‘Fresh with service’: Haru Sushi strives to roll out quality ‘for the local people’

Haru Sushi at 7441 Girard Ave. in La Jolla offers sashimi, nigiri and sushi rolls, along with tempura, ramen and more.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Business Spotlight:

At Haru Sushi, it’s quality over quantity as owner Nak Joon Kim strives to plate the best in La Jolla.

For Kim, that means “fresh with service. … My focus is [to] make good food for the customer.”

Haru Sushi, at 7441 Girard Ave. in The Village, offers sashimi, nigiri and sushi rolls along with other Japanese staples such as tempura, ramen and more.

The food is simple, Kim said. Every day, he visits vegetable and fish vendors for the freshest ingredients. To Kim, it’s a crucial part of maintaining the quality of Haru’s offerings.

Customers appreciate the freshness, he said.

Meals at Haru are made to order, with nothing premade, Kim said.

His favorites on the menu are nigiri — a small portion of fish and rice — sashimi and tempura.

Blue fin, yellowtail and albacore are popular with customers, he said.

“I use Canadian albacore — smaller but very soft,” Kim said.

Haru Sushi's food is made to order.
(Courtesy of Nak Joon Kim)

His sauces, which are prepared daily, are used sparingly to highlight and preserve the taste of the fish, he said.

Kim also is trying more stir-fry dishes, as customers are requesting them.

Kim opened Haru Sushi in 2018. Since then, he has attracted a large base of repeat customers, with some locals visiting four or five times a week, he said.

“Our restaurant is for the local people, the community,” Kim said. “It’s not for the tourists.”

With prices for everything from fish to oil for tempura increasing lately, Haru Sushi has nonetheless reaffirmed its commitment to quality, Kim said.

“To the fish companies, I say: ‘I don’t care about the price. Give me the best-quality fish,’” he said.

He added that his customers don’t mind paying for better food and return again and again.

“They know it’s fresh and they order more,” he said.

Haru Sushi is open from 5 to 9 p.m. daily except Mondays. For more information, call (858) 246-6150.

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