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)
To give more guidance as to what I like, when I go to LA to eat sushi I go to:
Thanks for any help offered!
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
13124 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA 92602
590 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
14460 Newport Ave, Tustin, CA 92780
San Shi Go Sushi and Asian Cuisine
205 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you all for the great recommendations. I will start my expedition shortly and report back!