Monday, February 04, 2019

Jun's Omakase at Sushi Noguchi is Even Better Now!


It’s common knowledge now that the Japanese word “omakase” means “chef’s choice”, a sort of free license you give your sushi master to serve you whatever he/she thinks is best. But lately, the word has come to mean something else: an ultra-expensive multi-course sushi meal that can tick up to the triple digits.

Sushi Noguchi, the Yorba Linda institution, has always been a pioneer of omakase in Orange County. And to me, if you’re going to spend upwards to a hundred bucks per person for omakase in OC, you can’t do better than trust your investment with Hiro Noguchi, an old-school sushi artisan whom I regard in the same league as Jiro Ono from Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

But the best thing about Sushi Noguchi is that the $100 “Hiro’s Omakase” isn’t your only omakase option. As I’ve written before, Noguchi’s “Jun’s Omakase”—named after Hiro’s lovely wife Jun—costs $50, and it’s just as enjoyable as Hiro’s top-tier meal.

And these days, when other omakases in Orange County are quickly climbing past the $100 mark, Hiro and Jun have done something quite remarkable: not only have they kept “Jun’s Omakase” the same price it has been for years, but they’ve actually upgraded and upped the quantity of the dishes you get with it.

Our recent “Jun’s Omakase” meal consisted of the following six-courses:

- Seared albacore salad with mixed greens, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, peppers, and crispy onions.

- Olive-oil slicked Scottish salmon carpaccio with thinly-slivered red onions and red peppercorns.

- A cooked foods sampler plate of fish-stuffed shishito tempura, a buta kakuni (braised pork belly) with hot mustard, and a crispy-fried shrimp katsu on a stick.

- Two crispy wontons dolloped with spicy tuna.

- A platter of four sublimely-made nigiri pieces with Bluefin tuna, Yellowtail, salmon, and sea bream.

- And finally a baked blue crab hand roll in soy paper that was so sweet, it could double as a dessert confection.

After I ate this meal, I came to the conclusion that “Jun’s Omakase” doesn’t just prove that you don’t have to pay a premium for a quality omakase experience, it also shows that “omakase” can actually mean “bargain”.

Sushi Noguchi
18507 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
(714) 777-6789
http://www.sushinoguchi.com

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