Two popular Asian eateries have combined in downtown La Jolla to form a powerhouse pairing as the owners of Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar in Carlsbad and Harumama, which has locations in Little Italy and Carlsbad, have found a spot to dock both restaurants on Prospect Street in the former haunt of The Hake, which shuttered in Spring 2018.
The 5,400-square-foot below street-level space has been divided into two sections; diners enter into Harumama, the noodle and bun shop that burst onto the scene early last year and ignited Instagram feeds with its beyond-cute steamed buns shaped like animal characters that each hold a different filling. Pink-nosed pigs hide a pork and caramelized onion filling while spotted cows encase barbecued beef; on the sweet side, there are polar bears with sweet red bean middles and bee buns filled with egg custard. Its noodle offerings include truffle udon, yakisoba, and a riffs on ramen based on pork, chicken, and vegetable broths. Other bites range from handheld folded buns stuffed with fried chicken or pork belly to dumplings and poke bowls; the owners also operate poke shop Pokewan.
Just beyond the bar and glassed-in sushi kitchen is a larger dining area with panoramic views of La Jolla Cove that’s home to Blue Ocean Sushi. The 90-seat eatery serves a comprehensive menu beyond nigiri sushi and specialty rolls that includes small plates and larger entrees, from oysters with mascarpone foam and caviar to caramelized eggplant, scallops with black rice risotto, and crispy port wine duck breast.
Both eateries are open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m, with lunch specials available from noon to 3 p.m. and happy hour featured from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.