Izakaya Masa was recommended to me by a great foodie friend and she told me just what to order. And she was right! You must try the: Takutsu ramen (get the half bowl size), the Tuna Carpaccio, a spicy yellow tail roll, pork gyoza and a Sapporo big beer.
The ramen bowls come in 2 sizes and are more than generous. Even the half size is very filling and the full size is enormous.
The tuna carpaccio is gorgeous, it’s topped with some oily sauce and crispy fried garlic slices that match perfectly with the tuna. I could eat one or two of these on my own.
The pork gyoza are so lightly fried on the bottom you can tell yourself they’re healthy. They are light and melt in your mouth.
We also tried the “San Diego Dream Roll” that was beautifully displayed and the little crunchies on top were so good! The roll is stuffed with generous portions of tuna, salmon, and avocado. It’s topped with caviar too, it really is a San Diego dream.
The restaurant is hidden in a strip mall filled with lawyers’ offices. While it’s not the place you’d expect to find top notch sushi, the line out the door says otherwise. Come on a weekday night and come early and the line won’t be too bad!
Rio Teppan is located on a tiny street in the old neighborhood of Gràcia. It’s the definition of a hole in the wall place. If we hadn’t happened to walk by while wandering aimlessly as we often do, we never would have discovered it. It has eight small tables and two chefs that are passionate about making traditional Japanese food.
The options for main plates are yakisoba noodles prepared in different ways, such as folded in an omelets. The noodles are moist and flavorful and just amazing.
For the starters there are two types of maki rolls: one with shrimp and one with ternera (veal). They’re both enormous and with a homemade mayonnaise which makes them different than any sushi we’ve ever tried. We highly recommend trying both. There are a few other simple and original starters too.
This is shocking, but we’ve never tried dessert here. We’re always too full to order any and we’ve eaten here at least four times! So I can’t report on the desserts but if they’re prepared with the same care and inventiveness as the rest of the menu I can assure that they’re lovely.
The service is very attentive and welcoming, you can tell they’re doing what they love. It’s so refreshing in Barcelona to find people at restaurants that are happy about what their employment. They are helpful and are patient when explaining the menu and dishes. Great staff and environment.
You will need to call ahead to get a table as the seating is limited. You’re sure to have a great time here and sure to leave full and happy.