Single Fin Kitchen - San Diego, CA
Update: Single Fin Kitchen has moved to the new Little Italy Food Hall located at 550 W Date St suite b, San Diego, CA 92101. The review reflects items eaten at their prior location (Atlas Market) but will be similar to the new location's menu.
A little change in the norm can be a pleasant discovery when it comes to food. The traditional Donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish) with fresh seafood and unique vegetables... and it's quite beautiful. Our recent media visit to Single Fin Kitchen brought some creative seafood dishes to the table from Chef Antonio Quindere.
Here's a little peek at the menu above the counter. The left side shows Donburis (rice bowls) with various seafood and even includes one chicken and one vegetarian option. On the other side is the Temaki menu for hand rolls, giving the diner several filler options.
Chef Quindere and co-owner Mike Kravtsov teamed up to create a space for quality seafood that responsibly sources its food whenever possible. Tuna Harbor is one of their local suppliers and the seafood is picked up bright and early from trusted fisherman. If fish is not up to par, you'll find that item "out" for the day rather than lowering their product standards. The fish is local and sustainable but they also source Canadian salmon from a reliable supplier during the off season.
See that look of concentration on Chef Joshua's face? He's working his magic on our meal to creating a dreamy donburi. One extra thing to note: Each of the rice bowls starts out with the same rice but with slight variations. For example, shiso fumi rice goes with the Single Fin bowl and furikake rice is the base for the Tuna 3. The flavors were created to compliment each other depending on what the final toppings would be.
Salmon 360 ($7/12) - aburi sashimi belly, tartare, salmon tempura, sake marinated ikura, salmon furikake rice.
These bowls were full of fun twists in every bite. The luxurious salmon belly was smooth and clean tasting without any extra sauces. The tempura salmon was lightly fried with a wonton shell softness and the salty kick of the salmon eggs splashed playfully. The variety of other toppings teased with the mellow sweet of mango and surprisingly some pickled eggplant too! I'm so used to the same toppings from poke bowls that this upbeat dish was singing to my favorite tunes! We got a fresh bite of fish in this packed bowl.
Albacore "al pastor" ($8/13) - 8-hour achiote marinated seared albacore; green herb rice
For round two, this special tuna treat had a bit of a mexican flaire due to it being marinated in achiote seasoning. The sear was just right which we were able to observe during prep. These toppings felt more familiar with the seaweed and sesame seeds. Then they threw in a curve ball with roasted shishito peppers (great but spicy per Dennis) while I picked up the pineapple nibs for its added sweetness. I'm more of a salmon person so still preferred the first dish.
Ceviche ($6) - white fish, aji amarilo, radish, mango.
Here's the house ceviche with a curry-ish tinge and a little too much spice for my mild tongue. Dennis helped to finish off this fiery fish. We like that 10% of all Peruvian Ceviche purchases will be donated to "I Love A Clean San Diego". Way to give back to the community!
Temaki ($5-6 / roll)
I was still a little hungry so we asked to try a hand roll. Two were prepped for us including more of that silky salmon belly with fish eggs and more spicy kick with ceviche. I'd prefer the ceviche standalone instead of in the roll form but the salmon version was a tasty mini treat other than the strong japanese mint leaf (I'm not a fan of mints in general).
Single Fin Kitchen uses sustainable plates and forks which is awesome but I noticed they provide single use wasabi/soy sauce packets. For dining in, I thought a serving container for soy sauce would be an excellent and less wasteful addition to their setup. It's also possible I missed seeing it but honestly, I don’t think any of the food needs extra sauce anyway!
Thanks Chef Antonio and Chef Joshua for taking care of us that day! We left with our hunger satiated and were overall pleased with the new experience. I think the salmon 360 is a steal at the current price especially with the complexity of preparation and fish quality. If Single Fin Kitchen were closer to my workplace, I'd bring some friends along for lunch but I wouldn't be sharing my bowl!
Disclaimer: We were invited to dine here and the food was complimentary. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions stated are my own.
It was also our first time visiting Atlas Market, which we discovered has another San Diego location located on Balboa Ave.
Single Fin Kitchen used to be one of several restaurants in the food court of Atlas Market in Poway. They were previously located under the "Japanese" sign with staff wearing bright turquoise shirts and blue branded caps. Other establishments sharing the dining space include Mediterranean, asian, pizza, and even a meal prep service!
This Juice Bar caught our eye on the way in. I love the vibrancy of the drink flavors they offered and couldn’t resist ordering some agua fresca to quench our thirst after lunch.
We noticed a guy carving watermelon and found out that they offer customized designs! How creative and fantastic!
OMG look at these fruit tarts from the bakery section! I want to dig into that golden pie crust!
They have this unique cheese counter that offered feta and other cheeses in bulk. I haven't encountered this at any other stores but let me know otherwise! Atlas Market was a fun place to explore during our Memorial Day weekend.
Single Fin Kitchen
550 W Date St
San Diego CA 92101