Himitsu, the buzzed about sushi restaurant from Sushi Ota protégé Mitsu Aihara, opens tonight in La Jolla. Aihara was a fixture behind the bar of Pacific Beach’s revered Sushi Ota for the past 16 years and received the blessing of his mentor to go forth with his own venture. The restaurant, which was originally called Mitsu, is the latest project from Julian Hakim and Aram Baloyan, who own The Taco Stand eateries. Created in partnership with Edo Kobayashi, who runs several Japanese restaurants in Mexico City, Himitsu is banking on omakase’s current popularity and hopes to be the quality, authentic sushi restaurant that La Jolla needs.
Himitsu’s menu will focus on traditional nigiri sushi along with Japanese small plates, beer and sake. Aihara will practice the traditional sushi arts that he was taught at Ota, but other dishes and small plates will have more license for creativity. The menu will also include dishes that go well with drinking alcohol. The omakase menu will change nightly, depending on Aihara’s preferences and fish availability. Word on the street is future outposts are expected to open in Los Angeles and Miami.
The space itself seats a total of 30 guests, consisting of eight bar seats and 22 patio seats. Himitsu will be open for dinner on Monday through Friday from 5-10 PM.