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Sushi Nozomi: An unexpected surprise

As my regular readers are aware, I eat a lot of sushi; I am pretty picky about the sushi I eat and there are only two people (Song and Alex) that I go to when I want it. Unfortunately, neither of my friends is currently available so I was prepared to abstain for a while. Tanya, on the other hand was not. Tanya is an interesting case because she only recently started eating sushi and she was only familiar with Song’s fusion style of preparation. Since we knew Song was selling his business, Tanya had been talking about visiting a new sushi bar and has been looking around and asking friends for recommendations. A couple of weeks ago she picked up a Los Angeles magazine that had an article that discussed the top 15 locations for sushi in Los Angeles; one of them was Sushi Nozomi in Torrance. I took a look around their website and was slightly uncomfortable; it was apparent they are more traditional sushi than the fusion style I had introduced Tanya to so I really was not sure she was going to like it. In fact, I had so little confidence on this being a positive experience that I did not bother bringing my camera. Tanya mentioned that if nothing else we can have some sake and beer, so the worst case scenario was not all that bad.

I have frequently said that the best restaurants are in strip malls, so I wasn’t taken aback by its location. It you want a seat with a view, sit at the bar and you can see how fresh the fish is. Their hours were the typical lunch (11:30-2:00PM) then closed until dinner (5:30-10:00PM). We got there shortly after they opened for dinner and there were already people seated. They have a very long sushi bar with three chefs at the ready; they all welcomed us with “Irasshaimase” as we entered. It was our first time there so I was prepared to sit at the first seats but there was a “Reserved” sign for the first 10 spots so we just walked down to the end where we met Toshi, our chef for the evening. Continue reading

Matsuyama Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar Grand Opening!

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. Continue reading

Photos from Wasa Sushi, Newport Beach

A couple of friends of mine read this blog, and follow me on Facebook (see sidebar –>), and as a result have seen many photos from my visits to Gu Gu Sushi. A couple of weeks ago, we decided that we would have a sushi exchange program. I would visit their favorite sushi establishment and then we would all go to Gu Gu and see who had the best sushi. Last Saturday, I joined them at Wasa On the Bluffs, in Newport Beach, CA.

It was a fun ride there and back, and the sushi was good. They are more of a traditional sushi bar, and I tried things I have not seen or tried at Gu Gu. Our chef, Taka, was a friendly chap as was the rest of the staff. All in all, a pleasant experience. I like the dab of hidden wasabi they seem to add to every roll.

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