Makino Seafood Buffet - Irvine
For far too long, at too many all-you-can-eats around these parts, what they put out on the sushi trays of most seafood buffets are largely to be avoided, even feared; but not at Makino. They have, for now, what I consider to be the best and most immaculately curated sushi offering to be found in an Asian buffet. (Note: do not take this to mean that you should eat sushi here instead of a Sushi Shibucho or a Sushi Wasabi)
There are about three sushi dudes, busy at all times, forming little nori cones filled with freshly cut fish, sculpting cute nigiri cuffed in seaweed belts, and molding delicate rolls bejeweled with multi-colored fish eggs. This is the reason Makino can get away charging what is probably one of the more expensive entry fees in Irvine (Monday - Thursday, lunch $16.95, dinner $25.95; Friday, weekend, and holidays, lunch $18.95, dinner $26.95)--though not as pricey as Agora, which is just steps away.
The hot foods are what you expect, with varying levels of success depending on whether you just happen get the tail end of a serving tray or just when it came off the fryer or wok.
They also have a noodle bar, where a dedicated attendant will pour you a fresh bowl of ramen topped with sliced roasted pork. But consider it filler. Consider everything you eat here filler. As with any buffet, focus in on the item that takes the most effort, the most expensive ingredients, which for Makino, seems to be the sushi.
Makino Sushi Seafood Buffet
1818 Main St
Irvine, CA 92614
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