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Suggestions for sushi in Orange County??

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We'll be on a double date with friends from LA, and need some good sushi recommendations. We'll be in Newport Coast area, but can drive a little ways. We've been to Cafe 242 Fusion, but our friends thought they were a bit "snooty." Is there anywhere else that's as good, but maybe more welcoming to sushi neophytes? Thanks!

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  1. Go to Sushi Shibucho, sit at the counter, and tell Mr. Shibutani that you are new to 'real' sushi. He is an excellent itamae (sushi chef) and he is warm and pleasant and happy to explain what you're eating. Don't be afraid to let him know which pieces you like best!

    If you don't want to sit at the counter (for some people this is a little too Up Close And Personal), sit at the tables and Mrs. Shibutani will serve you. You can still order omakase (chef's choice), but it will be a set dinner, not a give-and-take. It is still excellent. I believe you can get omakase at the table for $35-$40; you'll pay more at the counter depending on what you eat and how much.

    Whatever you choose, make sure to reserve: there are only two dozen seats in the whole place.

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      If you are in Newport Coast, you'd be nuts to travel further than Bluefin. It's always great, but if you want something special, inquire when Abe will be there...go early and sit in his section, and put yourself in his hands. You will not be disappointed!

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

    2. My favorite little neighborhood place is Zen Sushi near La Paz and Pacific Park (or Oso, which changes name right there.) The anchor stores are a Stater Bros. and Target, so you'll know you're in the right place.

      Not snooty at all, and good selection for sushi neophytes. Most of the clientele are regulars, so it's definitely got something going right. Limited indoor seating with a covered patio that I think is heated, though can't promise.

      1. Since you will be in Newport Coast you will be close to Blue Fin in the Crystal Cove shopping plaza on PCH. It is high end sushi, good quality and despite its fancy surrounds, the service is not snooty.

        Other places I enjoy: Maki Zushi, Sushi Wasabi, Sushi Shibuco (mentioned by Das)

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        Sushi Wasabi
        14460 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780

        Maki Zushi
        1641 Edinger Ave # 101, Tustin, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: Searching4Dunny

          I second Blue Fin since you will be in Newport Coast.