Saiko Sushi – Northpark, San Diego

Dare I say it?  I WILL.  Tonight’s dinner wins for my best meal of 2015 so far.  Saiko Sushi delivered quality on all fronts – excellent ingredients, service, and even the prices are very reasonable for a sushi restaurant of this caliber.


Saiko Sushi is located in Northpark, just off University and West of 30th St.  “Saiko” in Japanese is translated as “best or highest”.  It’s a pretty bold claim, but one that they focus on meticulously every night.  We were invited to check them out as this Northpark location just opened up recently.  Their sister restaurant is located on Coronado Island and already collecting many favorable reviews.  We did find out however that they have their own menu distinctive to their location.


There is a pretty decent sized seating area in the restaurant, and an ample sushi bar against the back wall (where we sat).  Jim would be our sushi chef this evening and he would certainly make it a meal to be remembered.  He has worked in several SD sushi restaurants over his career, including downtown’s Taka.  By learning the fundamentals from sushi traditionalists, Jim has been able to build his style on a solid base of knowledge.  By respecting the ingredients (filleting their own fish, making their own sauces from scratch, preparing fresh wasabi, etc.), Jim and his team are then able to incorporate new ideas and layer in fun and inventive flavors into unexpected fun.


We started with their house edamame with garlic sesame oil.  They were freshly prepared and warm. 


Black garlic ponzu, jalapeno, micro greens with yellowtail belly.  I’m a huge sucker for yellowtail, and this combination of flavors was killer.  My taste buds were smitten.

Scallop carpaccio, with emoji, and koji butter.  I loved the koji butter.  The texture of the scallop was delicately perfect!

Oyster, enoki, trumpet, mytaki.  We’re always on the lookout for quality mushrooms.  I loved the simplicity of this dish to highlight the earthy flavors of each mushroom.

Crispy chicken skin with homemade siracha.  The skin was fried well.  There was no excess oil here!  I loved the homemade siracha which kicked it up a notch.


Hawaii bluefin tuna with yuzu pepper paste and toro.  There’s not much you need to do when you have this quality of fish.  There were to die for.


New Zealand Ōra King Salmon (farm raised) nigiri.  Oh man, this was another highlight of the evening.  So fresh tasting and buttery.  Best salmon I’ve had in a really long time.


Smoked Salmon with a sweet yuzu mirun mustard sauce.  Sweet and delicious.  The mustard added another layer of spice to add some interest.

Salmon roe in white ale, octopus marinated in Green tea and star anise.  Loved the octopus, but I may need to pass on the Salmon roe next time.  It’s just a bit too strong (salty & fishy) for me.

Spot prawns with aioli.  A delicious cooked dish with a fun presentation.

Local sea bass with lobster, asparagus, topped with a blueberry, lime, szechuan agar.  I definitely eat a lot of rolls in and around San Diego, but I’ve never come across any as bold as this.  The use of blueberry was very dynamic, but it worked… really!


We were super stuffed by the time it was for dessert.  But, we had to try their famous “Eel sauce Ice Cream”!  Don’t worry, it tastes much better than it sounds.  In fact, it tasted like a premium salted caramel ice cream.  Two thumbs up!


They also sell several cane sugar sodas and this Cola from Empire was great.


Also had a Vanilla Cream soda which was decent.


Darren enjoyed his Zuberfizz Rootbeer.




You can check out there menu here.  They also serve craft Sakes also!

Wow, what a fantastic meal we had.  I highly recommend you check them out sooner than later.  And when you do, let me know what you think!

Saiko Sushi – Northpark
2884 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 435-0868

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About Michael

I couldn't be luckier to call San Diego my home the past couple decades. America's "Finest City" is bursting with delicious eats in nearly every corner. Whether you want savory or sweet, fancy or rustic, you can have it all! I have the awesome job of uncovering some of these gems, and sharing them with you. When I'm not chowing down, I also write about $$$ at Thanks for stopping by!

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