Masa Matsushita 4LMag April 10, 2015 Food & Drink RA Sushi Bar Restaurant RA Sushi Bar Restaurant | 474 Broadway, San Diego | Neighborhood: Downtown (619) 321-0021 | RaSushi.com By Michelle Lyn For more than 10 years, RA Sushi Bar Restaurant has been a San Diego institution for quality and innovative sushi. Their vibrant and contemporary setting and menu take going out for sushi from the typical to the exceptional. The restaurant pairs a high-energy atmosphere with distinctive Japanese fusion cuisine and inventive cocktails, setting RA apart from the rest. As the seasons change, so do the food and drink offerings, keeping them fresh and fun. Their sushi is top notch, and their chef, Masa Matsushita, is passionate about what he puts in front of his guests. 4L: How long have you been with RA Sushi? Masa Matsushita: I’ve been with RA Sushi for 11 years. Tell us a little about your background. I first learned to become a sushi chef when I was 15 years old at my high school in Japan. They had a chef course available that taught students the basics. When I was 18, I got my first job at a well-established Japanese restaurant in Tokyo. From there, I wanted to improve my sushi skills, and so I took a job at Tsukiji Market, the biggest wholesale fish market, to learn about fish. How many varieties of fish do you have behind your sushi bar at any given time? At any given time, RA Sushi San Diego has more than 20 fish behind the sushi bar. What is your favorite roll or sushi dish to make? Any kind of nigiri or sashimi is my favorite to make for a guest. It looks simple but is hard to make. How one cuts fish is very important to getting a great taste, so it really requires skill. I like the deceptive simplicity of it! In addition to fresh fish, you have a lot of hot menu items. Which do you recommend and why? I’d recommend trying the Seared Ahi Tuna from our special item menu. We season the Seared Ahi Tuna, which is available until the end of April, with togarashi and black pepper and serve it atop grilled asparagus with a shiitake mushroom cream sauce. What are some new menu items you are most excited about? I am most excited about the Crunchy Yami Roll, which we’ll have throughout April. It’s a great non-traditional sushi option with tempura sweet potato, cucumber and avocado, rolled and topped with crunchy shredded sweet potato and spinach tempura bits and served with sweet eel sauce. It’s unexpected and delicious. If it were someone’s first time at RA, what would you tell him or her to order, including a drink? It’s really depends on the customer, but I would recommend a few of RA Sushi’s signature items, like the Chili Ponzu Yellowtail Roll or “RA”ckin’ Roll. They are guest favorites and very good. To accompany, I would recommend sake. Made from rice, it is excellent with sushi, and RA has a great selection from which to choose.