Frugal Find: Sunny Blue

[Santa Monica]

Photograph courtesy Shutterstock

In Japan omusubi, the chubby stuffed rice balls wrapped in nori, are ubiquitous con-venience store fare. At Sunny Blue owner Keiko Nakashima boosts the snacks to full-meal status, loading lumps of rice with fillings of her own design—beef and caramelized onions braised in house-made miso, albacore tuna tossed in mayo—all reminiscent of the versions Japanese moms put into lunchtime bento boxes. Try other offerings such as impeccable ohitashi, soul-warming soups, and for dessert, tart frozen yogurt with creative toppings. » 2728 Main St., 310-399-9030.