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Lunch at Tajima, San Diego

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Lunch at Tajima, San Diego

Gypsy Jan | Jan 19, 2006 09:00 PM

For those who know, went by Sammy's Sushi, closed (after 2 pm), tried for the umpteenth to go to Dumpling Inn (still no parking!)

So, I searched for Tajima on the Asiana Cuisine Fabulosa Conga Line on Convoy Street.

Tajima is so far back in an inconspicuous strip location as to be almost invisible...but I found them and they are open until three for lunch. Saved!

The parking lot was very ugly, overflowing dumpster and trash all over - what am I doing?

Despite that depressing greeting, I go and find the very minimally signed entrance (even when on the sidewalk, I almost entered the business next door).

What a difference when you step inside, Tajima's decor is modern urban esthetic...clean open space, with teak-look two top tables arranged in groups, black contemporary chairs, many interesting 'objets' displayed and a bookcase containing at least a few hundred anime books (Japanese action comic picture novels)

Even at 2:30, there were a few of a San Diego version of "salary men" standing outside the restaurant, talking on their cell phones as I arrived (and they returned to their tables inside later).

I was welcomed and well served, even though it was late and near to closing.

I ordered the sashimi appetizer; tuna, hamachi, scallops - fresh and sweet, well presented.

Also a lunch special, Chicken Teriyaki and Tempura. Ewwweuhh! I usually don't order this sweet and oily cliche, but...it was great. The salad was fresh mixed greens with a perfect dressing that had a slight sharp finish and no sweetness. The miso soup had a generous portion of seaweed that infused the soup with ocean flavor and aroma.

And the tempura - why do I give in to the grease? Well, in this instance, I was stunned. No mouth oil, the onion and squash retained their original flavors and a crisp texture and the shrimp - Oy! Still translucent and tasting of the sea instead of rubber tires!

Tajima, I'll be back for nabeyaki udon and ramen (and maybe okonoyamaki).

Out the door, excluding beverage, tax and tip (and with leftovers), $11.00 appoximately.

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