A Japanese restaurant with two locations in San Diego is heading for Westfield UTC, where it’ll help anchor the end of the mall near Macy’s and 85C Bakery Cafe. Moving into the 4,434-square-foot space that previously housed Smokeyard BBQ & Chop Shop, Blue Ocean Sushi opened its first outpost in Carlsbad in 2014 and landed on Prospect Street in La Jolla in 2019.
Mike Spilky of Location Matters represented owners Jenny and James Pyo in negotiating the lease for the restaurant, which will undergo a contemporary redesign and reopen later this year, likely in the last quarter of 2023.
With each Blue Ocean offering a slightly different menu, the restaurant group told Eater over email that the new UTC restaurant, its largest yet, will have a focus on high-quality sushi.
There will be an extensive selection of nigiri, with vegetarian options available, and specialty sushi rolls like its Padres roll filled with tempura shrimp, imitation crab, and cucumber and topped with chopped soft shell crab, avocado, spicy mayo, and eel sauce. Sashimi will also be featured, including a chef-selected omakase box that holds an assortment of sashimi and seaweed salad.
Owner James, who’s also the restaurant group’s executive chef, has developed an array of Asian-American fusion dishes that’ll also be available here, which range from chilled Pacific oysters seasoned with Tabasco and ponzu to his modernized takes on sushi that includes crunchy rice topped with spicy tuna and spicy mayo served with mango mascarpone puree.