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Sushi Marina – Under New Management

23rd December 2012

Marina Sushi Shrimp Shu MaiYou may have noticed the “Under New Management” banner at Sushi Marina on California in Downtown Ventura.  Although if you haven’t it’s hard to blame you, because there is so much going on with the Ventura restaurant scene right now.

The old Sushi Marina has always been a weeknight standby for me.   I liked that you were always welcomed with a smiling face, and you could rely on seeing a new dish written on the slips of paper and taped to the walls.  I spent many nights slipping into a table and looking forward to some black pepper jalapeno tuna, Cajun salmon and tuna on fire.

Sadly, those items are gone. The free miso soup is gone too… it will cost you about $3 now.  But thankfully the new owners seem just as friendly and they’ve maintained the welcoming atmosphere.   I would suggest they lose the radio though, or at least upgrade to a commercial-free service like Pandora.  It kind of kills the mood when the music stops and a car dealership ad comes on and starts yelling at everyone to buy a Corolla.  The menu has entirely changed, although the usual sushi standards are there.  Also the prices have gone up by about 20%, which is not insignificant.

Eggplant Crisp

On to our dinner.  We started out with the shrimp shumai (above),  which very well may have been the best I’ve had.  The dumplings are delicate with a soup-like consistency inside.  Very nice.  The salmon sushi was buttery, and I liked the touch of lemon.  I think overall the quality of the fish was a little better than it used to be at the old Marina, which makes the price increase a little easier to take.

Next we had the Eggplant Crisp (right), which was basically eggplant tempura with some minced tuna and an avocado slice on top.  Nice presentation, but the tempura seemed heavy and a little greasy.  It was also very hard to eat without making a complete mess.

The highlight of the evening was the Peppered Tuna with Salsa sashimi (below).  The tuna is coated in black pepper, lightly seared and served with fresh salsa.  The black pepper is brilliant… it dances on your tongue as the tuna melts away.  The salsa has jalapeno and avocado which adds a nice texture, although I preferred to eat the salsa separately between pieces of fish.  Definitely a new favorite!

Peppered Tuna with SalsaOut with the old, in with the new.  And with that there is always some give and take.  I miss the old standards but I like the other changes.  I’ll be back and hopefully I’ll find a few more dishes I like as much as that black pepper tuna.


I enjoy writing about technology, travel, wine and living in Ventura, CA.


  • Whitney
    Posted at 11:31 pm January 1, 2013
    Reply Author

    My husband and I went to our favorite sushi place the other night, Sushi Marina and discovered the new change. Despite our reservations of new management, we decided to stay and try it out. It wasn’t bad nor was it great. We miss the faces of the old staff and missed certain items like the black pepper jalapeno roll and garlic sauteed edema-me. Overall, thought the staff was friendly and the food was decent but aren’t hurrying back. Does anybody know if the old staff/owners moved to another sushi spot? We are desperate to find where they went!!

  • Karen W
    Posted at 6:32 pm January 4, 2013
    Karen W
    Reply Author

    So sad…food was ok but our regular bill was $20 higher and the chefs were not that great…funny how a free little miso soup was nice…

  • Linda
    Posted at 7:08 pm April 12, 2013
    Reply Author

    So happy to see new faces at marina sushi. The new menu is delightful. I recommend the Manhattan roll, the crunch role and the seared albacore sashimi with jalapeño slices. Much better miso soup, which I didn’t mind paying for because the flavor was improved. Much better service, cleaner atmosphere and less wait time. So wonderful to have a great sushi restaurant in the middle of town.

  • Clark
    Posted at 4:09 am October 9, 2015
    Reply Author

    It looks yummy dishes. These dishes will attract foodies… I have visited one restaurant in Ventura, named Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch. They serve authentic Mexican food. They are well known for their BBQ.