Shibucho (OC) on a Sunday: Open? OK?
I've got to be in Costa Mesa Sunday afternoon, and I had previously extracted from the Chowspouse a promise that the next time we were in OC at dinner-time WITHOUT my in-laws (who don't do Japanese, really) that we'd be back at Shibucho.
BUT it's Sunday.
So: anyone know:
(a) are they even OPEN on Sunday night?
(b) what about the general rule to avoid sushi on Sunday night, on the assumption that the fish left the market at least 30+ hours ago?
(c) How crowded are they going to be? (I KNOW I'll need a reservation , even for 5:30...)
I know that elmomonster is the expert on Shibucho, so he'll probably chime in with his thoughts. In the meantime, you might want to give them a call to see if they are open on Sunday.
590 W 19th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
I am but a faithful Shibutani disciple.
They are open on Sunday from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
I have never been able to get a reservation for the sushi bar except for one time. They are extremely hard to get, and no amount of cajoling will make them budge. I would call them now for Sunday.
Also if you want to sit in front of Shibutani, perhaps delicately say it upfront. Otherwise, you will get Naga. He's good, but his dad's the master.
I may be wrong, but per the Bourdain rule, I thought it was: never order a fish dish on a Monday, since the fish mongers close on Monday. Shibucho is, coincidentally, not open on Mondays.
Also, you can get omakase at the table too. It comes in one big plate (as I showed in my review) In some ways, I prefer this because you will get some pieces prepared by Shubitani and some by his son. And it's easier to get a reservation for a table than the bar.
We went there on a Sunday night once. They had a bunch of fish crossed off, like the yellowtail. When we arrived, the bar was empty. But by the time we left, the place was getting full.
Just went there again last night. Anago was great as usual, and also had white salmon.
I believe Monday is the only day they're closed.
and unlike other sushi bars in LA or OC it really feels like what I'd imagine a Tokyo or Kyoto sushi bar to feel like.
also, if his wife is working there too, she's super-nice.
one last thing, it's pretty reasonable for an omakase joint, it will never top $50 per. but at other places around town it usually hovers around $65 or $70 and works it's way up from there.
OK, we're not worthy! HOW did Shibutani-san and Naga-san manage to serve us that for $35?
Admittedly, Naga's omakase still has us, non-regulars, pegged as relative gringos (How do you politely say, "Bring on the exotic stuff?") but we were able to see enough of what Shibutani was preparing for the other folks at the bar (all of whom apparently spoke only Japanese while there) that with enough "What was that?" we scored e.g., tiny "firecracer squids" etc.