This guest post was written by Shira Bliss of La Jolla Wine Tours.
“Do what you love and the money will follow.” Those words motivated me to combine my love of walking, fine wine, and gourmet food into a tour company that would introduce La Jolla residents and visitors to local restaurants and wineries. With my business partner Paul Anthony Vild, I started a guided food and wine walking tour that has expanded to include wine train tours, beer tours, and tours to San Diego wineries.
There are seven sushi bars within walking distance in the “village” of La Jolla, but I chose Zenbu Sushi to be a part of the tours because none of the others can compare when it comes to freshness, quality of ingredients, and creativity. The store even contains a 500-gallon fish tank!
Zenbu consistently receives rave reviews from La Jolla Wine Tours’ guests. We’ve had countless guests report that, until Zenbu, they didn’t even like sushi and now all they want is Zenbu sushi!
Partners Jerry Mcguffie, Matt Rimel and Marc Muller launched Zenbu in 1999. Rimel and Muller are longtime friends and native San Diegans who fished together. All three wanted to create a sushi bar that exhibits expertise in all areas – bar, sushi and hot kitchen – and Zenbu, which is the Japanese word for “all,” achieves just that.
Adhering to their philosophy of sustainability, the company utilizes its own products as much as possible in order to reduce their carbon footprint. Matt Rimel owns his own small commercial fishing fleet, Ocean Giant Fishing Co., with three boats, a sea plane and harpoons. At least 85% of their product is locally caught: lobster, shrimp, Ahi tuna, halibut, and even the sea urchin, or uni.
The restaurant’s elegant Asian/American fusion interior was created by local designer Melinda Merryweather and Matt Rimel’s wife, Jaque. The table tops and the wood bar are milled from single pieces of lumber.
Zenbu offers happy hour Sunday through Tuesday from 5pm to close and on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 7pm. There is a new saki menu that includes a flight of three sakis and a new appetizer menu – “Bu Bites” – consisting of six of their most popular Japanese tapas: pot stickers, dragon eggs, and sliders. On the first Thursday of the month Zenbu holds the very popular “Thirsty Thursdays Fashion Show,” where the young and savvy congregate to view the show, take in the music, shop, eat, and drink.
Zenbu definitely lives up to their name and delivers “all.”
Call Zenbu (858-454-4540) for parties of 6 or more. To schedule a tour with La Jolla Wine Tours, contact Shira Bliss (858-551-5115 or Shira@lajollawinetours.com).