Izakaya Masa

Izakaya Masa is Dennis's favorite ramen noodle place in San Diego. In the past they used to only serve ramen after 9pm! Thankfully, they began serving it during regular meal times for us impatient ones who want ramen right away! The restaurant was also expanded but there are still waiting lists during peak dining times. We decided to meet up with friends who had never been here before.

I got there a little late and noted that Dennis had already ordered and received the Agadashi Tofu. At that point, it was already drenched in the flavorful broth and wasn't that crispy anymore. A bit wetter than I prefer but Dennis loves his tofu that way! This presentation was probably the prettiest I've seen so far, especially the shredded seaweed!

Our friends ordered the Takoyaki, which is the dish with octopus in it. I've never really been a fan of this dish in general so I tried it and moved on. There are about six in this dish so good for sharing.

We decided to try some sushi rolls that day. I ordered the Lobster Dynamite Roll, which has lobster, avocado, spicy mayo, and wasabi caviar. I enjoy having a little avocado and sauce in my rolls because it helps keep it creamy though I wouldn't say this roll wowed me.

Our friends ordered the San Diego Roll. Theirs was definitely on the drier side for me with a bit too much rice and crispy flakes outside. When I eat sushi, I try not to use soy sauce at all or very little but this one needed some. The roll had salmon and tuna bits inside but mixed together, they didn't really have a particular flavor profile, just meh for me. I was wishing it had the normal spicy tuna or crab mix instead.

Here's a closeup of the sushi insides. There does seem to be quite a bit of fish inside the San Diego Roll though.

This is the Hakata Ramen (Tonkotsu) that Dennis always orders. He explained that it wasn't too salty or thick here and was just right for his tastes. I enjoy the little extras like fried onions and soaked seaweed and a nice fatty piece of chashu. Overall I thought it was very good but wanted a little richer in flavor like the one at Ramen Yamadaya!

After dinner, I'd have to say that I wouldn't order sushi again but would just stick to ramen bowls. They also have lots of yummy Japanese small plates dishes so give those a try if that is your thing!

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Izakaya Masa
928 Fort Stockton Dr
San Diego CA 92103
(619) 542-1354

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J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats's picture
Submitted by J.S. @ Sun Dieg... (not verified) on Fri, 05/02/2014 - 11:16am

I usually do the opposite and drown my sushi and sashimi in soy sauce and pickled ginger (but not wasabi, hate that stuff)! I heard at really good sushi places they frown on this because you're supposed to add just a little soy sauce or nothing at all but I have such a hard time enjoying it if its not properly salty :)

And I think especially in California they just love putting avocado in rolls. But it is really nice and totally agree that the creaminess adds something to it. And avocado creaminess is a more subtle one than adding tons of mayo sauce. Whenever I order rolls I always like there to be some combination of lots of raw fish, avocado, shrimp tempura for crunch and preferably some kind of spicy element too. If you're going to be non-traditional with sushi might as well go for broke no?

Lovely pictures too btw Lynn!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Fri, 05/02/2014 - 4:28pm

I prefer to keep my sodium levels lower, rarely eat pickled things and can't handle spicy so more reasons my rolls stay relatively unchanged! I'm basically leaving it up to the chef to satisfy my taste buds! Avocados, sauce, whatever they put in there should be proportionally balanced anyway.

These pictures were taken with Dennis's SLR! Heck, most of the fancy shots in our posts are his! I can manage some good shots with my Lumix but I still totally drool over his pics! I just love the blur background effect!

J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats's picture
Submitted by J.S. @ Sun Dieg... (not verified) on Tue, 05/06/2014 - 1:28pm

Gotta love that aperture effect :) And the first picture with the tofu also has some kind of magical golden light thing going for it too....

Faye's picture
Submitted by Faye (not verified) on Fri, 05/02/2014 - 3:50pm

I haven't been here before but read about their ramens. The sushi presentation looked pretty though. Agedashi and takoyaki are two of my favorite Japanese tapa items :)

Where is your favorite ramen place here in SD?

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Fri, 05/02/2014 - 4:42pm

Recently I've been to Izakaya Masa, Ramen Yamadaya (current fave), Yakitori Yakyudori & Ramen, Mitsuwa but any others I've forgotten the taste already. I let Dennis guide me for this particular field since he's such a fan of it!

Mary's picture
Submitted by Mary (not verified) on Wed, 05/07/2014 - 9:12am

Oh... fried onions in ramen sounds like a good idea to me. My inexperienced ways haven't seen that before. Must try!

lynn's picture
Submitted by lynn on Wed, 05/07/2014 - 1:36pm

Go get more experience!

Honestly, I think you've tried so many more foods and restaurants than I have (or maybe because you're so good at posting them). I used to make food for lunch and dinner but after marrying a foodie and writing on here, we go out quite a bit more, though mostly for dinner! It's the convenience factor since we're starving after work or gym!

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