Finishing 2014 with one of my favorite returns for December's Mini Meals' final edition at Shunka in Costa Mesa for omakase with Yuki-san! To me, sitting at the bar is a way to connect with the chef, see the action behind the glass and an opportunity to try new things - things you didn't know existed or a new experience altogether. And that's why I came to Shunka to enjoy myself to the fullest!
I brought Kurt along to experience Shunka the only way I know how - with many beers, great conversation and an open mind. Kurt goes to Nana-san on a monthly basis and has never been to Shunka, so we were going to have our sushi fix today! I apologize for the lack of descriptions, but I've done my best to account for all my bites. Some nigiri was noted in Japanese, so I had to do some research to find out what it is and there are others I just don't recall.
Fatty Tuna (Toro) and Yellowtail (Kanpachi). After the first bite, I just knew this was going to be awesome :)
One of these pieces is Akamatsu, I'm pretty sure of it. The one on the right was garnished with a miso garlic topping (I think) that brought a nice punch of flavor, even though the fish was really light in comparison.
Bonito on left
King scallop (left) and Ocean Trout (right).
Black Cod and Amberjack (Buri)
Striped Horsemackerel (Shima Aji) garnished with ginger and green onions and Japanese Barracuda (Kamasu). The ginger helps cut the strong fishy aroma of mackerel.
Golden Eye Snapper and Black Snapper. Buttery and silky on the tongue.
Japanese Sea Bream and Seabass (Suzuki) garnished with green tea.
Live Scallop and Baked Scallop. The baked scallop was like a dynamite baked with mayo and mushrooms, then topped with shaved bonito flakes. I love getting the live scallop because nothing goes to waste.
Clam and Sea Urchin (Uni)
Grilled Jumbo Clam (Geoduck Clam - Mirugai). It was a little gritty at some parts, but the meaty texture was sweeter than expected.
Monkfish Liver (Ankimo). So creamy, so smooth.
Conch reminds me a lot of cartilage with a nice crunchy texture. This happened to be one of the pieces I was curious about after looking at the specials menu and decided to give it a try. I wouldn't mind having this again.
Egg (Tamago). I always order tamago last. Smooth in texture with a slight sweetness, the fluffy egg is almost dessert meets savory. And if I'm still hungry, I'll order dessert, but this usually takes the cake (pun not intended haha).
Shunka is a place of many great memories, although I have only been here twice! I usually suggest friends to Shunka if they want to try something new, don't mind splurging a little (or a lot) extra, and want to experience omakase. According to Kurt, it was a mind blowing experience because there were things he never had before.
It's by no means an everyday sushi restaurant, but that's what makes it worthwhile. Each bite is savored to the end and some are garnished with great detail so that you enjoy the best taste. It's also a great reminder to treat yourself to something delicious. You deserve it!
369 E 17th Street, Suite 17
Costa Mesa, CA 92627