RB Sushi is located in a strip mall lining the I-15, but don’t let the hum of traffic or the restaurant’s red and blue fluorescent signage deter you from giving them a visit.
A step through the door reveals a much softer décor that can best be described as a fusion between Asian and the Pacific Islands — complete with bamboo frames suspended from the ceiling and string blinds donning the famous woody car and surfboard. Low lighting and steady din of conversation make for an enjoyable atmosphere.
We arrived at 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday night without reservations and were told the wait time for four would be half an hour. We were seated pretty much right on cue by a pleasant hostess and served shortly thereafter by an equally attentive waitress.
The menu displays pictures of all the specialty rolls, something I find handy when wanting to branch out from the norm as it offers a clue as to what any unknown items may be. Without pictures, all of the fish and toppings make each roll begin to sound the same.
Great fans of sushi, my friends and I ordered harasu (salmon belly) and the hamachi (yellowtail belly) Nigiri style. Both were excellent, though the salmon in particular practically melted like butter in my mouth.
For the specialty rolls, we decided on the Popcorn Lobster, Lemon and Soytein, each of which brought their own interesting flavors and to the table.
The Popcorn Lobster was fun, introducing an American flare to the cuisine with the battered and bite-sized lobster tempura while mixing nicely with spicy tuna and cucumber. The lemon slices topping the Lemon roll added a great tartness to the fresh salmon and yellowtail, as well as the avocado and crab meat.
The Soytein is just that — an infusion of protein with spicy tuna, crab meat, avocado and gobo. This roll came sans rice, wrapped soy paper and topped with tuna, salmon, and yellowtail. I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners, but it’s a hearty, interesting choice for the well-initiated.
The specialty rolls start at just less than $10 and work their way up to nearly $14, which is comparable to other sushi restaurants throughout San Diego. In part, you are paying for the service which, unlike the dress code, is not casual. My party hung around and chatted after paying the bill and we were still offered refills on our water.
As we left RB Sushi, the hum of the highway traffic no longer brought doubts about what was to come, but offered a reminder of the restaurant’s convenient location whether you’re a hop, skip or jump away.
RB Sushi is located at 16405 Bernardo Center Dr. For hours and other information, call 858-613-9000.