O Fine Japanese Cuisine - Irvine, CA
Whenever I go to dinner with my brother, we typically go get sushi and we rarely sit at the bar. However, something must have possessed my brother to take a chance and he chose to get seated at the sushi bar. OMG...RARE! So I was happy to show him the ropes, but unfortunately, O Fine Sushi is not the type of spot for omakase, but I entertained the idea anyway. My brother decided to go with something on the menu and I, well, I did whatever I wanted. #justkiddingnotreally I asked the chef to serve me whatever he wanted to. Same concept for omakase, different service. Basically, it made my dining experience easier since I didn't have to choose. The chef made recommendations and I just told him to do his thing.
Started off with Halibut & Truffle Oil. The truffle oil is so tasty, but definitely overpowers the delicate sashimi. A little goes a long way and there was a lot more truffle oil than need be on each slice.
Brother went with the Sashimi Platter B, which for $29.99 is NOT a bad deal at all for a few select premium cuts. You get 10 pieces total - tamago/egg, unagi/eel, uni/sea urchin, aji/Spanish mackerel, albacore, amaebi/live sweet shrimp, hirame/halibut, hamachi/yellowtail, bluefin tuna, o toro/fatty tuna and a fried shrimp head. That was filling for my bro, but I pretty much ate double that amount on my own. Sometimes I question my appetite too.
Starting off the "omakase", the chef prepared Japanese snapper with a bit of shiso leaf and a small dollop of yuzu kosho (paste made of chili peppers, yuzu peel & salt). He says, "no soy sauce." Mmk. I don't really eat sushi with soy sauce to begin with. The fish wasn't cold and almost felt like it was at room temp, but it was so tender, melt-in-your-mouth perfection and the shiso/yuzu kosho added some aromatics to each bite.
Hamachi (yellowtail). It almost tasted like the belly cut because it was very buttery, but I could be wrong.
Raw oysters with ponzu sauce, some green onions and masago. They were about the size of Kumamoto oysters, although I'm not sure what variation of oyster it is. Not briny, but it was drowning in ponzu so there wasn't any other layers to that.
Spanish mackerel. I'm not a fan of the fishy taste, but this one wasn't as pungent. The ginger on top really helped mask the fishiness along with a light brush of ponzu sauce.
Toro served two ways. 1) Nigiri topped with fresh wasabi and lightly brushed with soy sauce 2) Sashimi - lightly seared/torched, wrapped with a small sliver of shiso leaf and topped with the fresh wasabi. I LOVE WASABI so I tried the sashimi first to get the full texture/feel/taste of the toro. YUM!
Uni (sea urchin). One of my fav things that I always have (unless they are sold out!). When you sit at the bar, you SEE things. The chef was doing kitchen prep and I saw how the uni was prepared and stored. He empties out the package and puts the uni on top of a few paper napkins. From there, he picks out the whole pieces to use for sushi and tosses the bad ones. It was rad to see that, cause paying MP (market price) for mediocre uni is a waste and you're the one on the losing end of the stick.
Ankimo (monkfish liver). Nothing special, I've had better. I felt like it was made to look pretty and it was pretty tasteless.
Tako (octopus). This was a bit tough and chewy for my liking. I was hoping it would be more crisp but it was whatevers. It was wrong of me to deviate from the plan haha. The chef had made a few recommendations like bluefin and something else, but I turned them down and this is what happened. Disappointment ahah.
Kanpachi (amberjack) topped with that yuzu kosho. A great way to end the meal and now I'm just obsessed with that condiment. Yuzu is a game changer for sushi in my own opinion haha.
O Fine Sushi is a pretty chill spot, but not for omakase because they don't really do that. They also cater to a different crowd. Another couple had sat down at the bar and asked the chef, "what's good today? what's fresh?" The chef proceeded to list great choices, but they chose to start off with a Spider roll. Why did you even bother asking if you're gonna get rolls?? -__-
The selection is fresh and some of their other menu items are quite tasty. For example, poke chips, Wagyu beef carpaccio and garlic shishito peppers are all great choices.
Anyone have recommendations on what types of sushi I should try next? If there's a specific sashimi or shellfish you think I would love, just comment below! Would love to hear/see what else is out there. Follow me on Instagram: @mealswithjamie
O Fine Sushi
6731 Quail Hill Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92603