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Jun 14, 2013 02:51 PM

Omakase choice: Oshima, Nana-San, or Shunka?

I'm craving for Omakase tonight. My to go to spot has always been Oshima, been there countless times, never had a bad meal, and always leave happy but I want to try something new tonight. I just had Oshima 2 weeks ago.

I read kevineat's review of Shunka, looks good however Nana-San keeps popping up on reviews as well.

Which one is better? Should I stick with Oshima? Or should I try nana-san/Shunka?

your advise is appreciated.

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  1. I don't know.

    To me Oshima sucked balls among the heavy hitters.

    Try Kasen in fountain valley for your omakase instead.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kevin

      As I said in my post, Ohshima has shown a great degree of inconsistency. I get the feeling that you visited Ohshima in large part based on my recommendation, for which I apologize since you didn't like it.

      I don't take back what I said about the place; they showed me a meal that easily matched the beloved fixtures in LA. They have it in them to do great things, but they've fallen well short of the benchmark set on my first visit in each of my last ~5 visits.

      Interestingly, my worst experience there was the only time I was served by the senior itamae. I suspect he may have made some assumptions about my tastes in sushi that were quite inaccurate, as my cuts were substantially below ideal (I have been a fisherman, commercial and sport, all my life, I know what part of the fish my sushi comes from for the most part.) He even put avocado in my blue crab hand roll...

      I do agree with you at this point that Kasen is superior. But I also think Ohshima doesn't suck quite as many balls as you think. Maybe it sucks one or two here or there, but it can also produce. People hype that place for a reason. It just doesn't always deliver.

      1. re: BrewNChow

        I'm not sure if you recommended it here. But I do remember it showing up on a chow digest, if I'm not mistaken, but my memory of who mentioned it escapes me.

        Yeah, I'm not a fan. No worries.

        I won't be returning, unless I have to kick for a few days in Orange. And then in that case, I would still probably make the trek to relatively nearby Wasabe, which is still better though not great by any means, or maybe Kasen if I need to venture further out.

        Compared to the riches in LA, Oshima is not good.

        But if we are comparing Oshima only to what is available in Orange, Anaheim, and Westminster, and Garden Grove, then it's ok.

        Anyhow, yeah, I'm not a fan. Too each their own.

    2. Try Shunka. My friend recently recommended it but I am skeptical. Would love to hear your comparison.

      Oshima was okay for the price. Personally I'd rather pay the extra $15-20pp for Kasen. Kasen is more traditional and no toppings or extra sauces like at Oshima.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Porthos

        Portos, did you try this new omakase joint. ?

        I trust yiur plate on the OC sushi scene.

        1. re: kevin

          No. That's why I would like OP to give it a try ;-)

        2. re: Porthos

          My wife and I went to Shunka that night. Both of us had omakase. This is a very modern take on Omakase, Modern in terms of how they serve the nigiri. The chef serves you 2 pcs at once. Some may like it, some may not. The fish to rice ratio is good. Some fish are seasoned and some are not. The ones that were not season required *gasp* soy sauce. The soy sauce they used tasted like kikkoman, very very salty.

          I ended up having between 18-20 pcs (i stopped counting) while my wife finished with 14 pcs. Both of us had the amaebi with the fried shrimp head. Nothing really jumped out in terms of the nigiri that was served that night, I did enjoy the ocean trout, I was served kamatoro when I asked but i was very underwhelmed. The favorite of the night was the fried octopus suction cup, it was heavenly! and the shrimp head. Cost came out to $70/person for the omakase alone.

          Overall, it's a good sushi bar but I'll pick Oshima from now on.

          1. re: JMan604

            Are you saying you get two different pieces of sushi at the same time, or are you saying that you get two pieces of the same sushi? If you're getting a pair each time, that's not modern, it's old school.

            1. re: E Eto

              But two pieces at an omakase joint ?

              1. re: kevin

                "Why does sushi usually come as a pair?

                The practice of serving sushi in two pieces (ni kan/2 kan) comes from the original edomae-zushi of the 1800′s, the ancestor of today’s nigirizushi. Originally, nigiri-zushi was one large piece, a square. Because it was sometimes difficult to eat, some people began cutting it down the center into 2 pieces. The custom of serving sushi today in a set of two comes from this practice."


        3. I didn't think Oshima was good at all.

          SugarFish in my opinion is much better.

          4 Replies
          1. re: kevin

            Your gona get hammered for SugarFish. I happen to agree with you though.

            1. re: BSW6490

              Yeah, you are right.

              I better erase that post before I get tremendous crap for that.

              1. re: BSW6490

                I'll defend sugarFISH. I think their Brentwood & Downtown locations are fine for neighborhood sushi.

                1. re: J.L.

                  I still like their Marina Del Rey location, which is the original one for what it's worth that started the mini-chain, or rather nowadays, not so mini-chain.

            2. I've never been to shunka but I have been to Nana San and Ohshima.

              When I first started trying the sushi spots here in OC, I liked Ohshima best. They blew me away the first time I went there; everything was perfectly fresh, the cuts were beautiful and the dressings were a perfect accent to the fish, bringing out the best in each piece without masking the natural flavors.

              Nana San I thought was the best in terms of value. For significantly less money than the other OC hotspots, you can get a memorable and satisfying sushi meal. They do the same edo (esque?) style as Ohshima for the most part.

              Nowadays, after several visits to Ohshima, Nana San, and Kasen, I've found that Ohshima hasn't been able to repeat the (perfect) experience I had on my first visit. They've always been good, even very good, but they've shown some inconsistency and overall, their fish just can't compare to Kasen's.

              I would go to Kasen unless you're fixated on having edomae style sushi. Kasen's quality and consistency is head and shoulders above the rest. Even cuts that I generally find boring (at best) like akami, or regular ika, are fantastic at Kasen.

              The fact that you didn't mention it in your original post makes me wonder if you've been there. If you haven't, change that ASAP.

              2 Replies
              1. re: BrewNChow

                "I would go to Kasen unless you're fixated on having edomae style sushi"

                I think Kasen is pretty traditional edomae. Very simple and traditional stuff. I guess the battera isn't edomae but the nigiri is pretty traditional stuff. No funny toppings. Just shoyu, or salt and touch of lemon, or no sauce. No ponzu, ginger, scallion, fried garlic chips, etc.

                Glad to see you liking Kasen more these days :)

                1. re: Porthos

                  In fact, I do believe Oshima to be the one that may not be edo-mae style as it is Nozawa-inspired.