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Best sushi in OC?

josephnl Mar 25, 2008 12:56 PM

My two favorites are Bluefin by Abe in Crystal Cove, and Hamamori in the Crystal Court of South Coast Plaza. They are both excellent, high end and expensive...but I think they are the best.

Curious to know what others think of these two, or if there is anything better in OC?

  1. i
    I got nothin Mar 25, 2008 04:15 PM

    It depends on what you mean by "best sushi", as this can mean completely different things to different people. There's the more traditional type: sashimi and sushi (true definition of sushi meaning fish on rice). And then there's the more Americanized, or in some cases french and/or south american influenced sushi cusine.
    Best Traditional Sushi: Shibucho
    Best Fusion Sushi: Bluefin (note I have not had the chance to try Hamamori yet).

    10 Replies
    1. re: I got nothin
      josephnl Mar 25, 2008 08:03 PM

      I am a huge fan of Bluefin, and although it is very expensive, I really enjoy it. I have just come from dinner at Hamamori, and although it was excellent, it was not better than Bluefin, and was outrageously expensive. I dined by myself at the sushi bar, and let the sushi chef order for me. I had two sashimi (halibut and hamamchi), a spicy tuna roll, and a dungeness crab handroll. With two glasses of sake (plus one for the chef) my bill came to (gulp) $160 with tip. It was very good, but I will never return because of the cost, and because it is no better than Bluefin. I can have a similar meal at Bluefin for about $100. Based upon previous posts on this thread, I will definitely try Shibucho, and Honda-Ya for more traditional Japanese fare.

      1. re: josephnl
        notmartha Mar 25, 2008 08:26 PM

        I have yet to try Hamamori, but that price seems outrageous. It's not like you ordered otoro, uni, wagu or foie gras sushi.

        1. re: notmartha
          vonger44 Mar 25, 2008 09:30 PM

          I am also a huge fan of Bluefin and Shibucho where they are both excellent in what they do. However, I do find myself going back to Wasabi at least twice a month for the full circle omakase with kubota manju sake, a meal I never tire of. I also recently tried the omakase at Maki Sushi which was amazingly fresh and generous with points for presentation. Bill for 2 with minimal sake was about $300. I was a little taken back esp for lunch but nevertheless was an amazing meal. I suspect the price is alot more competitive ordering off the menu.

          1. re: notmartha
            josephnl Mar 26, 2008 09:00 AM

            Not at all apologizing for Hamamori which was outrageously expensive, my allowing the sushi chef to order for me was stupid on my part. Obviously the two sashimi plates were not just fish, but were garnished with everything from truffle, to caviar...not necessarily that they needed it, but they were delicious. But...never again. The cost was rediculous, and clearly the meal was not worth it.

            1. re: josephnl
              notmartha Mar 27, 2008 12:11 PM

              I guess truffles and caviar aren't cheap. But thanks for the heads up. If I check out Hamamori I'll definitely not do the omakase there.

              Bluefin's lunch omakase is only $35.

              1. re: notmartha
                josephnl Mar 28, 2008 10:16 AM

                Actually if I had specifically ordered the omakase, it would have been less expensive. The sushi chef offered to make the two sashimi's that I ordered "special"...and he sure did. I should have seen it coming!

          2. re: josephnl
            exilekiss Mar 25, 2008 11:00 PM

            Hey josephnl,

            Yikes! You have my condolences. For only a few fish dishes you listed above, your $160 price tag exceeds a FULL Omakase Course at some of LA's Best Sushi places like Nozawa, Sushi Zo, Sasabune, etc. That's ridiculous.

            1. re: exilekiss
              wilafur Mar 26, 2008 09:09 AM

              agreed!! that is simply rediculous considering the lack of higher end cuts mentioned by nothmartha above. that is seriously highway robbery for 4 food items and 3 glasses of sake.

              1. re: wilafur
                lawdog262 Mar 28, 2008 08:40 AM

                I'm amazed that the thread has progressed so far without any mention of Koi in Seal Beach. My wife and I started going to Koi about three years ago, and have had no desire to go to any other sushi bar since then, and I always feel compelled to sing its praises. If what you are seeking is excellent sushi, this is a great place (and while not inexpensive it is not in the outrageous categoru that Hamamori appears to be). But its definitely not an attempt at a trendy restaurant a la Hamamori.

                1. re: lawdog262
                  justagthing Mar 28, 2008 02:01 PM

                  Oh so sorry, I too usually sing the praises of Restaurant Koi. I have been eating there for over 10 years now, back when it was only half the size it is now. Taka is amazing and I have always had impeccable food and service.

        2. wilafur Mar 25, 2008 03:53 PM

          shibucho in costa mesa

          1. a
            ausfrench Mar 25, 2008 03:36 PM

            Try Maki Zushi on the corner of Edinger and Red Hill.
            Mid range price-wise but fabulous.


            3 Replies
            1. re: ausfrench
              FoodieKat Mar 25, 2008 06:27 PM

              Yes. As I've mentioned several times before, Maki-Zushi is my favorite sushi place in OC. The fish is always fresh, well-prepared and beautifully presented, and they serve both traditional and fusion sushi. The price is always competitive too.

              1. re: ausfrench
                Das Ubergeek Mar 25, 2008 08:31 PM

                Yum. Oh yeah.

                1. re: ausfrench
                  FoodieKat Apr 1, 2008 01:38 AM

                  Just dined 'omakase' style at Maki-Zushi. I love this place! Yoshi really outdid himself today. The snapper was lightly marinated in lemon juice, dusted with sea salt, and served with a mint leaf on rice. OMG, it was so good! The mackerel was also a beautiful sight to behold, and taste, and the bones were deep fried afterwards and presented to Mr Foodiekat and I.
                  I swear, someone should market these, they could be so addictive. The big toro and maguro were as delicate as ever, and the salmon skin roll was a yummy end to the meal- and huge for the price. I left with a lighter wallet ($120 for 2 including tip, and 2 Sapporos), but very happy and well-fed.

                2. Azizeh Barjesteh Mar 25, 2008 03:09 PM

                  I actually never got around to trying it, but I used to know a very picky chef who hated absolutely everything. His favorite response when asked about a certain food or restaurant was "It is crap." -He was delightful. Anyway, he said that his favorite place was Honda Ya (I think thats the right spelling) in Tustin. I'm in Santa Monica, so it's just too far, but i have heard great things.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh
                    josephnl Mar 25, 2008 03:18 PM

                    Just checked out some recent postings re Honda Ya. It is apparently a more traditional japanese restaurant/bar/izakaya which indeed sounds very nice, and certainly I will try it some time. Bluefin and Hamamori are very upscale sushi restaurants more in the mold of Nobu, or Matsuhisa in Los Angeles. They are both excellent, but very expensive. I like them both, but was wondering what others think.

                    1. re: Azizeh Barjesteh
                      cdmedici Mar 25, 2008 06:11 PM

                      Honda-Ya is great, but do not and I repeat DO NOT go to Honda-Ya for sushi. Go for the kappo and the yaki-tori. I would even avoid the ramen.

                      For the record, I am a regular and Bluefin and find it to be consistently wonderful. I have been to Hamamori and found it to be quite good as well. Both of these are more fusion. Another great fushion sushi joint is Ikko in Costa Mesa.

                      For very very good and more traditional go for Shubicho in Costa Mesa and Sushi Wasabi in Tustin.

                      Ango Tei in Costa Mesa used to be a fave before it was sold.

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