Matua’s Sushi Bar & Islander Grill | Chula Vista

For Mother’s Day this year, Jake and I both planned little outings with our moms to celebrate. For my mom, I decided to bring her treats from a bakery she loves as much as I do:

Baked Goods from 85C Bakery

85C Bakery goodies! If you didn’t know, they will be opening a new location of 85C in Mira Mesa next month! Another location is also set to open in July down in National City. Woohoo!

The item in the bottom right corner is my FAVORITE. It’s called Premium Milk Bread and it’s a soft bread filled with bits of white chocolate. LOVE.

Bingo Cards from Sycuan Casino

We also took her out to Sycuan Casino so she could do a little bit of gambling with one of her friends. I even gave her gambling money (which was my present to her). While she and her friend hit up the slot machines, Jake and I played bingo! It’s been awhile since I’ve played but I pulled out my old daubers for the evening. Alyssa (former writer for this blog) and I used to play a ton of bingo when she still lived down here and this made me miss her.

Mom had a good time playing the slots and I introduced Jake to Bingo. He said he would again so I consider this a success! Mom has already asked me when I plan on going to bingo again. Ha!

The next day we took Jake’s mom, Carin, out to see the new Captain America movie followed by lunch. I picked the spot!

Exterior | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

We went down to the Regal Cinemas in Chula Vista so I picked a spot not too far away called Matua’s Sushi Bar and Islander Grill. It’s kind of sketchy looking.

Hi Ball Lounge Entrance | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

It doesn’t really look like there’s a restaurant here. It only looks like a cocktail lounge. But I assure you, there’s a restaurant in here!

Back Entrance | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

Parking is in the back of the building. This is a hella weird entrance next to the trash cans and all. It’s also not marked so when you get up there, you stare and wonder which way it is (it’s the left door). This back entrance leads you through the bar/lounge and towards the restaurant. 

Weird divider | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

The restaurant is separated from the bar/lounge by this little divider. Huh. Luckily looks do not deter me. If they did I might have hightailed it out of here.

Interior | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

There were lots of families dining here and it was pretty packed when we got there. We had a little bit of wait before we got a table.

Interior | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

We placed our orders shortly after sitting down. I picked Matua’s because there was a good variety of food there – sushi, Hawaiian food, and Guam food. 

California Roll | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

[california roll / $5.50]

Carin started off with a California Roll which was the first item to come out. She enjoyed it! 

And then… we waited. 

Jake inquired about our food. We had ordered an appetizer sampler and he asked if our appetizer could be brought out before we got our main meals. It took about 40 minutes until we got the appetizers.

Islander Sampler | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

[islander sampler / $12]

Finally the appetizer plate arrived! I was pretty hungry by this time and was excited to see this pretty plate of food garnished with a purple orchid. The Islander Sampler is an assortment of Matua’s favorite appetizers: lumpia (3 pcs), empanadas (2 pcs), shrimp patties (3 pcs) and teriyaki chicken wings (4 pcs). It came with a little cup of sweet and sour sauce. 

Shrimp Patties + Empanadas | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

These are the shrimp patties are little puff balls. Matua’s uses their own batter to make the shrimp patties. It’s got a mixture of batter, vegetables, and chopped shrimp. These were light and airy with a slight crisp texture on the outside.

The empanadas were fried and crunchy with a nice crispy exterior. The filling had “Grandma Rosie’s” spicy chicken puree inside the empanadas. The filling was not too spicy and had a really great flavor from the mix of spices. Really tasty! 

Chicken Wings + Lumpia | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

Also on the plate were some beef lumpia (not bad, though of course I prefer my mom’s) and some crispy little glazed chicken wings. The wings were on the small side and didn’t have a whole lot of meat to them. 

While we were still eating the appetizer platter our main entrees came out. Wonderful. Just what we didn’t want to happen! I guess the kitchen got really backed up. There were a lot of large parties in the restaurant that day but it still would have been nice if our food had been paced out.

Teriyaki Chicken Bowl | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

[teriyaki chicken bowl / $5.95]

Carin got the Teriyaki Chicken bowl for her lunch. I like how every plate had an orchid on it! I didn’t try this but Carin really enjoyed it.

Chicken Kelaguen Plate | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

[chicken kelaguen plate / $10.95]

Wanting to be a bit adventurous, Jake choose the Chicken Kelaguen plate which is a popular dish in Guam. The dish has chopped barbecued chicken with fresh squeezed lemon juice, fresh grated coconut, green onions and crushed red peppers. What the menu didn’t say is that this is a cold dish! We were surprised that it was cold and probably wouldn’t have ordered it if we had known that. The flavors were interesting though a little leaning towards the bitter/sour side for us. 

For side dishes, you had a choice of red or white rice. The red rice is a Guam dish. It’s made with achote which gives it a red color. This also had lots of garlic in it and I really preferred it over the plain white rice. We both ordered one scoop of red and one scoop of white since we had no idea if we’d like it. I wish I had ordered all red rice!

You also get your choice of salad: either a house salad (which is what Jake got above), macaroni, potato, or cucumber salad. The macaroni salad has tuna in it so we didn’t pick that. The potato salad had olives and relish in it so that was out, too. Jake doesn’t like cucumbers so the house salad was the only option he was happy with.

Loco Moco | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

[loco moco / $8.95]

T got the Loco Moco. Whenever he sees this dish on the menu he always orders it. The loco moco is a beef patty covered with gravy and topped with one over easy egg. The beef patty here had a strong charred taste to it that T wasn’t sure if he liked or not. I actually really liked the char flavor of the beef. I just never order this dish because I’m not that into runny eggs.

Kalbi Ribs Plate | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

[kalbi ribs plate / $10.95]

For my main dish, I decided to the the Kalbi Ribs plate. The ribs had a really nice charred and grilled flavor to them – almost a little too charred but I still enjoyed it. The cucumber salad came with this really delicious sweet vinaigrette which I actually used to dip my ribs into. I felt the ribs needed a little sweetness since they were a little on the bitter side and dipping them into the sweet vinaigrette gave them a little bit of the sweetness that I wanted. These weren’t my favorite version of kalbi ribs but I enjoyed them much more with that yummy vinaigrette. I also loved the fresh flavor and crunch of the cold cucumber salad – yum! 

Chocolate covered strawberries | Matua's Sushi Bar and Islander Grill - Chula Vista, CA

[chocolate covered strawberries]

For Mother’s Day they gave all moms a little sweet treat – some chocolate covered strawberries! It was a nice sweet ending to a very long lunch. While it took forever to get the food, the service was friendly enough and most of the food we had was pretty tasty. I’d definitely come back to check out a few of their other dishes and try some of their sushi rolls. 

Matua’s Sushi Bar and Islander Grill
626 E St
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 427-9090

6 thoughts on “Matua’s Sushi Bar & Islander Grill | Chula Vista

  1. Hi Mary,
    The Rodriguez family who run Matua’s also used to own/run Yokozuna’s Sushi Bar & Islander, hence the nearly identical name. Yokozuna’s (which then shortened it’s name to Yokoz) used to be across the street from SWC, near Mandarin with the awesome wings. It went downhill several years ago and then resurfaced as Matua’s on the other side of CV. Matua’s has been around since late 2013. It’s kind of interesting that it shares space with a dive bar.

    Yes, kelaguen is supposed to be cold. I really like their version of it here. Achiote (the Spanish word for annatto), is also called “atsuete” (Tagalog). It’s my mom’s secret ingredient in her adobo (makes it red). All of your plates looked so lovely. Maybe you can ask for the egg to be fried over hard next time you get a loco moco. At MJ’s (where we met up a few years ago) allows you to do that.

    1. Hi CC – Thanks for giving me the scoop on Matua’s! I had no idea it used to be over near Mandarin. That’s a good idea to ask for the egg over fried on the loco moco – it might make me want to eat it! I think the only runny eggs I enjoy are poached – other styles don’t seem to do it for me.

    1. OF COURSE I forgot to check and see if there was a coupon for Matua’s! Hahah, thanks for the head’s up! Guess I’ll have to go back and use the coupon!

    1. Hi Soo – They seemed to really be all about the char here at Matua’s! Yes, you definitely must try the milk bread! The egg tarts are probably my second favorite item at 85c.

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