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Suggestion for OC's lunch spots?

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Fellow hounder, I could use some help :-)

I'm planning a bro-out-night on the UCI Homecoming day. I'm trying to nail down couple suggestions for decent Japanese food as our lunch. Our choices are wide open, from Ramen such as Gomen, to Yakiniku such as Tsuruhashi, to fusion-ish/sushi/omakase like Ikko and Bluefin.

With all your much-better-trainned palette, what other suggestions do you have in mind?

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Bluefin
7952 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Tsuruhashi
18798 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Ikko Japanese Restaurant
735 Baker St Ste C, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Gomen
7147 Katella Ave., Stanton, CA 90680, USA

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  1. This year's poll rated Tsuruhashi over the others....

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585999 -- Ultimate OC Restaurants, 2008; RESULTS

    1 Reply
    1. re: OCAnn

      thx OCAnn!!! I haven't been keeping a close update with CH since I returned after vacation :-(

    2. Two suggestions:

      If you really want to pick from your list, I'd say go with Tsuruhashi -- nothing says "men behaving like men" like wagyu beef. However, nearby is Shin-sen-gumi yakitori-ya, which, though small, is VERY high-energy and you'll have a grand old time.

      1. Tsuruhashi would be perfect, but I believe it is not open for lunch.
        Shin Sen Gumi would be a good rec as well, but they don't serve yakitori at lunch (the "yakitori" side is open, but they only serve ramen and a few other things for lunch).
        Based on your list, I'd go with Blue Fin and their $35 lunch omakase. You may need to order a little extra though, cause it did not fill me up and I added on some orders of toro to finish up.
        Other options could be Kityama in Newport Beach (they only do lunch on weekdays), or Sushi Shibucho in costa mesa for traditional omakase.

        1 Reply
        1. re: I got nothin

          You got my dilemma completely!!! I think both Tsuruhashi and SSG Yakitori isn't opened for lunch, so we will try to hit it -AFTER- the homecoming game. And I recently read elmomonster's recent review, that's why Bluefin is on my radar.

          Good call on Sushi Shibucho, I completely forgot about that. I always meant to try them!

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

        2. Hi kelvlam,

          As other Hounds have pointed out above, unfortunately Tsuruhashi and Shin Sen Gumi Robata-yaki aren't open for lunch. I'd recommend getting something quick / light for lunch and have fun during Dinner with either of those two places. :)

          If you're going for Sushi, you can't go wrong with Shibucho. Shibutani-san is a cool itamae. :) (Or Maki Zushi.) Or if you want something even quicker / saving room for dinner, you can go to the old reliable Santouka Ramen in Mitsuwa on Paularino.

          5 Replies
          1. re: exilekiss

            Hey EK, thx! I honestly dunno why the hype about Maki Zushi, maybe cause I just haven't gotten to know the itame or book a omakase seat at the sushi bar yet... hmmm. I'll try Shibucho instead!!! My only concern for a late nite dinner at Tsuruhashi... is that all the Kobe beef will be gone by then ='( ...

            Off topic... you know... I was pretty bumped out by work last night, so I decided to treat myself something nice for dinner. I just happened to be reading your review on Google reader about Kohryu, so I went and tried the Shio soup base on the Champon, instead of my usual miso pick... I was so disappointed. Then tonight trying make it up from the bad taste left in my mouth, I went to Santouka to get a #7 (Tokusen Toroniku Ramen), but it still didn't leave me anything good on the way driving back home... arrrgh still so unsatisfied!!!

            When will OC to have something quality like Asa in Gardena? Why the two Santouka (Torrence vs. Costa Mesa), both inside of a Mitsuwa can taste quite differently >_<

            *ok... off topic rant done*...

            1. re: kelvlam

              Honestly, it's a crap shoot at Tsuruhashi as to what they'll be out of even when they 1st open. My only complaint with them.

              1. re: kelvlam

                Hi kelvlam,

                No problem. :) Re: Maki, I can't vouch for their service / meals at a table; every time we go it's in front of Yoshi-san and Omakase. He's a good itamae and will take care of the customer. Give them a try with Yoshi-san as your itamae.

                Re: Kohryu, tell me about it! :( It's really sad. One can only hope that there are better Ramen-ya that open up in the area and across So Cal in general. If NY can get Ippudo, here's to hoping we get a branch as well, or something... :)

                1. re: exilekiss

                  have you see this yet EK? http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforki...
                  the new sign... Maki Zushi - "Hardcore Sushi". O_O

                  1. re: kelvlam

                    Hi kelvlam,

                    Nice sign. :) At least they added something to make their non-descript signage stand out more.

            2. Wasa Sushi in Newport Beach or Tustin Marketplace. Best in OC.