4902 Newport Ave
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
It is wonderful having guests from out of town staying with me. I am trying restaurants that I would not go to on my own for a variety of reasons. Last night, however, my guests from Massachusetts wanted to have sushi and I have wanted to try “The Joint” so on an evening I thought would not be busy – Taco Tuesday – we entered the establishment about 7:00 pm only to find it absolutely packed.
There was a wait, but not a long one and we were seated at the first table near the door. All night long we watched people go in and out of the restaurant without any slowdown. To say I was surprised puts in mildly, but after having a meal there I can understand the enthusiasm of the diners.
We had a delightful waitress – Tina – whose name fit her perfectly. Petite, happy, great personality, and fun to talk to. More about her later.
One almost needs a Master’s Degree to interpret the extensive menu. There are starters, salads, tapas, soups, small plates, Nigiri, seafood, etc. It has to be noted that this is not an inexpensive place to eat in Ocean Beach. In fact, I was surprised at the total amount of our bill and wondered how many people eating there lived outside of the area.
We started out with spicy edamame – organic soy beans sauteed with sesame oil, garlic, togarashi which cost $4.50 and an order of dates & goat cheese, wrapped in House cut Applewood Smoked Bacon. The order was $10. We also ordered Peruvian style ceviche – Mixed Seafood, Lime Juice and Rocoto Peppers and Cilantro. The fish was a little mushy, like it had remained in the lime juice a little bit too long. It was very “limey” tasting, but was tasty. The three appetizers were delicious, and the dates and goat cheese were cooked to perfection. The goat cheese was inserted into the date, and practically “oozed” into your mouth. The presentation of these three items were delightful to the eye, as was everything we ordered.
For her entrée Susan ordered a recommendation from Tina –roasted pork loin – Natural Berkshire Pork, Hoppin’ John, with a Creole Tomato Sauce that was very good, tasty and tender. At first I thought it was going to be tough because it was a little difficult to cut, but it practically melted in your mouth when eating it. It was served with a blend of rice and black-eyed peas that were a wonderful accompaniment to the pork.
I ordered a “little plate” that I thought was going to be something different than what it actually turned out to be. What I ordered was sea food suomono which consisted of poached shrimp, octopus, scallop, and kaiware, served over cucumber salad. For some reason I did not realize it was a salad, but it, too, was presented beautifully and was very tasty. There were a few too many cucumbers on the bottom, but very, very tasty. It cost $9. Additionally, I ordered two tako’s – octopus sushi – that were presented well but nothing special.
Dan, on the other hand, wanted sushi and so he ordered one The Rain Maker which consisted of salmon, avocado, bacon, house sauce for $7. It was a tad bit spicy, even without the wasabi, but very tasty. He also ordered the California Roll ($5) which was made with crab, cucumber, avocado, tobiko, and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It, too, was presented beautifully, and quite delicious.
“The Joint” only serves beer, wine and Saki. Dan wanted to try a California beer, and Tina told him he could have “tasters” of three different kinds. She brought them to him in Saki cups, and he tried them before placing his order. I wanted Saki and Tina suggested a brand I had never tried before – “Sayuri Nigori Sake” that was served cold in a pretty pink bottle – perfect for Mother’s Day! It was a little sweet, and creamy. A very nice touch to my meal. Susan had a glass of beer. It should be noted that they have 17 beers on tap!
For dessert – yes, we had dessert too – we ordered Mochi – a Japanese ice cream. We had two flavors – green tea and mango. It was a nice finish to our meal.
A word about the excellent service at “The Joint”. When we first sat down water from the glasses placed on the table spilled over. Within seconds Tina was there to wipe it up. The hostess and runners were solicitous and came over often to ask us how our meal was and if we needed anything else.
If there was anything that could be changed it would be the volume of noise in the restaurant. As I have stated in other reviews, I just can’t understand why each restaurant must have televisions on. The conversation volume is high enough without the noise from a television. That, to me, is a detractor.
We were seated very close to the sushi bar, and we noticed that the chefs – none of which appeared to be Asian – never stopped working for a moment. The presentation of all the sushi was beautiful, and frequently Susan would say, “wow! That is beautiful. I wonder what it is, because I would like to try it.” (She didn’t, but it is seldom when a presentation has that kind of reaction from a patron.)
I took a picture of Tina and Dan because I wanted you, the reader, to see just how petite Tina is. Dan is sitting down and Tina is standing next to him. But let me tell you – she was a power-house of a waitress and helped make our meal very enjoyable.
Once again, I was amazed at the total bill, and surprised that Ocean Beach can support the prices we paid. Our total bill, with tip, came to $145. Would I go again. Yes, but would be more select in what I ordered. I can not afford a meal that expensive, as good as it may be, but would settle for some of the less expensive sushi offerings. Another good place to go for a celebration.