Newport Beach, CA
Lunch, August 2011
Definitely more of a sophisticated experience with sashimi in Newport Beach. There are a few sushi bars I respect here in Southern Orange County. Those include Blue Fin, 242 Fusion (Laguna), and Kitayama; Abe was one also, but it's closed, sadly.
Kitayama is the most traditional of them all, and though it's not entirely authentic (huge portions!) it's still a Japanese menu with tasty food. You sit in these little Japanese stalls, booths, with curtains. It feels like you have your own little private room - strange for me, but this dining experience doesn't happen often. It was nice when catching up with a good old friend.
Assorted Sushi Platter with garden salad.
Included with the assorted sushi. So good. I liked the Asian, ginger-infused dressing. It was light with an olive oil base.
What is this? I think it's a sushi lunch bowl. Unnamed on the website. Oh well. All sashimi, as it should be.
Albacore and salmon sashimi. Loved the albacore.
"Shrimp, shitake mushroom, carrot, eggplant, yam potato with tempura sauce.
Served with rice, miso soup, and pickled veggies
So much food. This is a little more than you would receive in Japan; there, the portions are smaller but, truly, it's always enough food..
I enjoyed the tempura veggies the most. The zucchini and yam tempura were fantastic. The tempura breading is on the light side; tempura is not your typical fried food, so it's not as heavy as it looks. There were also zucchini flowers that I often go gaga over. One of the best tempura dishes I had in Japan included zucchini and lavender flowers. Who would have thought those would work? The flavors were lovely, mildly sweet with hints of butter in natural flavor; yes, this tempura stuff is dangerous.
Sweet Potato and Zucchini Tempura