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Sushi in the OC - Can't find anything decent and Yelp is absolutely useless!

I need your help. I live in north OC (Fullerton) and have been looking for good sushi for 6 months since I've moved here. Any suggestions? I don't want to spend a fortune either. About $50 pp would be my budget. Here are disappointing places I've been to so far:

Sushi Noguchi (Yorba Linda)
Ginza Sushi (Fullerton)
Orange Sushi (Fullerton)
Kabuki (Brea)

To give more guidance as to what I like, when I go to LA to eat sushi I go to:

Komasa
Sushi Gen

Thanks for any help offered!

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  1. Sushi Shibucho in Costa Mesa, Ohshima Japanese Cuisine in Orange, Sushi Murasaki by the airport, San Shi Go in Newport Beach, Ikko in Costa Mesa and Nana San in Newport.

    2 Replies
    1. re: scottca075

      and maybe Sushi Wasabe.

      And how about Hamamori, or WaSa Sushi.

      i also third Sushi Shibucho in Costa Mesa.

      There's also Kasen (sp?) in Foutain Valley.

      1. re: kevin

        Hamamori is very good. I second this place. Nigiri plate is around $30 for lunch.

    2. Wasabi is likely $100 pp, so that is out of the price range. I absolutely love San Shi Go in Newport (my pick for best in OC), but I easily spend $100 pp if I go there (omakase is my downfall I guess). Shibucho is on my list for next year when my taste buds grow back, but it is about a 30 to 45 minute drive from Fulerton

      It has been about 8 years since I lived in Fullerton, and my favorite from then I think was lost to what looks like an expansion of St. Jude's, but you are going to have a tough time matching really good sushi with a $50 pp check. At that price, you are getting farm raised salmon, so-so tuna, no toro or anything super fresh and exciting... What set apart a good $50 sushi dinner for me is how inventive they get with the rolls.

      In that vein, Chomp does a good job. Yeah, it is loud with a huge menu ranging all over the place (well beyond sushi), but the fish is decent and the rolls are good and inventive.

      Similar is Tommy's in Tustin, but I would not drive from Fullerton to Tommy's just for the poki bowl and bronco roll (my two favs). Wasa in Irvine is another local favorite for me, but without alcohol, I am usually about $70pp and, again, I don't think it is worth the drive.

      -----
      Chomp Sushi & Teppan Grill
      181 East Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832

      Wasa Sushi
      13124 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602

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

      Sushi Wasabi
      14460 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780

      San Shi Go Sushi and Asian Cuisine
      205 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661

      4 Replies
      1. re: ocshooter

        As you said, Shibucho is not that close to Fullerton. However, ordering their table omakase is an absolute bargain at ~$35pp. The real omakase at the counter is more like ~$60+pp (though still a very high bang-for-the-buck ratio), and you get stuff you don't get at the tables unless you explicitly request it (and pay more). Either way, I would make the drive weekly if I could afford it.

        Prices are before drinks/tax/tip.

        1. re: ocshooter

          can you tell me more about san shi go, did you used to be another name like sushi 345, or something?

          thanks. how's the desserts there? and it is it supposed to be more like new-fangled sushi???

          thanks a bunch.
          I'll probably just head out to Sushi Wasabe or Shibucho next time I'm in OC though. though is restaurant abe on 30th street or was it newport avenue???? is it still there? i remember he made up some great sushi, cooked dishes, and isntricate sashimi dishes (a la matsuhisa, i think he put in some serious time at Matsuhisa) before opening abe, although the last time i was at abe must have been over 5 or 6 years ago.

          1. re: kevin

            Abe closed years ago, but he subsequently opened up Bluefin, an even more refined, upscale place in Corona Del Mar. Similar style with a combination of cooked / raw dishes. He followed that with an attempted mini-empire with Izayaka Zero in HB and Sea Smoke in San Clemente, but both have subsequently closed. Bluefin remains open and is still quite good.

            1. re: kevin

              San Shi Go means 345 in Japanese, so I assume it is the same place. I think they even have a sign that reads Sushi 345. Dessert is good. I always get the marscapone ice cream. They do traditional and modern sushi configurations, you just have to let him know what you like. They are not the least bit put out by special requests, which put me off on some on the high end places.

              For the same money, I would go to San Shi Go over Wasabi.

              OK, I trust you to know what is the best way to make a dish, but trust me to know what I like and do not like.

          2. Given your cost and location requirements, Ohshima on Tustin Avenue might do it for you.

            What didn't you like about Sushi Noguchi? I think it's head and shoulders above the three rolls-and-whatever places you said you didn't like.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Sushi Noguchi is definitely the best of the group. There are two reasons why I didn't care for it: 1. Value - The price tag was way expensive. 2. Sushi rice - getting a little particular but the rice was cold and hard. Quite a shame since the fish on top was amazing.

              1. re: buttdrunk

                "Value - The price tag was way expensive. "
                Just want to clarify. According to DU/DL's OC Weekly report, the omakase was $40 pp.
                Which makes me guess you guys had different omakase.

                1. re: jblee

                  There are two omakases—one set, like Shibucho's table omakase, and one that's less regimented and almost undoubtedly more expensive.

                  The rice was the right temperature for us, but it could've been an off day for you.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    if i was going, i'd definitely go for the unregimented omakase.

                    1. re: kevin

                      Budgetary restraints, my dear kevin. If you go, please let us know what you think.

                  2. re: jblee

                    I didn't do omakase at Noguchi. Maybe that's what I should have done. Kind of hard with a 2 year old in tow.

              2. Thank you all for the great recommendations. I will start my expedition shortly and report back!

                1. Try Higo Sushi in La Habra.

                  www.higosushi.com