

  6. The image has generated much discussion. heehee.
    Yes, you should plan an SD eating trip!

  7. Hi Kirk. I’m not too fond of loud, crowded dinner spots either, so I will avoid coming Sat late night in the future. Didn’t have much of a choice on this night with so many schedules to coordinate. It was fun though!

  8. After seeing Kirk’s and now your post, I definitely have to stop by now. The “One Night Stand” roll seems very…intriguing?

  9. Hehe. You have a nice blog. It’s the first time I’m reading it. Welcome to the SD food blog community!

  10. very nice writeup here, and lovin the pics. did you get a new camera not too long ago? the one night stand roll is hilarious!

  11. Yup, I upgraded to the Canon T2i. It has really great specs and for a good price. I’m loving it so far. Works great in low light settings like at Sushi Yaro.

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