Turning the tide and getting jobs back is Master Sushi Chef Gerardo Torres. Behind the counter at Ue Kara Grill he is serving up quality Sushi with jalapenos and cilantro. Thus knocking out the wasabe supplier and serving the balance of trade, keeping it all home grown and locally owned. The tea is Yamamotoyama though. At the helm of Ue Kara Grill is Arturo Ayala of Chula Vista. Building it through sweat equity, no bank's outrageous loans to tie him down. At times I think, "Like Sancho Panza he is chasing fish gills." I'd like to say he is 25 years too late but he is only 23 years old, shouldn't he be going Chinese? Whatever the case I will be fascinating to see his business grow. Torres is a creative chef with 15 years at Ichiban in PB and a two-year stint as head chef at Sushiya in Otay Ranch. Ayala's grandfather was the largest exporter of fish in the state of Morenos, Mexico. They have a fighting chance in a tough downtown market. Try the Sashimi Mexican Style. I had it with Yellow Tail Tuna, but I think with Salmon may have been a better selection. The dish was topped with jalepeños, lemon, cilantro, a seaweed salad and gobo. Nonetheless, it was a nice surprise like a jumbo ceviche and a beautiful photo op. In fact all of Torres' creations are almost too pretty to eat. The decor is not yet much to look at, but there is tile for a new floor in one corner, new higher tables are on order, and a liquor license application has been filed. Yogata! That is Japanese for Que Bien! He has a 42 inch flat panel in place and a large projection screen. Outdoor seating is available. There were no Foo Fighters, in fact the place was a bit too silent, make your mark drop off some classical Biwa (a pear shaped lute) or some hardcore Japanese punk. Ue Kara Grill also has a great selection of Udon Noodles, Bento (lunch) boxes for under $7.00 making it a destination for a quick and convenient downtown lunch and in San Diego, isn't it right to have Sushi with a bit of Mexican flair?
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Walking into the Gaslamp Garage, I notice that this was not a typical novelty store. The walls were covered with murals, the ceiling lined with old rims and tires, making true every sense of the store's name. On the back wall were Roxy, Hurley and Quicksilver clothing and accessories. This means that I could find a bathing suit for me and a gift for my little sister all in one store. I was impressed by the colorful decor and upbeat music. With 5,000 square feet of retail space, I could browse for hours. The coffee table books were fun, with titles like "He Said, She Said." Not only that, this store offers the largest selection of souvenir merchandise in San Diego. You can find anything from a T-shirt, keychain, shot glass, or fleece hoodie. The employees were professional, dressed in store polo shirts. I could definitely do a lot of shopping here.
My wife and I dined at the Indigo Grill over the 4th of July weekend. On walking in at 7:00 pm and noticing a number of empty tables and the lively, informal atmosphere, I was a little apprehensive. Things changed... The menu selection was remarkable: three kinds of fish, steak, the works...and the appetizers. Dynamite! We had the smoked salmon bruschetta which is enough for four people and consists of absolutely heavenly smoked salmon atop cream cheese, capers, and ? on a wonderfully delightful piece of foccacia. This is to die for!!! I had the rack of lamb. My wife had the cedar plank salmon. The presentation of these was jaw-dropping. Truly... I have never seen/experienced food in such a visually enticing fashion. And it was wonderful! Go there now. Even if you have to fly five hundred miles like we did. Go there now...