$10 Tuesdays: Sunny Blue

There are two other customers in line when we step into Sunny Blue on Main St. The place is tiny, and my group of three makes it crowded, but cozy. The interior has a Japanese touch to it, and consists nearly entirely of a typical sushi counter, where you can see the chefs preparing your food. However, this place is not your typical sushi restaurant, in fact, they don’t serve sushi at all.

Sunny Blue specializes in Omusubi, a traditional Japanese rice ball, with different fillings, and if you want, wrapped in seaweed.

On the ceiling of the restaurant, strings are hung up with clothespins, holding different bags of Japanese snacks. The little restaurant does not offer much seating, and can’t fit more than two bar chairs by the window, and two small tables outside on the sidewalk. This is not an issue, as the best way to eat Omusubi is on the go.

The rice balls are rather small, but filling. Two portions are about the right amount for lunch, and depending on the filling you choose, each cost between $2.50 and $4.50.

The most popular Omusubi (as well as my favorite) is the Miso Beef. The meat is cooked with caramelized onions in a homemade miso sauce, and the end result is a perfect mix of salty and sweet.

For the tuna lover, their Kara Tuna is the perfect choice, filled with albacore tuna and Karashi mustard - a mix of mustard seeds and horseradish, reminiscent of wasabi.

Sunny Blue also offers vegan choices, such as their Hijiki - seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, green peas and carrots, mixed together. Or the Shiso Ume, with Japanese pickled plum paste and fresh shiso leaves.

For beverages, they offer Japanese soda and coffee drinks (in cans), and every meal comes with a complimentary Mugicha, an iced tea made from roasted barley.

For a quick and easy lunch or snack, Sunny Blue is the perfect place.

Unless very busy, the staff is eager to help choose which fillings you should try. If you haven’t tried Omusubi before, pay a visit to Sunny Blue, their rice balls are rather addictive, so it probably won’t be your last time.

Located at 2728 Main Street, in Santa Monica, and there’s street parking outside.

Yay! -  They have frozen yogurt!

Nay! -             Limited selection of beverages.