IMAGE VIA THE YASAI | FACEBOOK
San Diego isn’t new when it comes to vegan eats, but this Convoy St. concept is changing the game. Introducing, The Yasai, an all-vegan Japanese restaurant dishing out authentic flavors and fish-less sushi in the city’s unofficial Asian Restaurant Row.
Far from your everyday sit-down spot, The Yasai is on a mission to craft creative, plant-based meals made with fresh, sustainable produce — and, as far as we can tell, they’re nailing it.
The first-of-its-kind menu is led by a lengthy list of vegan sushi. While you may be skeptical about replacing the tuna or salmon in your go-to rainbow roll or spider roll with tempura kabocha pumpkin or vegan no-crab — trust us: these rolls are on point. Not only are they packed with all sorts of veggies, but they taste eerily similar to your favorites (if not better!). We highly recommend The Hype made with kanpyo gourd, konjac, takuan, spinach, inari, and carrots and topped with pickled beets, wasabi mayo, and vegan caviar.
Alongside their selection of rolls, you’ll find a list of plant-based nigiri that’s just as good as its fish-laden counterpart. Think sticky sushi rice topped with veggies like fermented eggplant, roasted red pepper, “filets” of trumpet mushrooms, and pickled pineapple with marinated konjac that mimic the texture of the traditional Japanese staple. Feeling adventurous? Ask for the “Chef’s Choice” and indulge in whatever flavor-packed nigiri the chef is feeling that night.
If sushi’s not your thing— no worries. The menu also features specialty Ramen bowls, with your choice of classic, kale, beet, or gluten-free noodles and toppings like bamboo shoots, wakame seaweed, grilled tofu cutlets, garlic chips, and more. The next time it rains, stop in for a piping-hot bowl. Fitt Tip: go for the curry broth.
While plant-based plates are at the center of everything they do at The Yasai, they also put an extra emphasis on presentation. So, no matter if you order a roll, bowl of Ramen, or small plate, you can expect an art-inspired creation designed with a unique attention to detail and garnishes and sauces that come together for a meal that looks almost too good to eat (almost).
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