The residents of Orange County, Westminster to be specific, have a new sushi restaurant in town, Matsuyama Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar. I am here to tell you that if you are a fan of great sushi, you do not want to hesitate checking it out. I promise you, you have never had a sushi experience like this. In my youth I looked forward to things like Christmas and getting my driver’s license. As I got older, things like tax refunds and stock dividend checks were anticipated anxiously; they all pale in comparison to how much I was looking forward to last Saturday and the Grand Opening of Matsuyama Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar.
Friends and followers at Facebook thought that I turned vegetarian because most of my food photos lately have been of fruits and vegetables that we either juice or barbecue. For the previous three years, those photos were all of the various sushi rolls that my friend, Song Kim, invented; each a true work of art. In October, the sushi photos stopped. Many put one and one together and came up with vegetarian. The fact of the matter is that Song decided he wanted to open his own place. I tried going back to the establishment I met him at and enjoyed for more than three years, but it was not the same. It is one thing to know the ingredients, but if you do not know how to put them together, it is not going to be the same. I decided I was going to have to wait for Song to open his new place.
I have to admit, I did not think it was going to take six months; that was a long time to wait for some good sushi. For those of you yet to try Song’s creations, it may be difficult to comprehend just how different sushi can be. I have had friends from all over the world make special trips to the South Bay so they could try his creations and not once have I had anyone remotely suggest they regretted the stop. I have taken people there that informed me as we were walking in the door that they were not really “into sushi.” I have had another guest that told me all she ever ordered was a California Roll; one try of one of Song’s rolls changed all that. Even his California Roll is better than any you have had anywhere else, I promise.
I remember taking some friends to the old place for their first visit. A few months later we happened to meet up in Las Vegas and they asked if they could reciprocate buy buying dinner at a very well known for their sushi restaurant. I was not very hungry but agreed to meet for drinks and maybe a roll or two. After the first bite of the first roll my host looked at me and said, “I know it is not what you are used to; but it is better than anything we can get in Florida.” Even my dad, who expressed zero interest in sushi, tried it and seemed to like it a lot more than he expected.
These photos were taken at the grand opening of Matsuyama Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar; you can see that this is not your standard sushi fare. Even his sashimi is unbelievable. The Toro Toro, which is albacore belly slightly seared with olive oil and covered with ponzu and black caviar is almost as much fun to watch being prepared as it is to eat. The Godfather Roll or the Titanic are both as big as they sound. The Q-balls, seasoned crab wrapped with salmon then torched, literally melts in your mouth. When I bring someone new I ask one question; are you allergic to anything? The rolls at Matsuyama may have anything from avocado and capers to jalapenos and cream cheese which might sound weird along with crab and salmon, but after Song works his magic you will never think so again. Believe me, I waited six months and extended my drive from three miles of surface streets to 25 miles of freeway, and this will be my go to sushi spot.
Matsuyama Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar is located at 13531 Beach Boulevard in Westminster, CA. It is right off the 22, just a short block at Beach and Trask Avenue. They are open seven days a week from 11:30 AM until 9:30 PM. If you want a real treat, ask Song to fix you something off the menu, you will be amazed what he can come up with. Kumpai.
The watermark on the photos is to bring attention to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, for RA patients, by RA patients.