Sushi lovers and theater-goers, rejoice! The highly anticipated replacement for Wolfgang Puck’s Jai has finally opened its doors! The new 3,900-square-foot restaurant is located right next to La Jolla Playhouse and is the brainchild of renowned sushi master James Holder. Boasting a sleeknew minimalist design, James’ Place is a welcome addition to the La Jolla dining scene and offers a sparkling variety of fresh Asian-inspired offerings including nearly two dozen artistically handcrafted sushi rolls as well as seafood and noodle dishes.
A native of Japan, Holder began honing his craft at 13 years old when he embarked on the art of sushi making in his hometown of Hiyama. Since that time Holder has finessed his skills in notable San Diego kitchens, including La Jolla’s own Café Japengo. At James’ Place, Holder has sourced the finest and freshest ingredients to create a seafood-centric menu of innovative dishes.
Entree highlights include Hibachi Hokkaido Scallop with grilled Northern Japanese scallops, lemon crème sauce, chukka salad and habañero tobiko; Truffle Tuna Tartare with diced tuna, cucumber, avocado, diced mango, truffle oil and ponzu sauce; and Braised Short Ribs with Hawaiian-style soy marinated short ribs, sautéed shitake mushrooms, baby heirloom tomato, sugar peas and pineapple fried rice.
In addition to a broad selection of lighter fare, the menu is also largely dedicated to multiple rice and noodle options that include Tempura Soba with soy broth, buckwheat noodles, seaweed, green onion with shrimp and tempura vegetables and Tonkotsu Ramen with pork broth, Japanese noodles, and sliced char siu pork. A flavor-forward sushi menu rounds out the restaurant’s offerings with 22 types of artfully handcrafted rolls. The eclectic menu is accompanied by a well-curated selection of wines by the glass and bottle, a dozen sake options and a signature cocktail list with highlights including the Lychee Elderflower Martini with vodka, blue lychee liquor and St. Germain.
The restaurant opens with a daily happy hour that begins at 3pm on weekdays and 1pm on weekends and runs until 6:30pm – think $5 sushi rolls and beer, cocktail and sake specials!
James’ Place will be open from 3pm to close Monday-Friday and from 1pm to close on Saturday and Sunday. It’s located at 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, right next to La Jolla Playhouse. Self-parking is readily available during all restaurant hours, with complimentary valet provided during all La Jolla Playhouse performance dates and times. For more information, visit jamesplacelajolla.com.
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