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Best Sushi in the OC

My girlfriend just got a promotion and her boss is letting her expense a fine dinner for two on the company as a bonus. She wants sushi so I suggested Urasawa. After giggling and realizing that she needs to keep her job, we need other options. She also doesn't want to drive too far from home (near South Coast Plaza).

So, what's the best extravagant sushi experience within 30 minutes of Costa Mesa. Budget limit is high but not quite Urasawa level.


p.s. Food is more important than atmosphere and service

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  1. Good thing Costa Mesa is sushi central.

    As far as as I'm concerned Costa Mesa has the TRINITY:

    At SCP, there's Hamamori, probably the most expensive of them all.

    Nearby, there's Ikko, very good "free style" sushi.

    Down near Triangle Square, there's Sushi Shibucho.

    Of course, there's Sushi Wasabi (which I personally haven't tried)...but that's in Tustin.


    2 Replies
    1. re: elmomonster

      And Maki-Zushi, also in Tustin, well within the 30-minute limit.

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Ah forgot about Maki. Yes, Yoshi will take care of you. He's not as shocked anymore when people ask for omakase. The last time, he served me live uni, among other exotics I've never had before. Live uni -- a different beast than the stuff that comes pre-packaged.

    2. There is also Koi in PCH in Seal Beach, at the edge of your 30 minute radius. Its not swank, and its nowhere near Urasawa level for price. A pretty nice dinner for two at the sushi bar usually runs us around $150. Since starting to go there several years ago, we haven't even been tempted to go anywhere else. We always sit in front of Daigo [sp?], who has a very loyal following. Taka also has a very good reputation.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lawdog262

        Taka is my guy and the lead or head sushi man. He use to go out everyday to pick the fish himself when they were smaller. I always have him make something special. Then when it gets served to me, everyone around wants one too. Geez, now I am hankering for some sushi.

      2. Had a great meal at Kasen in Fountain Valley. Very traditional, very sushi gen like. They even give you what I would amount to as Japanese amuse bouche's.

        200 for 2 people after tax/tip omakase.

        1. I think Bluefin at Crystal Cove shopping center, just south of CDM is incredible. A little pricey but nothing that will get her fired. Start with drinks at either Javiars or Mastro's Ocean Club in the same center. Cheers.

          2 Replies
          1. re: tmarr1

            Concur on Bluefin. That's actually where I'd go if I weren't limited to the SCP area.

            But then, I should've read the post more carefully. The OP said 30 minute radius, which Bluefin is definitely within.

            Here's a post of mine:

            1. re: elmomonster

              I concur too. If you're dining on the company dime, head down to the coast and get you some bluefin. Get the omakase and let them do all the work.

          2. My favorite has got to be WAFU in Costa Mesa, off of Red Hill Avenue. It's a tiny hole-in-the-wall kind of place that's more Californian than Japanese. Lots of fun rolls.
            You have to try the spicy tuna guacamole. You MUST.

            2 Replies
              1. re: ns1

                I agree Wafu isn't level of Urasawa or Bluefin but I agree with nomnomnoms that it is good. Great neighborhood joint.

            1. There is absolutely no question in my mind where you should go. I think that Bluefin in Crystal Cove (Newport Coast) is without question one of the finest sushi restaurants in southern CA, and perhaps even on the west coast. It is expensive, but it's tops. You could start with drinks at Javier's (beautiful restaurant, but noisy and mobbed) or Mastro's in the same center as tmarr1 recommends, but Bluefin has a full bar as well. They have a wonderful selection of sakes, so perhaps you might even want to skip the cocktails. The sushi at Bluefin is incredible...either traditional or contemporary...I love both. You will not be sorry if you let Abe (the owner) feed you. Check out: www.bluefincrystalcove.com

              1. I would highly recommend Blue Fin in the Crystal Cove Center on PCH. They have wonderful fresh, daily specials on their board. It is rather small inside, so make sure and get a reservation. It will not disappoint! It is expensive, too.

                1. Ahh. Blufin. My favorite by far. Expensive but worth it unlike Hamamori which is good but way overpriced.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: cdmedici

                    Agree completely. Bluefin is expensive, but worth every penny. I have only been to Hamamori once...it was excellent (not as good as Bluefine, but almost)...but I felt ripped off. I was served "specials" that I didn't specifically request, and was charged exhorbitantly. It was unconscionable what I was charged, and I will never go back there again. Bluefin is wonderful...it's expensive, but worth the price!

                    1. re: josephnl

                      And I left hungry. It was the first time I went to dinner only to eat dinner again right after.

                      1. re: cdmedici

                        From where did you leave hungry...Bluefin or Hamamori? I have never left Bluefin hungry...but indeed my wallet is always lighter when I leave. I had dinner at Bluefin tonight and I am happily full. Abe was there tonite and he is certainly a wonderful chef and gentleman!

                        1. re: josephnl

                          No No. I left hungry at Hamamori. We always sit in front of Abe-san and I have never left hungry or unsatisfied. He is indeed a wonderful chef and kind soul.