When my husband and I moved to Glendora, one pressing question weighed heavily in our minds. No, it was not whether or not our children would have access to good schools (thankfully, because we already knew they would)—it was whether or not we would be able to find good sushi nearby. Numerous excellent sushi joints had spoiled us in our last town and the thought of being deprived of our supreme gastronomic pleasure was distressing.
Fortunately, we discovered and our fears were alleviated. There is only one reason to come here. It is not for the location, which happens to be at the end of a strip mall with a gun shop and a funeral caskets store. Nor is it for the ambience, which is cozy and quaint with jazz playing in the background (although marred slightly by stained tablecloths and a large flat screen TV). It is not for the service, which is polite, albeit at times too leisurely. The paramount reason for coming is extraordinary, unbelievably divine sushi (although they serve other excellent Japanese dishes as well).
For all its quirks, the reason we keep returning to this sushi h(e)aven is simply because we can dine on the most creative sushi dishes this side of the Pacific right here Glendora. This is no ordinary sushi—it is not for sushi purists and snobs. In fact, there is only a handful of traditional sushi or sashimi dishes buried in the over 80 items on the menu. What sushi chef and owner David Kobayashi does offer is nothing short of culinary genius.
We started with one of our favorites, the blue crab and tuna open-faced crispy sushi ($9.30), which consists of four pieces. Each piece is a fresh slice of avocado and raw tuna atop a zesty crab, and scallion salad, laid upon a deep-fried sushi bed of rice, drizzled with spicy miso and sweet ponzu sauces. Each mouthful is like a crunchy, sweet and spicy explosion.
My husband selected the Hollenbeck Roll ($9.00), a deep-fried inside-out crunchy roll stuffed with spicy tuna and avocado. I chose the Lobster Dynamite Baked Roll ($8.50), which consisted of a lobster, cucumber and unagi soy roll, sliced and baked with a creamy, sweet dynamite sauce.
Everything we ordered was scrumptious. However, one of the most delightful experiences is asking David to improvise a dish. This evening, he presented us with a unique tuna tataki: succulent, sautéed mushrooms and scallions piled on top of thinly sliced, seared ahi, garnished with his favored miso and ponzu sauces. This unusual combination was inspired: the juicy savoriness of the mushrooms complemented the tangy miso sauce and seasoned ahi with just a hint of sweetness from the ponzu.
David insists on preparing the majority of the food himself, which explains why the service can be slow at times, especially when the modest-sized eatery is packed on a weekend evening. Therefore, I would recommend making reservations for a time when you can sit back, relax and savor every bite.
Address: 1758 S. Grand Ave, Glendora, CA 91740
Business Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Phone Number: (626) 335-4033
Price Range: $4.90 – $21.00
Type of Cuisine: Sushi/Japanese
Standout Dish: Open-faced crispy sushi