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snowy egret © Robert Sommers 2022

Monday, September 13, 2021

Food night in Temecula

I have been craving sushi and we decided to see if we could find some good fish in Temecula. I googled best Sushi in Temecula and a relatively new restaurant named Sakura came up several times. 

Normally we go to Hana but we were getting a little tired of it and the size of the sashimi salad keeps getting smaller and smaller.

I loved this Yelp review on the place, one of the few negatives, maybe if you have only eaten sushi in Fallbrook... But honestly true because our sushi spots here are pretty marginal.

So we head up there, place is right off the freeway and we walk in to a fairly antiseptic cavernous setting full of television screens and are met with cold stares. 

Guy at the sushi bar says no seating without vaccination cards, I detect with a faint air of hostility, we sit down. 

Place has a vapid Orange County feel, trendy, all form, no substance, warmth or ambience thing going.

We try to talk to the sushi chef but it turns out he speaks no english, not sure if he is Korean or Japanese but he seems quite unhappy and quickly stultifies all of our attempts to communicate. 

We are the only people seated at the bar.

The other sushi chef, who does speak english, says we will not be able to order until all the to go orders are filled. 

This takes upwards of forty minutes and the place is not particularly crowded.

We order hamachi kama while we wait. The server has never heard of it. The sushi cutter says they have it. It never arrives, ever.

We finally get our drinks and are able to order our food, from the server, the sushi chefs want no contact with us.

We finally get our food but there is no wasabi, ginger or setups.

We have to ask one, twice, three times before we receive these things and are finally able to eat. Like five minutes.

The quality of the fish is indeed excellent, although the outré bland tuna tower was an absolute bore and they placed onions on it against our express wishes. 

The price for the superb fish was reasonable. But the rice was not well made and did not stick together. We had a spider roll and an iteration of a shrimp tempura roll, some wonderful tuna sushi.

Would I ever go back? Very doubtful. Vibes suck. Service was slow and lousy, servers ignorant, sushi staff unfriendly. Perhaps I will go back to Sushi Camp, the place my friend Tony likes.

Rather than end the evening on a low note, I asked Leslie to run over to a place I recently discovered in Temecula, Chef K, for a dumpling dessert. Place has a limited dim sum menu and does Shanghai style, one of our favorites. The old Shanghai restaurant is gone.

I had eaten here once before, the place located in the Stater Bros. shopping center and had tried the xiao long bao soup dumplings.

I have certainly had better but for Temecula it was okay and beats driving all the way to Din tai fung.

Frankly, the chow fun I had on the previous visit was terrible, the beef having absolutely no flavor whatsoever, noodles good.

Having said that, we ordered the large serving of xlb last night and they hit the spot and I would go back again and see if there are things there that I like better. Place is nice, elegant in a way.

But honestly, if you live in the San Diego or Temecula area and are serious about asian food, do yourself a favor and drive to Convoy.

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