Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Best Sushi in Orange County

Lately, every birthday we've celebrated tended to end in zeroes, and to commemorate another one, we again went to Sushi Noguchi--where the cost of the top-tier omakase also tended to end in zeroes (two of them, in fact).

But when every morsel we ate had us mouthing to each other the words "Oh my God!", I knew it was worth every penny.

If I haven't said it before, Hiro Noguchi makes the best sushi in Orange County.

He has no equal.

Last night, he fed us an omakase dinner that topped the last one, which was already hard to top.

As usual, he introduced us to fish species we'd never heard of; new preparations we'd never seen.

There were teensy weensy Japanese icefish, needle fish with its eponymous pointy nose on display, and golden eye snapper with a shock of brilliant strawberry pink skin.

We ate a luscious ootoro, crunchy deep fried amaebi heads, and a steamed fish ball draped with a creamy slice of halibut.

And then there was his masterpiece: a sashimi plate teeming with flowers and leaves. He took several minutes sculpting, decorating, and tweezing it into perfection. It was so meticulous, it wasn't just a sashimi plate; it was ikebana--and it was breathtaking.

Sushi Noguchi
18507 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
(714) 777-6789

Tani - Tustin


At 11:37 AM, Blogger dumplings said...


Do need to try this place! Have you visited Kasen in FV since it reopened?

At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best sushi in OC? Have you been to Nana-san, Shibucho, Shunka, San Shi, etc?

At 6:09 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


I haven't been to the new Kasen. How is it? Unfortunately I never got a chance to check it out before it closed and then opened again.


I penned two reviews of Shibucho, both in haiku, one of which is framed and hangs in my office. I reviewed Nana San for OC Weekly within the first month of its opening. I wrote up Shunka as Best Sushi for OC Weekly's Best Of Issue 2014. In previous years, I wrote more odes to Shibucho, but also Hamamori, Bluefin, Ikko, Ohshima, and Sushi Wasabi on this blog and OC Weekly. But after three visits to Noguchi made over the course of six months, it's my humble opinion that Noguchi is the best of the lot. However, since a restaurant isn't static like a great movie or a song, this will all change someday. But for this moment in time, yes, Noguchi is the best sushi I've had in Orange County. So now my question to you is, have you been?

At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

elmomonster: I've been to a couple of places but not nearly as many as you. I'm originally from LA so I'm much more familiar with restaurants in that area than I am the OC but I've dabbled in a couple you've mentioned. I found Shunka to be one of my favorites (bang for your buck when I went in 2013 and again in 2014). I wasn't particuarly impressed with Ikko (I was a little put off by the fact that he serves the sushi at the bar all at once rather than piece by piece) nor Ohshima (which was decent, but I was served monkfish liver which basically tasted old and spoiled). I found Shibucho and Nana-san very good but prices have climbed dramatically over time. But I haven't tried Noguchi. I will try next time I'm back in town! Great writing btw, keep it up!

At 6:55 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Thank you for your comment and kind words! Shunka is excellent. It would be my number #2. Up until a few months ago, Shibucho was my #1, but you are absolutely right about the prices. They went up, but quality has not kept pace. Plus, I miss Shubutani and most of all, his wife. (They're both retired to Japan). When they were there and I ordered omakase, Mrs. Shibutani used to come around and offered miso soup at the end. Not anymore.

Glen is a great chef, but our last visit there (which was made about a week or two prior to this visit to Noguchi), made me reevaluate where Shibucho ranks. It's now probably somewhere around #6 :-(


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