"It would shimmy to one side and come back to the other," said Ruiz of the building he was in, "it seemed like it was five minutes."
Ruiz is the executive chef at Harney Sushi, a restaurant in Oceanside. He is now back to work and while many people are asking him about the earthquake, a growing number of customers are asking about the safety of the fish.
"It's normal for all of us to be concerned," said Ruiz.
Japanese officials are checking for elevated levels of radiation in the waters near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant. There have already been warnings about spinach and raw milk but experts say radiation risk for fish is very low.
Dave Rudie imports fish from around the world and says he's hearing from lots of customers wanting to know about any possible health risks.
Rudie says he's confident in the quality of the fish he gets primarily from U.S. and Mexican waters.
As for Japan?
"Certainly I would be very cautious about anything near the nuclear reactor," said Rudie. "I don't think there is any fishing going on at this point considering the terrible disaster."
Rob Ruiz will continue to import certain fish from Japan, but only fish he knows is safe.
"I know exactly where everything is coming from," said Ruiz, "Basically the name of the city, the region, even the boats that are bringing the fish to me."
Ruiz says while he gets plenty of questions there has been no drop off in business at his sushi restaurant.