Restaurants & Bars 6

Matsuoka (encinitas) mini report

MV | Oct 24, 200501:31 PM

I just went to Matsuoka on saturday and wanted to post about it again. The place is fantastic and Haji could use more business. This is the type of place that should be supported by all chowhounds.

Every time i go here i get items i have never had before which to me is the mark of a place i like to try and get out too. His fish is also extremely fresh and expertly prepared. My lady friend and i went here saturday night after looking to adopt a kitten at the rancho coastal animal shelter. We both sat down and went with the omakase which i set at $40 a person. Haji knew that i wanted to go the more authentic route so he asked if my companion wanted more american style which she didnt to my pleasure. She is an adventurous eater but hasnt been exposed to as many types of fish.

We started off with a sahimi plate. This had aji, tai, some marinated clam which i didnt racognise which was terrific and something else which im not remembering right now. For the aji he gave us a little yuzu, salt and pepper paste which really went well with it. So far so good.

The sushi followed next, buttery white king salmon(so good); gizzard shad(i love this, reminds me of pickled herrring from childhood), another type of clam i had never had before which was divine, pen shell scallop, mirugai, ika with shiso and special sauce(possibly the best i have ever had, translucent with that fuzziness for lack of a better word of really fresh squid); saba with kelp(never had it this way, very good) and a fatty oily delicious negi toro roll.

For dessert i ordered us each a piece of unagi and a piece of uni. My dinner mate bravely ate the uni even after i told her they were the gonads of a sea urchin. She thought it was better than other times she has tried it but didnt love it, it is an aquired taste after all. To me it is some of the best uni i have ever had. Haji said most sushi places get theirs from santa monica while he gets his from san diego, he drives down everyday to pick some up. He brought out a huge white container of indiviually packed pieces. It had that sublte sea flavour with nutty undertones you expect from top notch stuff.

All in all a great meal. i can't reccomend this place highly enough. It never seems to be packed so i want to get the word out to help my man. It would be a shame if a place like this closed down while those giant roll places thrive. It is on El Camino Real in Encinitas.

They also have a terrific sake list which unfortunately i did not partake in due to a self imposed dry spell. I also saw a japanese micro brewed beer on the menu which i will give a try next time.

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