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San Diego isn’t new when it comes to vegan eats, but this Convoy Street concept is taking things to the next level. Introducing, The Yasai, an all-vegan Japanese restaurant dishing out authentic flavors and fish-less sushi in the city’s unofficial Asian Restaurant Row.
Far from your everyday sit-down spot, The Yasai is on a mission to craft creative, plant-based meals made with fresh, sustainable produce — and, as far as we can tell, they’re nailing it.
The first-of-its-kind menu is led by a lengthy list of vegan sushi. While you may be skeptical about replacing the tuna or salmon in your go-to rainbow roll or spider roll with tempura kabocha pumpkin or vegan no-crab — trust us: These rolls are on point. Not only are they packed with all sorts of veggies, but they taste eerily similar to your favorites (if not better!). We highly recommend The Hype, made with kanpyo gourd, konjac, takuan, spinach, inari, and carrots and topped with pickled beets, wasabi mayo, and vegan caviar.
Alongside their selection of rolls, you’ll find a list of plant-based nigiri that’s just as good as its fish-laden counterpart. Think sticky sushi rice topped with veggies like fermented eggplant, roasted red pepper, “filets” of trumpet mushrooms, and pickled pineapple with marinated konjac that mimic the texture of the traditional Japanese staple. Feeling adventurous? Ask for the “Chef’s Choice” and indulge in whatever flavor-packed nigiri the chef is feeling that night.
If sushi’s not your thing— no worries. The menu also features specialty ramen bowls with your choice of classic, kale, beet, or gluten-free noodles and toppings like bamboo shoots, wakame seaweed, grilled tofu cutlets, garlic chips, and more. The next time it rains, stop in for a piping-hot bowl and definitely go for the curry broth.
While plant-based plates are at the center of everything they do at The Yasai, they also put an extra emphasis on presentation.
So, no matter if you order a roll, a bowl of ramen, or a small plate, you can expect an art-inspired creation designed with a unique attention to detail, plus garnishes and sauces that come together for a meal that looks almost too good to eat (almost).
Things are weird. Times are changing. It seems like just when we’re starting to get a grip, there’s another surprise. When it comes to beauty, we've had to adapt on our own due to salon closures, keep an eye on preparations and protocol changes during those closures, try to know what we’re doing before booking an appointment once they reopened, and maybe even brave the journey back to the salon. Whether you live in a place where salons are open, you’ve experienced a second shutdown, or you straight up haven’t had a haircut since March, we can all probably agree that we’re expecting some differences in the salon and spa world thanks to COVID.
We wanted to gauge how everyone is thinking and feeling about all this, so we put out a poll on our Instagram, asking you all what you expect from beauty salons right now.
Here’s what you had to say...
53% of you have returned to the hair salon by now, while 47% of you have not. This makes sense, because every area of the country is different when it comes to cases, closures, and mandates, and every person is different when it comes to risk and safety.
While many hair salons have begun operating outdoors due to government regulations, 58% of you said you’re fine with getting your haircut indoors, while the other 42% are more comfortable keeping it outside.
58% of you said you’d rather go to your hair salon than have your stylist come to you. I get it, home is a safe space, probably shouldn’t let any outsiders in.
69% of you said you’re “totally!” going to tip more for services once you start receiving them again. During this time without our stylists and aestheticians, I think we all realized how much we need them and appreciate them, and many of us are willing to show them a little extra gratitude to make up for the time we spent apart.
But, most of you aren’t. 56% of you said you have not cut or colored your own or a friend’s hair, because it was too risky, while the other 44% just “had to!”
Only 29% of you have returned to nail salons, while the rest are sticking to at-home manicures. Maybe we’re all just getting really good at it? But probably, it’s because a lot of them are still closed down, or because it’s a little more difficult to get a pedicure outdoors (we need our massage chairs!).
Our last poll question asked about what differences you’ve all noticed when heading back to the salon, and you all had a lot to say...
It’s a beautiful thing to see how the salon and spa community has come together, taken precautions, and adjustments, all so they can continue to help us look and feel our best. If you haven’t spoken to your stylist lately (or even if you have), don’t forget to shoot them a thank you and let them know you appreciate them.