Kirbie's Cravings

J/Wata Temaki Bar

J/Wata Temaki Bar, a restaurant specializing in sushi hand rolls, recently opened. The restaurant is owned by Junya Watanabe, who also owns RakiRaki Ramen and Pokirrito
close up photo of a sushi hand roll at J/Wata Temaki Bar

The restaurant is still in its soft opening phase as they test out their menu. We were invited in to experience it for ourselves.

I had been watching the progress of this restaurant for more than a year now so I was so excited when I finally saw the “soft open” signage go up.
photo of the outside of J/Wata Temaki Bar
The intimate space seats less than two dozen at the sushi bar. The menu consists of hand rolled sushi and a few appetizers. They have set menus and a la carte options. I found the set menu to be a good place to start and then add to it with a few a la carte choices.
photo of the inside of the restaurant
Each roll is made to order in front of you. The seaweed is lightly toasted before the rice and fish are added and then the roll is handed directly to you. It’s best to eat the roll right away, while the seaweed is still warm and crisp.
photo of seaweed toaster

Maine Lobster
photo of Maine Lobster hand roll

Yellowtail
photo of Yellowtail hand roll

Spicy Salmon
photo of Spicy Salmon hand roll

Bay Scallop
photo of Bay Scallop roll

Blue Crab
photo of Blue Crab roll

Wagyu Shabu
photo of Wagyu Shabu roll

While we enjoyed all the hand rolls, the highlights were the bay scallop, wagyu, and blue crab. I thought these three were ones where the ingredients were really flavorful and stood out. The blue crab was our favorite roll and luckily it’s on each of the set menus. The crab meat was tender, sweet and fresh.

We also tried a few appetizers.

Salmon Sashimi
photo of a plate of Salmon Sashimi
The salmon sashimi was served with a concentrated yuzu pepper paste that we really loved. Adding just a dab of the citrusy, spicy, salty paste heightened the sweetness of the soft salmon.

Hamachi Sashimi
photo of a plate of Hamachi Sashimi
Hamachi is one of our favorites, so we quite enjoyed this simple preparation served with ponzu and jalapeno slices.

Overall, we enjoyed our first visit to J/Wata. The staff was incredibly friendly and attentive. We enjoyed the intimate nature of the experience and the food. San Diego doesn’t currently have any other temaki bars, so it’s nice to finally see one open. We will be back for more.

Menu:
photo of the menu

j/wata
4646 Convoy St
Ste 103
San Diego, CA 92111

As stated above, I was invited in to dine at the restaurant and my meal was complimentary. All opinions expressed are my own.

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