if only i lived closer.... by far this is the best. unlike other reviewers i only visited them on their off-peak hours so always got a seat. they got great meat for affordable prices. interior seems old, service is fine and their beef is outstanding!
Diversion from the norm.. Ok, I am a Southern California Native, and there's a few institutions that we definitely live by, Brunch at Las Brisas, Curry in J-town, Haus of Pizza in Costa Mesa, In-n-Out Burger, and the list goes on... But Tsuruhashi in Fountain Valley deserves to be on the prestigious list of these places. Every visit is a different experience, and as long as you have a smiling face, this restaurant will change your outlook on conventional dining. It's small, and cozy, and great for dates. It's coziness takes a backseat to the service and quality of food available. Not like any steakhouse or Korean BBQ that you have been before, this place is always wonderful. Authentic Kim chee dishes, Bimbimbap in stone hotpot, and a great selection of tasty meats, chicken, assorted fresh seafood, and vegetables are abound. I love beef, and there, it really goes unsurpassed. Let me also suggest the most moderate cut on the menu- the outside skirt. It's simply wonderful. The waitresses are extremely attentive (you have no less than three), in a room with a capacity of less than a hundred, and the service is always spot on You never have an empty glass, or plate. I feel as if I am a world away, but also just like home. *WARNING* you will come back, you will bring friends, you will smell like meat.
Only come if you look, or speak Japanese..
Here is my extremely unpleasant experience with this place:
Outside the restaurant, there was 1 girl smoking next to the door. I walked in this restaurant, an old Japanese person pointed to a book on the counter. I looked in the book, there is only 1 party of 2 not crossed out. I think to myself, only 1 before me, shouldn't be too long of a wait. I put my name down for 2 in the book. The owner picked up the phone and called the number listed in the waiting list. The girl smoking outside walked in and got seated. Over the next 5 minutes, a group of 3 people and a group of 2 came in. All speaking Japanese to the owner, they walked up to the counter, signed their name in the book. Some more people left. I see a table for 4 being cleaned up by the waitress and I think to myself, maybe they'll want to seat that group of 3 first. That is more efficient use of space, and indeed they did. Next, they seated the other group of 2, who came in after I did, with their name lower on the list after me, to sit in a table for 2 that became available. I asked the guy why were they seated before me, he mumbled something about someone having reservations. I then pointed to the crossed out name after me, asking why they were seated before me. He pointed to a row that was already crossed out when I came in, said they have reservations, and the two rows are actually the same. At this point, I was too angry to argue, I just left. The way he looked at them and me, the way he spoke to them and me. Everything I saw led me to believe he seated them first, because they were Japanese. Highly recommended if you're Japanese because of shorter wait time. However, for me, I have to give it a 1 out of 10. The 1 point for giving me confirmation of rumors I heard about Japanese people disliking foreigners.
Japanese BBQ. Let's keep this simple: Meat excellent! What more do you need in a Japanese bbq place? Reasonable prices, perhaps? Yes, they have that too. Even a plate (small) of Kobe beef rib eye is under $18. Ox tongue, pork cheek, etc. are all reasonably priced. Can't believe a place like this would exist in the Fountain Valley. It offers great values in dining.
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