By Jennifer Bowman
Your first step into Chiba Japanese Sushi may resonate some doubt.
It may be because it’s decorated with an oversized plastic swordfish, red paper lamps and baby blue walls — in an area that fills about six tables inside and four outside.
But there’s more than meets the eye at this “hole in the wall” restaurant. In fact, its quirky vibe is what makes Chiba so attractive to guests who enjoy a laidback and inexpensive dining experience (that means you, college students!).
What may be the true reason behind the restaurant’s four star rating on Yelp, however, is its prime location. Chiba is within walking distance to Qualcomm Stadium and just two trolley steps west of SDSU, making it the ideal place to grab a bite to eat before an Aztecs football game.
Try Chiba’s Crunchy Roll, filled with tempura shrimp, imitation crab, avocado and cream cheese, topped with tempura flakes and eel sauce. If you’re a fan of spice, try one of the restaurant’s most popular, the Pizza Roll. It’s stuffed with salmon and imitation crab and topped with spicy mayonnaise. These two decent-sized “special rolls,” as described by Chiba’s menu, are both less than $8 each.
There is little to complain about this eastern Mission Valley spot. Service is helpful, friendly and quick. Combine that with its reasonable pricing, and Chiba is sure to pleasantly surprise you — heck, that interesting décor may even grow on you.
When you’re craving some pre-football sushi and want to skip the long lines at trendy hotspots, give Chiba a shot. And say hello to the swordfish for me, will you?
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jenn_bowman or read more about her here.