Innovative Japanese Cuisine and a Vegas-Style Energy Make This Sky-High Restaurant a Must-Try
With a Japanese menu designed by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Akira Back, Lumi is a sushi-lover’s dream. The eponymous restaurant sits atop the Grand Pacific Hotel building in San Diego’s buzzy Gaslamp Quarter, offering diners a sky-high experience like no other. Japanese architecture, modern design elements and splashes of color combine to create an eccentric space fit for a night out.
DJ beats create a lively atmosphere, setting the scene for guests to sip sake craft cocktails and snack on shareable plates. Whether you find yourself cozied up around one of the rooftop fire pits or bellied up to one of the two stunning bars, you’ll want to bring your appetite. Lumi’s menu is described as Japanese cuisine “with nikkei and Korean influences”—something San Diego wasn’t too privy to prior to the restaurant’s opening.
The menu highlights include sushi, sashimi and nigiri along with specialties like rock shrimp tempura, kanpachi ceviche, charred pulpo and baby back ribs with a sesame jalapeño sauce. But before you dig in, we recommend exploring Lumi’s extensive sake menu, which features everything from fruity and floral to earthy and savory (they even serve a selection of women-brewed sake brands!). You can start with a sake flight, or if cocktails are more your jam, the Yuki with Suntory Roku gin, yuzu sake, blue spirulina, lemongrass, vanilla, lemon and egg white is the perfect palate-primer.3/1
Once you’ve garnered a nice buzz, dig into the restaurant’s selection of warm and cool shared plates before moving onto entrees like the whole branzino, arroz con katsu pollo or miso pork belly kimchee chaufa. Our favorite is the miso pork belly, which features a flavorful combination of pork belly, kimchee, English pea, fried egg, puff quinoa and jalapeño huacatay sauce—the perfect dish if you’re craving something with a kick. However, if you came solely for the sushi (we don’t blame you), Lumi’s new Omakase menu allows sushi connoisseurs to experience the selections of Michelin-starred celebrity chef Akira Back. The menu features a seven-course tasting, featuring signature Lumi dishes for $155 a person.
At Lumi, the presentation is half the experience. Pair that with the freshest fish in town and glamorous vibes reminiscent of a Las Vegas restaurant, and you’ve got yourself a spot worthy of your 2023 foodie bucket list.
Lumi by Akira Back
366 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101