590 W 19th St, Costa Mesa, CA | Directions 9262733.643775 -117.922445
Kinda Rude. WE got shhhhhshed! How rude. Nobody was even in the F'ing place.
Not bad, but not great. I lived in Japan for 14 years..and when I read some of the review here calling this place as authentic Sushi place, I had to take my wife right away. Place is very small, and when we went there first time on time when the place opened there were already 8 people before us and filled the whole Sushi Bar (gosh people, it was Thursday lunch~!!) The Sushi Man, and owner of the place told us there was no more seat and tables were reserved already. He didn't even apologized, and which I liked it because that's how original Sushi men are suppose to be prideful and subborn (Edokko). Well, was very disappointed that we couldn't eat that day. But after learning a lesson, we reserved a table and went there for the second time. Sushi here was average, better than most Sushi place ran bay non-trained Sushi people, but Sushi here was not as good as the Kaiten Sushi in Japan (Affordable Rotating Sushi in Japan). Also, if you do happen to go here you don't want to sit on table, but sit on the counter. if you sit on the table, it takes forever for your orders to be served. They seem to put more priority on people on the counter. But yea, this place is Authentic Sushi place, unlike other places where they have Dragon Rolls, California Rolls, and other kinds of fusion Rolls which should never be called Sushi! If you want good Sushi, and if you have enough money, I would recommend Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo. Closest to good Japanese Sushi so far.
Good but not stellar. Expected more..
I'm comparing this restaurant with Sasabune in Santa Monica (while it was on Sawtelle), Nozawa in Glendale, Isshin in Westwood, Takao in Brentwood, and the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. Didn't go for omakase.
Tai - I like to ask for this with just salt and lemon, with no soy sauce so that I can taste the fish. This request was politely met with a smile and a "no". Instead, it was served one piece normal, the other with brushed shoyu and yuzu. It was fine.
Kampachi - A belly cut. Rich and flavorful.
Sanma - Fresh and very clean flavor.
Iki amaebi - NOT AVAILABLE, but still in season.
Iki Hotate - NOT AVAILABLE
Salmon - Asked for just ponzu and seaweed, denied. Served with shoyu and seaweed. Fatty and sweet.
Hamachi - NOT AVAILABLE. First sushi bar I've found in 23 years that didn't have this item.
Unagi - Thick, rich, sweet, tender.
Ankimo - NEVER AVAILABLE. I've been to some lesser sushi bars that didn't have this, but I didn't expect this "authentic" establishment to keep this off the menu. I really wanted to give this bar a 3.5 star rating because of this.
Ika - Tentacles were boiled in plain water and served like unagi. Good but not great.
Saba - I ordered this while my cousin and brother sampled the awabi. Rich and not-too-fishy for pickled mac.
Ikura - Some places wash the ikura in sake. This one doesn't. It was OK.
Uni - I usually like to order it without the nori, but gave up making special requests. To my surprise, one piece was served with nori, the other without. It was as fresh as you can get in Southern California without suiting up and diving for it.
Toro - Chu toro. Marbled, still a little firm for chu toro, with a fishy aftertaste. Asked for a bit of yuzu to cut the fishiness and was denied.
The owner's son was our chef and he was polite. The overall service was exemplary. My only grievances are the items that were not available that should have been. For omakase, I'd recommend Nozawa or Sasabune.
a hole in the wall..but still a gem.
Small, quaint, and quiet.
I think the max occupancy is like 28 or something.
The place is run by 2 sushi chefs and one hostess and the service is just excellent.
Your cup is never dry and it's always filled with fresh tea.
Like the previous review, if you like the special rolls/nigiris with special sauce and toppings, this is not the place for you. But for those who love fresh sushi without all the noise, you will love this place.
My boyfriend and I had omakase (14 nigiris total) and the total came out to be $88.
Now that's cheap...cheaper than sushi roku that's for sure.
oh and you must try the anago!
Real sushi. If you're looking for real sushi, this is the place. You're not going to find psuedo-sushi like crunch rolls, etc. If that's your what you're into, you will be disappointed. Will cost you some cash, but well worth it.
Authentic Sushi in the OC.
Truly the best sushi I've had in LA.
Shibutani san has mastered the art of authentic sushi.
Seriously I've lived in Japan for 12 years and 90% of the places I went to are 3 stars below what Shibutani san can do.
You want BS sushi? Go to sushi boy.
You want real sushi? Go to Shibucho.
The toro was fatty and silky. The salmon, rich. The squid (ika), though, had an overpowering dose of wasabi. This one literally made us wince and cry. I pounded my fist on the table for mercy. Oh so painful! There were other nigiris on the plate that I could not remember, but all was sparkling fresh with perfectly packed rice.
Then the rolls came. By this time, one of my companions was already full. But the rolls looked too damn good to resist. On this equally large plate was salmon skin roll, unagi, tuna, and again, a few others I could not recall. This was where Shibutani relied more on textures and bolder flavors. Crunchy cucumber contrasted with salty smoked salmon. A thick, sweet, dark sauce complemented neutral rice.
Omakase runs about 32-35 dollars per person (sans tip and alcohol)
Fave OC Sushi. Without a doubt this is my fave for omakase sushi around this area. Sit at the bar and come with an open mind and Shibutani-san will take care of you. The salmon, tai, and hirame engawa are uniquely seasoned and melt in your mouth variety. Naga-san's tamago, right off the pan if you can get it, is phenomenal. Very traditional place. No rolls or green tea ice cream here but sushi is more than enough to satisfy. Best value too.