Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Fish Were Flying at Sushi Wasabi

Sushi Wasabi
14460 Newport
Tustin, CA 92780

This is the first year I have ever kept one of my New Years resolutions. Usually I blow my resolutions by the second week of the year, but not this year. What is this resolution that I kept? My resolution was to get out of my food comfort zone and try as many foods as possible. Okay, it was a pretty easy resolution to keep since it did not involve gyms, money, or any real effort on my part, but I have been proud of myself none the less. We have had Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, Colombian, and Lebanese this year.  We have also been to a Japanese place, and you can add another one to the list, Sushi Wasabi.

We had a long overdue dinner with our friend Kat, from Kat's 9 Lives. She had suggested that we have sushi, from one of her favorite places. We arrived at about six on a Wednesday night. Sushi Wasabi is not exactly on the beaten track, and not where you would expect a great sushi restaurant to be. Tucked into a small strip mall with an auto parts store and a donut/smoothie shop, Sushi Wasabi has a great reputation among local sushi lovers and foodies.

We took a seat at the sushi bar, where everything is served, like the sign says, "Omakase Style". There was no ordering, no say in what you would be given, and there are signs on the door, and above the sushi bar that state that they will not be serving any California rolls at anytime. The stoic owner and chef of this restaurant was in full control of what we were given, and this is what he came up with this night.

Starting us off was the Albacore, which really had a fresh taste, and a very generous portion size. This fish was served in a ponzu sauce, with scallions. Very tasty start to the meal.

I could not decide which picture I liked the best, so I decided to put both of them up here. This Tuna from Hawaii was far from fishy tasting. It was as clean tasting as it was good looking in the pictures.

Next up in our fish parade was the Red Snapper, this one from New Zealand. This was also served with ponzu sauce. It has probably become obvious to you now that this fish was as fresh as you can get, just like all of the stuff we were served here.

The only roll we would be served all night would be this Blue Crab Roll. This would be the only one we would need. This was deemed best by all of us. It was dressed with mayo and rice, and had a consistency like a tuna sandwich, but much smoother, and way more rich and flavorful. Kat loved this enough to have many more of these. I could have eaten this crab by the shovelful.

This mellow looking piece was the Yellowtail. Do not let the plain look of this fool you, this one was delicious.

With a striking resemblance to Nemo, this Scottish Salmon was the next to grace our plates. The toasted sesame seeds on top of this was a nice touch here, and helped enhance the flavor of this. I even got a second one of this wonderful salmon.

At this point we had a nice change of pace with the Baked Scallop. This warm fish dish was big on salty flavor, but Katie was not a fan of this. She felt that the scallop's here were too small, and she prefers a meatier scallop. I liked this well enough, but maybe because it broke up the monotony of all the sushi.

The Chopped Toro was next up. Not only did this toro look like cotton candy, but it evaporated just as quickly. Very light and mega smooth.

And the fish just keep swimming by. These are the Oysters served with ponzu sauce. These were not as chewy as I expected, and the flavor of the sauce really enhanced the flavor of the oyster.

The one miss of the entire night for me was the Uni, which the chef said was from Santa Barbara. I have never had uni before, and the texture and flavor of it did not sit right for either Katie and I. I am sure it is not bad, but more of an acquired taste.

Finally we come to the last of our sushi cavalcade, the Shrimp. This shrimp was not as flavorful as I have had other places, but I am not used to having it prepared this way either. It was okay though.

To be honest with you this was a very hard post for me to write. I admit I am not very knowledgeable about sushi, and I do not appreciate it as much as I should. Hopefully that will come in time. I can admit something that I never thought I would say about a sushi place, I was really full after eating here. I had it all planned out to pick up something else on the way home, but it became unnecessary after the amount of fish I consumed here.

I do know that this was some high quality fish, and it was prepared well. After reading Monster Munching's review it seems that the chef's selections do not really deviate too much. He basically had the exact same meal two years ago. It was delicious, but a little pricey. For the three of us our bill came to $252, which works out to $84 a person before tip. A little on the high side for my novice approach to sushi. The service was not overly friendly, but they were quick to clear plates and refill our drinks. The sushi chef was very focused on his work, and only spoke to inform us what we were eating. No need for him to talk, because it gave us plenty of time to catch up with our good friend Kat. Thanks for taking us here Kat.

So out of five roots, (because writing this blog I learned that Wasabi comes from a root), five being best to zero being worst, Sushi Wasabi gets 3.5 roots.

Sushi Wasabi does not have a web site, but you can check out reviews and information here:

Sushi Wasabi on Urbanspoon


  1. My mom said this place is a rip off and she will never go there again. She said all japanese in Orange County don't know about this place because it is not good. She said you have to come with her for some good sushi!

    See you soon!

  2. Chris - I would agree with you about this place being over priced, but it was pretty good. I would love to go out with your wonderful Mother to some of her favorite sushi hot spots. Thanks for the comment!