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Sushi Shibucho Questions

Ok, so I am finally making it out to try this place, despite the nearly years of positive reviews (I'm just lazy and there are lots of places on my "to do" list). Anyway, I can pretty much eat anything put infront of me and am looking forward to the omakase. Problem is that one person in our group "only eats salmon and spicy tuna." (As an aside, we took him to Quan Hy and he nearly gagged on the tendon in the soup!).

So my question is, if I sit at the sushi bar, can two people in our group get omakase while the third gets his salmon and tuna? Can we okamase at the tables? Thanks

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  1. Shibu-ya is not a sushi nazi.

    1. Are you talking about the shibu-ya/shibutani's place in Orange County or Shige's place on Beverly blvd?
      In OC, i've only ordered omakase at the bar. Two can go omakase and one make his own orders. Tell the single person that at either one, they DON'T make spicy tuna rolls and the like - or at least they used to be adamant about that.

      But for omakase - they usually like to know the customer a bit first before they do omakase. they may decline the order for a first-timer (just to let you know).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jerome

        Actually, Shibutani of Shibucho OC doesn't hasn't turned down requests for omakase to newbies to my knowledge. First timers, old timers, he'll do omakase for them at the bar or tables.

        Of course, once he's familiar with you, he'll start to challenge your palate. The last omakase we had there he served us boiled octopus tentacles garnished with teeny tiny fried crabs the size of Skittles. These were to be eaten whole...my eyes lit up, but two of my less adventurous friends kinda shriveled at the sight of them. It's a good thing we were sitting at a table, because it was better that Shibutani didn't see their expressions.

        Link: http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2005/...

      2. I've only gone for omakase multiple times at Shibucho in the OC, and never been turned down (even as a first-timer). However, agreed with the poster above - I've never seen them make spicy tuna, and from what I gather, they won't make such items. However, I'm sure you can find *something that your pickier eater might find palatable.

        You can do omakase at the tables (but it's not as fun as doing it at the counter), and not everyone has to order omakase. But have fun! I'm forever trying to come up with reasons to drag friends down there from where I live in LA county to have sushi down there.

        1 Reply
        1. You had better call ahead and make a reservation for the counter. The restaurant opens at 5:30pm, and by 5:45 all the counter seats are usually gone.

          BTW, if you had to pick between dining at Shibucho or finding another place to placate your friend, my recommendation would be to ditch your friend. Shibucho will be worth his sacrifice. :)

          1. Actually, I've had a spicy tuna roll at Shibucho in OC ages ago. I was sitting at the bar when someone ordered it for take-out, and I was stunned that it was available so I had to try it. I'd recommend it except that the high quality and complexity (e.g., tiny dice of pickled daikon and tobiko blended in) may not be what the person is used to. Is it not offered any more?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I was there a few weeks ago and noticed that Naga was making a spicy tuna roll for a customer. I was stunned to see that as well.

              Speaking of rolls, their futomaki roll looks mouth-watering and is on my to-chow list. I believe they only offer it as a "to go" item.

              1. re: dynamike

                When I expressed my surprise, I got an amused reaction back and was offered up a bit of the spicy tuna filling to taste. I ordered one the next time I went back for a change of pace. I miss the place a lot.

            2. It will be a great insult to your chef if you sit at a first rate sushi bar and order a spicy tuna roll. Last time I saw someone in a party do that to Shige, the rest of their meal became the equivalent of grocery store sushi on a large platter. Considering how great a chef Shige is, take your friend to Todai, and go to Shibucho later when you can enjoy omakase.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cls

                I think that most of the discussion here is on the Costa Mesa Shibucho, not the beverly blvd one. But true, I have seen Shige (at beverly blvd) decline to make a spicy tuna roll and when the customers were insistent, he suggested that they would be happier at another sushi bar. This was the first itme they ordered - he wouldn't take another order, so they just left.

              2. I'm a fan of sushi, but never knew about Sushi Shibucho until I came across an old thread of The Best Sushi (omakase) in OC [http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/59865


                I work in Irvine but live in Walnut, so any omakase in OC, or East LA [http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/561915] would totally be on my radar.

                I just read Elmonoster's blog which is from way back 2005...

                would the OC one still stand as "best" or "almost best" in fellow hounder's opinion?

                thanks for the suggestion.

                Sushi Shibucho
                590 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

                1 Reply
                1. re: kelvlam

                  I have the omakase at Sushi Shibucho in OC several times a month...and I live in Hollywood! It is always excellent and always reasonable...The quality is as good as can be found and Shibutani-san is a true gentleman and teacher...I have learned more about sushi here than in all of the months I have spent in Tokyo! This is a gem...but beware, it is very small and can have a line outside before they open!...So reserve and you will not be disappointed.