Good fresh sushi can dent a budget so a couple of enterprising guys, grads from UCSD, Andrew Berlin and Gino Thiers, figured they could serve innovative sushi by deleting the customary sushi bar, thus saving on overhead. They created Sushi-Fix, in Carlsbad, a mostly take-out and delivery place, with a small sit-down area, in the Vons shopping center, just a few signals away from La Costa and the Forum shopping area. Thiers sold his share to Berlin and moved to San Francisco leaving Berlin solo. Their second location in Little Italy at the corner of Cedar and India Street is larger and perfect for the urban neighborhood.

A couple of things I really like about Sushi-Fix: you can order half rolls (4 pieces instead of 8) so you’re able to enjoy a greater variety of flavors; though they use surimi (imitation crab), you can substitute real crab for an additional $1.25 per roll; and they present many of the rolls a bit differently by putting some main ingredients on top instead of in the rolls. For example: the Red Head roll is shrimp tempura with crab and topped with spicy tuna and tempura shavings. The Cobra roll has spicy tuna and avocado with unagi on top and a slather of eel sauce. A salmon skin handroll is crunch with the skin, cucumber, avocado and spouts and a simple salad of peeled, seeded, halved and thinly sliced cucumbers with a light vinegar dressing makes a good counterpoint to the various rolls. Two pieces of hamachi (yellowtail) sushi are fresh and buttery…the rice under each piece is without the dab of wasabi, which is served on the side with pickled ginger so you can add your own level of heat. Most of the specialty rolls run $6.50 to $9.50 for 8 pieces, figure about half that for 4 pieces. Nigiri for 2 pieces runs $2.25 to $2.95. All the food is very fresh and made to order–just in the kitchen–not in front of you. If you do eat in, it’s on paper plates. 7720 El Camino Real, Suite B, Carlsbad, 760-632-8787, 1608 India St., Little Italy, 619-237-7878 www.sushi-fix.com.

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