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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
4646 Convoy St
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.