Sushi Shibucho

by Rodzilla on September 21, 2011 · 8 comments

Aji

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a dining review, but I didn’t think it was fair to post this so closely to Urasawa. Interestingly enough, this meal took place just 3 days after that incredible evening. This would be the last time the Mooms man and I flew up the I-5 to meet up with Kevin, and Ryan for a farewell Cali Omakase at Orange County’s Sushi Shibucho.

Marinated Bamboo and Tofu

Marinated Bamboo and Tofu

Our amuse of sorts was this marinated bamboo and tofu. I never get excited about tofu but I liked this. Soft and sweet next to the crunchy bamboo it was a nice gateway to the textures and flavors to come.

Tai

Tai

The tai came in two forms, one bare and one topped with yuzukosho. I’m weary of too much spice overwhelming the fish, but here it was added in the right amount.

Maguro and Toro (2)

Maguro and Toro

Otoro and Maguro were presented next. They both came with a heavier application of wasabi to balance out the richness of the tuna. I felt our Itamamae was a bit heavy handed with the wasabi in general – but I will say I’m sensitive on account of indigestion. The versions of both were pleasant, but not particularly memorable.

Aoyagi

Aoyagi

This was my first experience with this type of clam. I’m not generally a fan of Hokkigai, but here the sweeter flavor and softer texture won me over.

Aji

Aji

Everyone agreed that this was a very strong showing of Horse Mackerel, the addition of ginger and scallion did nicely to cut the strong fishy flavor.

Zuwaigani

Zuwaigani

No crabstick here, just a wonderfully sweet, snappy piece of snow crab. Quite nice.

Kinki

Kinki

Kinki fish was another first for me, I remember it as somewhere between squid and scallop with a lighter flavor.

Kanpachi

Kanpachi

A thick, melty slice of amberjack. Every cut of fish was very generous, while the rice was kept to a traditional thumb-sized bed. There would be no complaints about ratios from our party.

Uni

Uni

The darker color meant the sweeter Santa Barbara variety. This was one of the best pieces I’ve had anywhere.

Binnaga

Binnaga

The albacore ended up being  my favorite tuna of the night, the additional of grated daikon did nicely to lighten the richness of the fish.

Sujiko

Sujiko

This was actually a first for everyone at the table. KevinEats first encounter with a sushi item? Rare indeed. This was salmon roe that had been marinated in the original sack. It had a much brinier, almost caviar like taste with next to no semblance of sweetness.

Sake

Sake

This was a pretty standard piece of salmon. Pleasant, but forgettable.

Anago

Anago

Definitely my favorite of the night, and up there with the best I’ve had. Here the sweet sea-eel was complimented by a touch of salt. Definitely ask for this if you visit.

Tai Konbujime

Tai Konbujime

A second piece of snapper, but this one had been marinated in kelp to accentuate the brinier flavor of the fish.

Ika

Ika

The squid was the expected snappy texture with a light flavor – another one that was a bit heavy on the wasabi for my liking, but otherwise pleasant.

Saba

Saba

The spanish mackerel was probably the richest, oiliest pieces I’ve tasted. In case that doesn’t sound appetizing – it was. Everyone agreed, another highlight of the night.

Hokkigai

Hokkigai

I’m just not the biggest fan of surf clam, but I could recognize that this was a decent piece. Mildly sweet with the traditional chewy texture.

Kanpyo Maki & Ume Shiso

Kanpyo Maki & Ume Shiso

I believe this was my first time having kanpyo.I really liked the sweetness of the gourd, especially when alternating bites with the tangier ume-shiso roll.

Tamago

Tamago

This was an sweeter, eggier version of the traditional meal closer. I actually prefer this version of more cake like versions found elsewhere.

Marinated Cucumber and Daikon

Marinated Cucumber and Daikon

and then we really finished off with a sweet marinated cucumber and piece of daikon to aid in digestion. (Factoid courtesy of Ryan.)

Having visited only 3 days after experiencing arguably the best in the States, some may think that my ability to enjoy Shibucho would have been hindered , but that wasn’t the case at all. No, the experience wasn’t even near that of Urasawa, but was a hell of a lot closer than the discrepancy in price.  All of this was had for around $60 a head – about a 10th of the price for a seat in front of Hiro-San.

Shibucho is definitely a bargain for the quality of the items, everything was beyond acceptable with a good number of standouts. As always, I had a great time with Ryan, Kevin, and the Mooms-man. For a much better review of this meal, you can check out what Kevin had to say here.

Sushi Shibucho on Urbanspoon

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim Valentine

Looks delicious! It’s been a long while since I’ve had high quality sushi so I’m very jealous of your recent sushi posts.

2 Darlene

I really like the fish to rice ratio in many of the pieces. I’ll definitely put this on my list when I head up north next time.

3 James

Those are pretty good photos – not far from what Kevin had. About flying up the I-5… didn’t you learn your lesson from the Urasawa thing? ;)

4 Kevin

Whoa, $60 for all of that? That’s a damn good deal.

5 Rodzilla

Kim – You’re in a good spot to do it!

Darlene – it’s definitely a good one, also since you’re in SD…I think Toshi-San in La Jolla is a hidden gem.

James – haha I learned, Mooms man didn’t. The dude is from Boston – makes LA drivers looks like the Elderly.

Kev – I was surprised as well – especially given the normal price of some of those pieces.

6 kirbie

Ooh, this isn’t too far of a drive. Added to my list!

7 Cameo

I demand sushi NOW! Looks like a great meal. Much better than the chicken nuggets! I will have to check out the review of Urasawa. Have you spent any time in NYC? Any sushi restaurants here you recommend?

8 Rodzilla

Haha, yeah McNuggets can’t really compare. Unfortunately I haven’t since I was young- but I do plan on visiting soon, I’ve eaten vicariously through about a million reviews of restaurants in the area. I would love to go to Masa, 15 east, Gari, Yasuda, Azabu, Seki, even Nobu 57 – if you try them out you’ll have to let me know!

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