Where to enjoy sushi in San Diego

Dim lighting, Tom Petty and a bubbling hostess with an “It’s more fun in the RA” T-shirt, welcome you to RA. Step in and immerse yourself in the wasabi-stimulated atmosphere with music pumping and sake bombs flowing.
An upscale Japanese/sushi restaurant chain, serving up fun inventive cocktails and a plethora of wacky sushi rolls, RA sushi boasts an upscale casual environment, an attractive energetic wait staff and an expansive menu of raw indulgence.

The menu is extensive, boasting a lengthy list of nagiri, sashimi, Japanese-fusion and delectable entrees. Jump-start your palate with the Lobster Spring Rolls ($9.75), a delectable medley of lobster, cream cheese garlic sauce and mild peppers. Lightly fried, it’s heaven in a wonton. Another tasty choice is the Pineapple Cheese Wontons ($7.00), slightly crunchy blend of fresh pineapple and cream cheese.

For the traditionalists, the menu offers a generous assortment of moderately priced sushi favorites, such as Maguro (tuna) for $5.25 and Unagi (sea eel) for $5.50. For something a little less conventional, try your chop sticks at the signature sushi menu where you can tempt your taste buds with a Zonie Roll (spicy tuna, cucumber, cilantro and jalapeno) for $8.75 or the Chili Ponzu (yellowtail, radish, cashews, pine nuts and kochijan chili ponzu) for $12.25.

If living in the raw isn’t your thing, RA offers a vast selection of Japanese entrees. The Chicken Teriyaki ($15.00) offers a traditional and lighter favorite. The Black Pepper Filet Medallions ($22.00) is another mouthwatering (and more indulgent) treat atop wasabi mashed potatoes and shitake mushrooms.

One simply cannot venture to RA without sampling the generous selection of both warm and cold sake. RA also has a full bar with a eclectic mix of neon signature martinis, like the Banzai Martini (Malibu, cold sake, raspberry liquor and pineapple) or the cucumber martini (Dutch vodka, sake, cucumber and Monin Lychee syrup). RA also offers a selection of beer and wine.

Send your taste buds into euphoria by finishing off with one of RA’s sinful desserts. Try the Asian-fusion favorite, Fried Banana with Kahlua ($5.75), or the Cinnamon Tempura Ice Cream ($6.50) an indulgent treat of fried ice cream topped with chocolate raspberry glaze.

At the end of the night, you might find your bill has crept over $100 for a two person party (provided you treated yourself to a few cocktails or sake), but for a special occasion, RA is well worth the price.

RA Sushi was co-founded by Rich Howland and Scott Kilpatrick. They opened the first RA Sushi in Old Town Scottsdale in 1997 and since have opened in seven states nationwide, with the next slated to open in Huntington Beach, CA in winter 2008.