1956 N Tustin St
Orange, CA 92865
Dining date: 12/21/13
Ohshima is one of Orange County’s notable and more popular sushi shops. I’ve had very limited forays into the OC sushi scene, but what I’ve found is some high quality sushi at some very reasonable prices. This was my second visit to Ohshima’s unassuming location in an Orange strip mall.
The menu setup is a little unique. Bar seats come with a mandatory eight-piece omakase; the rest of the meal is supplemented by a wide a la carte menu. Sushi, separated between ‘Japan-originated’ and ‘Other’ is available as well as a selection of hot and cold plates. Diners can customize the meal to be sushi-only or feature a little bit of everything. We went for a meal that was primarily sushi but added a few hot bites. I definitely dig the flexibility.
Noodles with Seaweed
An amuse bouche, if you will. Noodles were paired with springy seaweed in an oil-heavy vinaigrette.
Sea Bream yuzu salt
This was very nice, reminding me of Morimoto’s signature chopped toro. The toro was rich and luscious with a complementary deep soy flavor.
Octopus yuzu kosho
Nice textures with some bright acidity.
Fried Chicken Cartilage
These were served hot – crispy, slightly chewy and with good chicken flavor.
I was disappointed that these gyoza didn’t have as crispy of a bottom as expected. The shrimp was present but a strong leek flavor dominated.
Chicken Grunt Fish
I’m not sure I’ve had this unique-sounding fish before. It had a delicate chew to it, kind of like a type of clam. Sweet flesh.
Cherry Salmon Belly
A slight chew was present in this rich flavorful fish.
Kinki Rock Fish ponzu, fresh scallion, ginger
Seared with a torch, the richness of the cod went very well with a hint of smoke.
Beautiful piece – this generous mound of cool, sweet urchin was seriously a whole mouthful.
Blue Crab Hand Roll with avocado
Would’ve preferred just the crab in this roll as I thought the avocado took away from the delicate crab a bit.
The wagyu was seared and topped with a garlic chip and onion sauce. Would’ve preferred this to be simpler, but the characteristic fattiness was definitely present.
Ohshima presented a delicious meal at a great price. I was in a little disbelief that the total bill was under $60 per person (pre-tax/tip) especially including some high-end items like toro, uni and wagyu beef. Having said that, some inconsistencies in the cut of the fish and quality clearly showed the restaurant is hardly in the same league as top-tier sushi restaurants in Los Angeles. Still, it’s a reliable spot for a good sushi meal without breaking the bank. I need to try more OC sushi when I’m in the area, but I definitely hope to be back to Ohshima.