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The Best Sushi (omakase) in OC

  • r

You know a restaurant is pretty good when you go to the same place for lunch and dinner w/friends in the same day. I was meeting a fellow CH today for lunch who had to cancel because of the W word (work), we went anyway. Sushi Wasabi in Tustin is the only authentic SB in OC, small pieces, small rice, perfect slices, very expensive(cheap compared to Ginza) and very worth it! NO CALIF ROLLS!

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  1. Its FAR from the ONLY authentic sushi bar in Orange County

    4 Replies
    1. re: Diamond dog

      This leads me to my question to Russkar. You may not care for Sushi Shibucho, and that's your right of course, but why do you say it's inauthentic?
      If it's because he'll make a california roll, well, I'd only say that for years and years he wouldn't carry unagi, only anago because after all, it's a sushi bar. (Unagi for the less initiated is the freshwater eel. anago is ocean eel [Chinese distinction also exists, manyu and shanyu in Mandarin]).

      1. re: Jerome

        Considering I've been to Shibucho several times and always have his Omakase I can definitely say it's not as authentic(Tokyo Style) like Sushi Wasabi. The differences are Wasabi's fish is far superior(freshness)and TYPE of CUT(no cartilage),very small bite size pieces, very little rice which is not the case at Shibicho but I still enjoy going there too, Shige is a great guy. My all time favorite is still Ginza Sushi Ko (BH) which is now in NY.

        1. re: russkar

          Russkar, I don't like Shige. But he bought Shibu-ya san's Shibucho some years ago. And he introduced the foiegras caviar burgundy wine italian dessert thing.

          I'm referring the shibucho that Shibutani/Shibuya-san opened in Costa Mesa which has no connection other than historical with the SHibucho on Beverly. It's possible that it's not as good as the one you're touting. But have you been to that one?

          It's on 19th st in Costa Mesa. His battera is great (ok that's osaka style but it's still good).

          1. re: Jerome

            I'm refering to the Costa Mesa one also. I meant to say I like Shibutani not Shige.

    2. Sushi Shibucho is excellent. Simple, traditional, and fish as good or better than just about anywhere. BTW, it is actually a good value, the only place I have found in LA or OC where I can indulge in beautiful toro and otoro without breaking the bank. 519 w. 19th st. costa mesa.

      1. never been to Wasabi, but I'm confident that Shibucho and Kasen (whose chef was trained by Shibucho) would be worthy challengers to the title Best Omakase in the OC.

        5 Replies
        1. re: ghotihed

          Been to both(shibicho several times), not even close. Try SW and you'll see.

          1. re: russkar

            has Sushi wasabe gotten better in the past year, because in the past few times i went it was not as good as nozawa, and it's the same style of sushi. also, the service was not good.

            1. re: kevin

              Nozawa is still the best(in LA) but Wasabi is in OC which is a lot closer for some of us.

            2. re: russkar

              If that's the case, then I'm looking forward to trying it! what have you particularly liked from SW omakase?

              1. re: ghotihed

                EVERYTHING! The typical lunch or dinner starts with, Albacore Sashimi, Big Eye Ahi Sushi, Hamachi Sushi, Red Snapper, Texas Blue Crab hand roll, Salmon w/seaweed on top, Japanese Scallop Sushi,Incredible Toro, Kuyomoto Oysters with Yuzu Ponzu, then your on your own!

          2. Russ, how much was it per person?

            1 Reply
            1. re: AndieCat

              Like I said in the Post it's expensive. Anywhere from 35- to 100- per person depending on how many courses you let him serve. Definitely try it, you won't be sorry.

            2. Now I wish I could have made it. I agree that Wasabe is the best omakase in OC. Freshest fish, small rice, and clearly authentic discipline.

              IMO, many other places start out with a core of wanting a purist sushi experience, but change course for marketing affect. Not that this is a terrible thing, just a wholly different experience. IMO, a truly authentic sushi is experience is one of those things that many folks say they want, but will balk when they actually get to it... again NOT A BAD THING, just different. My experience has been that I have taken many "HARD CORE SUSHI NUTS" who want a "real", "pure" sushi experience, but are surprised when I take them someplace that won't serve a California Roll or doesn't have a menu, or will serve "weird" stuff that they've never had... doesn't mean these folks aren't into sushi, just that most likely their sushi palate is acclimated differently.

              Personally, I'm a bit of a purist that would never call California Rolls or any other rolls of that ilk "sushi"... doesn't mean they are bad to eat, just that it doesn't fit my purist definition of sushi... by the way, there are several Japanese restaurants that are "new style" that I love, as I know does Russ... Wasa for example.

              Also, I think it is good to note that I have always had EXCELLENT service at Sushi Wasabe. I think that many times people are put off by the austerity of a traditional Japanese approach to some things. The approach to service at these "purist" type sushi bars is SIGNIFICANTLY different from the service approach at other mainstream sushi places and restaurants. Patrons are oftentimes more respectful of the sushi chef and almost "humbly" put themselves in his/her hands... I know, this may fly in the face of the "customer-centric" service culture that we may be more familiar with, and I'm certainly not making a "better/worse" judgement, just pointing out some of the subtle and not so subtle differences that may come through as detached or cold service if one is not familiar with the "terrain" of these places.

              In that vein, I have to agree that Sushi Wasabe is the best truly purist sushi place in OC. Obviously that is a highly subjective claim, but isn't that what CH is all about?