Sora is located in the financial district of San Diego and despite selling itself as Japanese (‘Sora’ meaning Sky in Japanese), the restaurant prides itself on exploiting an Italian - Japanese hybrid menu, giving diners a completely unique experience amongst its competitors.
Sora was created by restaurant pioneer Alessandro Minutella and Nobu-trained Executive Chef Noriyoshi Teruya and aims to combine traditional Italian dishes such as ravioli, pastas and tomato-based sauces with distinctly Japanese flavors, such as wasabi, sake, edamame and sea urchins.
The restaurant holds over 8,000 square feet of dining space and is open daily for lunch and dinner with a Happy Hour between 3 and 5pm for those city workers who may be tempted to sneak off early to indulge in the fanciful cuisine.
The decoration inside is exquisite yet minimal, boasting a blood red wood structure and a whole wall glass display of Italian products, such as cheese, pasta and olive oils.
Distinctly Japanese inscriptions and symbols line the walls, reminding diners that this is not your typical Italian restaurant.
In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth…
The extensive and varied menu offers an exhilarating display of concoctions, with hybrid signature dishes such as Wagyu Hamburgers, Fried Chicken Skewers with Truffle Teriyaki Sauce and Cauliflower Riotti tossed with Muraski-imo.
It’s almost fascinating to read through every dish to see what ingredients they’ve mixed with what; almost like some kind of science experiment.
This results in one wanting to try it all, just out of intrigue to see how it affects the taste buds!
So onto my first visit, where alongside my wine ordered from the obligatory Ipad drinks menu, I started off with a couple of simple Antipasti’s.
Firstly the Blue fin Tuna came out of the kitchen, which was served with what became the seemingly custom white soy sauce; this time with added capers and wasabi mousse.
This was a flavoursome dish and gave a taste of something I had never encountered before.
Next up was The Uni Apricot Jam, which featured live sea urchin topped with orange mousse and aged balsamic vinegar.
This was pretty sweet and delicious, giving the perfect taster for the rest of the evening to come.