Photo By: Kambria FischerForget the Take-Out and Head to These Essential Asian-Inspired Foodie Spots Locale Magazine Editors March 28, 2018 Spread the loveFrom Poke to Ramen, This Foodie is Taking Over San Diego Written By: Jesse Oleson Chef James Pyo As far as Asian cuisine goes in San Diego, there are few who push the limits and bring more innovation than Chef James Pyo. Currently, Pyo has restaurants from Carlsbad to Downtown San Diego and he is not slowing down. “My job is to keep challenging,” Pyo said. “That’s why I like this job.” Which one of Chef Pyo’s creations is your favorite? Chef James Pyo For Sushi View this post on Instagram When you can eat sushi for days💁🏻♀️ #LoveboatSushi A post shared by Love Boat Sushi 🍣🍱🍺 (@loveboatsushi) on Feb 7, 2018 at 7:34pm PST Pyo got his start in sushi at his brother’s sushi restaurant when he was 29. After working there for a few years, he went to culinary school and immediately opened his first restaurant, Love Boat Sushi, which serves traditional Japanese cuisine focused on sushi. Love Boat Sushi 125 Old Grove Rd Oceanside, CA 92057 760.721.3737 121 S Las Posas Rd San Marcos, CA 92078 760.471.7722 For Robata Photo By: Kambria Fischer Photo By: Kambria Fischer Next, Pyo opened Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi Bar. “I wanted to make an upscale restaurant. Blue Ocean is more high-end with a nice atmosphere,” Pyo said. The restaurant has three different kitchens to serve hot food, sushi and robata. Robata is a Japanese technique that involves food being cooked over hot charcoal, similar to barbecue. Blue Ocean Robata and Sushi 2958 Madison St Carlsbad, CA 92008 760.434.4959 For Poke View this post on Instagram Always ready to do my #HappyDance at @PokewanSD A post shared by Pokewan (@pokewansd) on Mar 12, 2018 at 6:57pm PDT In March of 2016, Pyo recognized the growing popularity of poke bowls. “At the time, I wanted to try a different style so I opened Pokewan,” he said. Pokewan is a casual restaurant specializing in presenting fresh and healthy poke bowls with bright colors. These bowls can be enjoyed in both the Carlsbad and Del Mar locations. Pokewan 2958 Madison St, Ste 101 Carlsbad, CA 92008 760.720.2300 12925 El Camino Real, Ste AA4 San Diego, CA 92130 858.847.2881 For Ramen and Character Buns View this post on Instagram What more do you need on St Patty’s Day than some noods and buns? 💚 #ProbablyBeerButWeHaveThatToo . . 📸: @les_smore A post shared by Harumama (@harumamasd) on Mar 17, 2018 at 12:08pm PDT Harumama is Pyo’s most recent restaurant, which focuses on ramen and character buns that have various ingredients inside. These buns also feature decoration on top in the form of pigs, chickens and pandas. “I like the concept of this restaurant because the buns begin to tell a story.” This casual restaurant has been busy since opening its doors in February. Harumama 1901 Columbia St San Diego, CA 92101 619.269.7122 When asked what is next for Pyo he said, “There are so many restaurants out there but people hunger for something special, unique or fun. I want to make a storytelling food. My next concept is donuts. I don’t have time right now, but I want to create character donuts. That’s my next project.” We can’t wait to try!