531 F St, San Diego, CA | Directions 9210132.713527 -117.159565
Neighborhoods: Central, Gaslamp, Central San Diego
Kiyo's is the best Sushi Bar in SD – This place can be amazing, you just need to know what to order. All the fish is going to be local, fresh, and NEVER farmed raised. Kiyo seems to take tremendous pride in being able to identify great quality fish. While at Kiyo's I primarily went for the sashimi (tuna, yellow tail, halibut) and it was all great but nothing compared to the Grouper sashimi w/ Ponzu sauce. It was AMAZING! Of course presentation isn't everything but Kiyo is an expert so of course the presentation was beautiful too. The friends we were with love Kiyo's and I was thinking that it was a very good sushi bar until I had the grouper and that is when it went from great to wow, amazing. Kiyo also knows how to torch very well and the roll he made (sorry, I don't know what it was called, we asked him to surprise us) was another amazing piece. There is a full service kitchen which will give you some delicious udon or fried tofu.
Here are a few things I learned from the amazing 2 hour conversation with Kiyo. He basically taught San Diego sushi chefs how to do sushi correctly. He has been here over 20 years and was the first or second sushi bar in SD. He loves to scuba. Seriously, sit at the bar and enjoy your meal instead of being in a rush. This place is worth the time and I'll be going back time and time again.
This is not a trendy, Americanized sushi bar. Kiyo is not going to give you something commercial or with cream cheese in it. Go to Ra Sushi if you want that. This place is infinitely better than any of the Americanized sushi places so give it a shot. Like I said earlier, all the fish was great (grouper and tuna were the best). Oh yeah, the uni was great as well and Kiyo makes all of his sauces himself (nothing out of a bottle).
Best sushi in the Gaslamp – I have tried several different sushi restaurants in the Gaslamp area and Kiyo's is by far my favorite. The fish is fresh and the location can't be beat. Kiyo the owner is usually there and offers a friendly hello when you walk in the door. No loud music playing that makes conversation impossible. Just great food in a prime location.
Editorial Review – Local favorite offers indoor/outdoor seating and specializes in fresh sushi, beef teriyaki and noodle dishes.
Favorite sushi in the city – My family and I, after trying many sushi restaurants around the city, have been going to Kiyo's regularly for almost 13 years. The fish is always extremely fresh and of great quality and the atmosphere is very authentic. Whenever I visit the city, now that I live elsewhere, I always go to Kiyo's, its like family!
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