Wrench and Rodent is a sushi spot offering an unorthodox take on sushi.
It’s a little hard to spot because it’s located inside Bull Taco (check out the google map image here). I was going to take a photo of the exterior but the outside patio area was in full use and there was no way to avoid dozens of faces being in the picture.
The ceviche selection changes daily and on the night we dined, we were treated to arugula chimichurri yellowtail, orange mandarin garlic whitefish, and apple butter salmon. This was a refreshing start to our meal and very reasonably priced at only $8. We loved trying all the different ceviche and pairing them with over-sized fried sesame crackers. My favorite was the apple butter salmon.
Crab, shrimp tempura and avocado filling, topped with seared yellowtail, roasted garlic and truffle oil. I was intrigued by the notion of truffle oil drizzled on sushi. I found the truffle essence a bit faint though and the roll as a whole was a tad underwhelming.
Crab, spicy tuna, and avocado. Deep fried and drizzled with spicy aioli and sweet citrus sauce. In comparison, this roll was quite flavorful, especially with the sauces.
Wings of the Sea
This is basically fried hamachi collar, cut to look like wings. I already like hamachi collar and it was interesting to see this fun spin on it. Everyone in our group seemed to really enjoy these.
Octopus su miso sashimi
We also ordered a few sashimi items, including octopus lightly glazed with miso. Nothing too out there, but I did enjoy the miso glaze.
This was one of the specials for the night. While I appreciated the fresh fish, I was expecting for them to do something with the slices rather than just serve them plain, especially given how creative they are with the rest of their menu.
I couldn’t resist the live uni. Again, I was a little surprised by the presentation and that they just served it plain. The spiny empty shell was served on the side but I think the uni pieces would have looked prettier served inside the shell.
This ended up being $22 and we were a little disappointed. While it was live, it didn’t taste any better than the live uni you can get at the Farmer’s market which cost around $9 fully cleaned and prepared for you. I don’t mind paying more for uni if I can taste the difference in quality, but I couldn’t here.
Fish Skin Crisps
Fish skins pan fried until crisp, topped with avocado and radish. I enjoyed mine but a few people had burned ones, leaving a bitter aftertaste.
Overall, there were both highs and lows during our meal. I do appreciate the creativity and most of the food was reasonably priced. It’s always hard for me to judge a sushi spot without actually eating sitting at the bar, which can be a completely different experience, so I do want to reserve judgement until I get a chance to go back and sit at the bar.
Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub (located inside Bull Taco)
1815 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054