My friend Brenda loves food just like me, and whenever we lunch, sushi is generally the food of choice. Although it’s been only about a week since Brenda’s last visit, it’s been a while since mine and I was happy to see Chef James Hamamori in good spirits and jokingly cheerful as I take photos of everything I’m eating.
We decided on omakase (please note prices reflect the price of a two piece portion) and started with Uni Toro ($19.50), Brenda’s choice — the fatty tuna together with the already decadent uni (sea urchin) was heavenly when combined. I looked at Chef James and damned him for presenting that to us first because it would be a hard act to follow. He deflected blame to Brenda — funny guy!
Salmon with daikon and Ikura ($6) was a melt-in-your-mouth piece of salmon topped with a thin slice of pickled daikon (Asian radish) and topped with salty ikura (roe) and a little citrus zest.
I was remembering the fermented beancurd soaked in a sweet sake during one visit and Chef James decided to create a special piece of sushi using Halibut ($6.50). I absolutely love the taste, although it could be an acquired one for some.
I asked for toro next and Chu Toro ($12.50), my favorite of all the different toro (bluefin tuna) cuts. It is less fatty than the top of the charts otoro which can be so fatty it leaves a film in my mouth I prefer to eat it as the last piece in my meal. This chu toro is really flavorful and doesn’t overpower your palate.
Next came Spot Prawn Caviar ($11), a sweet spot prawn topped with caviar.
After eating the sushi, you have the option of having the head fried or served in soup. We chose the fried.
I love yuzu kosho, a paste made from yuzu and other aromatics. Scallop Yuzu Kosho ($6) was melty good. Loved it!
Brenda remembers the lobster from a previous visit so we had an order of Lobster ($12) topped with this incredible sauce. I asked Chef James if it was miso and ponzu and he shook his head. He wasn’t about to divulge his secrets to me!
We ended with Albacore Onion ($6.50) a beautiful piece of albacore tuna topped with fried onion bits. I highly recommend eating this last so the onion doesn’t overwhelm your palate. You need to keep your tastebuds clean when eating sushi.
Brenda and I shared Pumpkin Flan ($8) for dessert. The kabocha squash flan was subtle and lightly sweetened, my perfect kind of dessert. A very enjoyable meal with a good friend!
Go and have some sushi and enjoy some laughs with Chef James!
3333 Bear Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626