Sushi Ota + Xmas Card Lane

Rumor has it that this place is under rent control from way long days ago. Due to rent being extremely cheap, their profits go towards buying the freshest fish in SD. Which in turn attracts customers…which drive up the profits…which brings the freshest fish…and cycle on.
Not sure where I first heard this, but everything about this place seems to back up this story. There are a few true hole in the walls in San Diego and this definitely counts as one. Lodged in between a 7-11 and a used car dealership, you begin to see where the rent control rumor comes from. The rather unassuming exterior is in quite stark contrast to the clean, modern interior of the restaurant. It’s been years since I’ve been here and it’s a joy to come back.
Sushi Ota + Xmas Card Lane 
Joshua Wu, Amy Lee, and Adam Wong

We ordered two bento boxes with an assortment of sashimi, hand rolls, fried rice, and a calamari salad. The special of the day was a sashimi dinner which included hamachi (amberjack/yellow tail), lobster, sardine, mackerel, sea urchin (uni), sea clam, and fatty tuna. A first for a lot of those things on that list.
A few of us had previous experiences of uni which left us hesitant to try it again. As one person put it, “it taste like the sea in your mouth”. It was surprisingly good though! Still not sure what the craze is regarding it, but I left with a better impression of it than when I headed in.
Josh, who is an avid fisher and a total fishgeek, was grinning ear to ear throughout the dinner and couldn’t stop saying “oh my gawwd”. It was just that good.

A few weeks ago, while driving down from the gladiator run, a friend of mine pointed out “Del Mar Lights” as we passed the Del Mar fairgrounds. I told her that the previous year a few friends and I drove around San Diego and saw some of the best christmas lights the city had to offer. She told me to check out Xmas Card Lane and had me intrigued after explaining it for a few minutes.
So after dinner at Sushi Ota we headed over to Oviedo and Renato St in Rachno Penasquitos. Wiki had informed us of the large crowds and the congestion on Fridays and the weekends so we were a bit glad to avoid the mayhem by going on a weekday.
Each house in the community puts up large cardboard cutouts with season greetings with various themes.

Sushi Ota + Xmas Card Lane
An assortment of holiday wishes include Pixar, Disney, Marvel/DC comics, and Harry Potter.

Although we skipped out on the crowds of the weekends, it seemed as though enjoying the sights with the crowds would add to the entire experience. Articles online mentioned horse-drawn carriages, double decker buses with carolling choirs, hot chocolate, and santa/elf costumes (wiki). We saw none of that from people visiting the displays.
Some places in San Diego are reknown for their amazing xmas lights displays but those tended to be single houses in a community. The amazingness of xmas card lane is the collective community effort in putting up displays. It truly is a warming sight to see neighbors join together in celebrating something larger than themselves.
Last year none of my neighbors put lights up. I put some up and got a HOA notice for leaving them up in January. This year I said, “bah humbag” and didn’t do anything. All my neighbors have lights up this year.


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