A Taste of Okinawan Cuisine at Habuya
One of my favorite finds of 2014 that I had to return sooner than later with more friends to share the blessings. Truly a diamond in the rough, Habuya brings authentic Okinawan cuisine to Orange County. Different from the usual offerings of Japanese restaurants, Okinawan foods incorporates ingredients and flavors from surrounding countries they once traded with, making a couple menu items a standout above the rest.
For my return, I explored more dishes that I missed out on my first meal and some repeat offenders that I coulnd't leave without having again.
Goya Unagi Tamagoyaki // MUST TRY! Sweet unagi in eel sauce with a slight bitterness from goya (bittermelon).
Unigiri. I love uni so I wanted to give this a try. Pretty good with generous topping of sea urchin, but nothing special. It was like a giant piece of uni nigiri, like the name suggests.
Steamed Clams with Enoki mushrooms. Perfectly cooked with a strong aroma of garlic. I love!
Special of the day: Japanese Snapper. Really nice presentation, but sushi isn't their forte. It was good, but it could have been better.
Repeat Offenders: Sausage with shishito peppers. The peppers were a bit spicy, more than usual. Plus, I really enjoy Japanese sausage for its flavor and texture. My favorite is when it's in yakitori form, but grilled works just as well.
Uni pasta. So delicious!
Fried pig ear tempura (not pictured). Super crispy and because it's battered, it's not as intimidating. Served with ponzu sauce for dipping.
My return to Habuya also brought great tidings as they were celebrating their four year anniversary! We got to participate in a draw for freebies and coupons. Our table got a couple discounts ($1 off ramen or noodles) and a free scoop of green tea ice cream. It was a wonderful night of amazing eats and I don't mind coming back for more.
Habuya Okinawan Dining
14215 Red Hill Ave
Tustin, CA 92780