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Address: 2884 University Ave and 116 Orange Ave
North Park Location – Everyday 4PM – 10PM
Coronado Location – Monday 4:30PM – 9PM, Tuesday – Thursday 11:30AM – 2:30PM then 4:30PM – 9PM, Friday 11:30AM – 2:30PM then 4:30PM – 9PM, Saturday 12PM – 10PM. Sunday 12PM – 9PM
In a city by the sea, you’d think it would be easy to find fresh seafood right from the ocean. But as it turns out, this really isn’t the case, and finding fresh local seafood in San Diego is increasingly difficult. When we walked into Saiko Sushi, the casual atmosphere and friendly staff welcomed us from the get go, and the huge specials board allowed us to breathe a sigh of relief. Almost the entire menu is made up of local, fresh fish from the Pacific Ocean and the owner, Anthony, was certainly not shy to tell us so.
From Sea to Net to Table
Before ordering anything from Saiko, it’s crucial that you check the Blackboard Specials first. Since so much of the menu is dependant on what the fishermen catch that day, the freshest fish aren’t actually featured on the regular menu. On the special board, you’ll find fish dishes straight from the ocean.
We got to try a whole assortment of these fresh catches. The Blackboard Special meal featured handpicked local fish served as nigiri-style sushi (with rice, on toppings). This beautiful display included Greenback Mackerel, Sheephead, Opah fish and a Yellowtail. Anthony noted he had picked up the yellowtail himself earlier that morning and we could certainly taste the difference. Each piece was topped with a housemade sauce to compliment the flavor, like Jalapeno Emulsion, Blood Orange Chutney or Wasabi Salsa.
We also had the chance to taste the Kama & Kabuto, a featured fish head of the day. This True Snapper was caught somewhere near Cabo. Almost all the fish on the menu are also carved, cut, and served in house. For this reason, the Kama & Kabuto had so much meat in the fins and head. If you’ve never tried a dish like this, we definitely recommend bringing a group and making a night out of it! Served with rice, kimchi, seaweed, and other side dishes, the Kama & Kabuto makes a great community meal.
A Sake Bomb You Pop In Your Mouth?!
Saiko Sushi has two locations, one in North Park and one in Coronado. Both have incredible sake options, with Air, Land and Sea type sakes. We definitely recommend the ‘Mystery’ sake, with notes of green apple. If you’re a whiskey drinker, try the ‘7 Spear’ sake, which is earthy and bold. The servers and chefs at Saiko are skilled at finding a sake that matches your taste buds, so don’t be afraid to ask for help while choosing!
At the North Park location, you can try a whole new kind of sake bomb, called the Saiko Bomb. Encapsulated in a edible film, you drink the shot with your Sapporo and it pops in your mouth! With a large selection of sake, there are all kinds of flavors to try with your Saiko bomb. Bottoms up!
Don’t Skip Dessert at Saiko Sushi
If there’s one recommendation we have, it’s to always save room for dessert at Saiko Sushi. All homemade in house, these desserts are also constantly changing, as the chef comes up with new options. We were able to try the Eel Sauce Ice Cream, mixed in house. No, eel sauce does not have actual eel in it! It’s a mixture of soy sauce and sugar and it tastes amazing in ice cream. They also usually feature a tempura ice cream sandwich on the menu, which looks incredible.
Overall, Saiko is a locally-known favorite that you’ve got to try for yourself. With Happy Hour specials every day of the week, it’s a great place to grab a quick bite or stay for a while. Thanks for having us, Saiko!