Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Super Corokke - Costa Mesa

This hole-in-the-wall is one of those places where pretentiousness is non-existent, and the food speaks for itself. The lady that owns it operates it. She's taking orders up front and giving them to a few hispanic women in the back who, in turn, faithfully churn out good grub to the steady stream of loyal patrons. Make no bones about it, it's no Shinsengumi. Expect no flash or pizazz. Instead, you will get consistency and comfort food.

The restaurant itself barely seats 10. Stacks of tattered Japanese magazines leans precariously on one corner. Condiments of various bottled sauces are grouped together in bundles on each table. Pepper, hot chili paste, salt, soy...the usual suspects, but most importantly, tonkatsu sauce. This vaguely sweet, sour and pungent sauce has the tang of Lea and Perrins, the depth of soy, and the consistency of syrup. You use it for Super Corokke's namesake dish, corokke. Corokke, is a breaded potato patty which is filled with all kinds of goodness, which is then deep fried.

I got the Corokke Combination to go recently. Simply a mound of hot rice, a salad consisting of iceberg lettuce and citrusy soy dressing, a macaroni salad laced with a tangy mayonnaise and corn nibblets, and a choice of two corokkes. I chose the Popeye, which had a filling of spinach and bacon, and the Curry, which had ground beef with curry. The corokkes were plucked out of the heat lamp case by the owner as soon as the kitchen staff got my rice and fixings ready. A bowl of miso soup also got packed with the meal. Total? $4.80 plus tax. Some tonkatsu sauce and chili paste came packaged with my order.

Now, it's not a spectacular meal mind you. This is definitely not going to blow your socks off. The corokkes are admittedly bland until you dunk it in hot sauce and squirt a little of the tonkatsu sauce. But with every bite, you kind of get addicted and suddenly you want more. One of these days, I'm going to take advantage of their "After 8 pm, 50% off offer", where every corokke is half price 30 minutes before they close up. That amounts to 50 cents per corokke.

They have other items I still need to try. I was drooling over superb looking rice bowls and noodles that other diners were noshing.

Super Corokke
(714) 444-3418
675 Paularino Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

UPDATE: Sometime in the Spring of 2006, the owner of Super Corokke, the nice woman I spoke of in this post, passed away. The space has since been occupied by a new Japanese take-out place called Bentoss.

11 Comments:

At 10:41 AM, Blogger MEalCentric said...

I'm so willing to raid this place with you after 8PM (moving back to Irvine...I will post info soon). I wish you took some pictures though since its hard to picture the corokke, but yet I still drool. Also, still havent tried the other two ramen shops on Bristol, but they are on my task list.

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Yes, I regret not having my camera that day. But I plan on going back and taking pictures of my next meal.

Welcome back to Irvine (soon)!

 
At 12:23 PM, Blogger Professor Salt said...

Mealcentric,

Which two ramen shops on Bristol? If you're talking about Dadami, they sadly closed down for good shortly after my OC Weekly story came out.

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger MEalCentric said...

NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger MEalCentric said...

Do they got non-fried items as well if I wanted something lighter? I start work next to the performing arts center on monday and want to check this place out ASAP.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

They do, in fact. I have the menu in tow here. But when you get there, there is big menu board with pictures. I haven't tried anything else besides what I mentioned I bought, but these other items look very tasty. I'd be interested to know what you think of them, and whether they are actually good.

Here's a sample from their take-away menu:

Broiled & Salted Mackerel $5.50
Flavored Mackerel $5.50
Teriyaki Salmon $5.40
Katsu Bowl $6.25
Teriyaki Chicken Bowl $3.99
Eel Bowl $6.75
Kalbi Bowl $6.25
Kitsune Noodle Soup $4.75
Curry Noodle Soup $4.75
Tempura Noodle Soup $5.75

 
At 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow, I have reached your blog while I was searching on O.C. restaurants...and what a treat it is!!! Your reviews are so entertaining and awesome!

I'm ready to go to Park Avenue in Stanton tomorrow!!! What a gem it looks like. By the way, have you been to the Japanese restaurant at the corner of Beach and Chapman called Mitsuyoshi? Their Friday lunch is a true deal as well as their ever-so-tender and soft miso-simmered mackerel (Saba-miso as we call it back home). If you haven't tried them, I highly recommend it!

But this is a page about Super Corokke after all...

I've been a patron since their opening (how many years ago is that?) and I know that Yasuko-san (the owner) makes pretty much EVERTYHING from scratch there. Even the Tonkatsu sauce that casually sits on the tables there! It is her own special blend! I bet you didn't know that! :)

Next time, try the Nikujaga Corokke. It's like your favorite potato and beef simmered dish at Honda-ya rolled into a dough and fried! That's my favorite corokke there. I also enjoy the grilled mackerel and salmon teriyaki (although I usually order it w/o the teriyaki sauce).

Thank you for great reviews and I look forward to more!!!

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Anon,

Thanks for reading and for the kind comments. I didn't realize that tonkatsu sauce was of her own making...that's awesome. I do like Super Corokke a lot. I'll have to check out that place on Beach and Chapman!

 
At 11:00 PM, Blogger OC Paul said...

Sad to say that Super Corokke has been closed fall 2006. I work down the street and at first thought that the owners were on vacation. But week after week went by and the place is still closed. A handwritten sign posted on the door gives no indication of what happened and the tables and chairs are still in place. Please come back!

 
At 6:59 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Paul,

Regrettably, I heard that the owner passed away May of last year. Check out this post.

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger Lannie said...

Sadly, it's true, the owner died of some type of cancer, and her husband can no longer afford to keep the place running.

 

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