Hane Sushi Owner & Alum Team Up To Open Omakase-Focused Japanese Restaurant In San Diego's Kearny Mesa

May 5, 2021

A longtime area sushi chef is teaming up with the owner of San Diego's Hane Sushi to launch Matoi, an omakase-focused Japanese restaurant with a hint of a hip hop vibe opening soon in Kearny Mesa. 

With nearly 3 decades of sushi experience, Chef Trace "TJ" Jerome has worked all over San Diego at some of the city's finest sushi spots, including Sushi Ota, Hane Sushi and Shino Sushi + Kappo. It's at Hane where he became friends with owner Roger Nakamura. Together, the duo is teaming up to launch a traditional Japanese sushi house in San Diego's Kearny Mesa neighborhood. 

Called Matoi, the new restaurant will be a replica of a restaurant TJ once owned in Yamagata. Japan. The name Matoi refers to a flag once used by tattoo-clad firemen during Japan's Edo period and the moniker represents the idea of embracing the culture of the craftsman. Matoi will be a 20-seat restaurant offering a casual space with Japanese decor and 80s hip hop music on the playlist. The menu will not offer Americanized sushi rolls, rather will center around more conventional sushi preparations using only the finest seafood. While there will be a la carte options, the eatery will focus on the omakase experience where the diner leaves meal choices up to the chef. Matoi will also serve a variety of Japanese beer and specialize in premium Japanese sake. There will also be a small wine menu. 

Matoi is expected to open this June in the space long occupied by Sushi Dokoro Shirahama at 4212 Convoy Street within Convoy Plaza in San Diego's Kearny Mesa.