Oh my goshie its Omakase!

Okay how corny am I, right? But I needed to catch your attention on this awesome hole in the wall in Tustin.  A coworker recently suggested this amazing spot called Sushi Wasabi for some of the freshest fish in Orange County.  So when my fiance turned 29, I decided to take him out for his favorite food at a new spot.

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When we pulled up to this joint, we were very, very surprised.  It is in a strip mall, in Tustin, in the corner, with no decorations or extra special signage.  To be honest, it looked like a dump.  Even worse, there was not a single person in the restaurant.  I had made reservations, but we easily sat at the sushi bar, where all they serve is omakase.

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For those of you who don’t know, omakase means a meal selected by the chef.  Luckily, they asked us if there was anything we don’t eat or have an allergy to.  After that, the chef takes charge and provides you with whatever was fresh from the fish market that day.  The chef and his wife were the only two in the dining room.

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One of the more interesting things about this place is that every time you get a dish, they tell you where the fish is from.  For example, our first sushi dish was from Canada.  We also had blue fin from Spain, Snapper from Japan, etc.  Once you sit down, you are asked what you want to drink, and the chef sets you up with some ginger and wasabi.  Then it’s game time.

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What I liked best about this restaurant was how fresh the fish was, how well it was paired with the sauces, and the amount of fish to rice ratio.  Each dish seemed to follow up with a similar type of fish.  For example, we had albacore tuna sushi, which was then followed by blue fin tuna.  Then, we had two types of snapper.  Then, baked scallops followed with fresh scallops with lime.  The chef definitely took creativity into mind when he created his omakase menu.

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My favorite dish was the snapper with lemon.  It was so fresh and smooth, and not fatty or stringy at all.  In fact, none of the fish was super stringy.  Everything was a clean cut, the portions were hefty, and the sauces were not overwhelming.   Most people also rave about the blue crab hand roll, which was really good as well.  The baked scallops were my least favorite because they were a bit too chewy.  Fresh was definitely most satisfactory.

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The meal ended up costing us quite a penny, but it was a special occasion and we had over 11 different dishes.  Because it was omakase we did not see a menu before either, so just expect it to be around $100 per person if you sit at the sushi table.  When we were so stuffed we couldn’t eat anymore, we just asked for the bill.  The chef was concerned, but we explained that we couldn’t eat a single more bite, and then he laughed.

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4.5/5 for fresh sushi, but at a normal expensive price.  If you go on the weekends, make reservations as we hear its a lot more crowded.  And if chef’s choice isn’t right for you, the dining tables allow for parties to order from the menu.

The age old question: Shake Shack or In-N-Out

Well first and foremost, I am a Southern California girl, born and raised in Los Angeles, living most of my adult life in Orange County – where In-N-Out is from for those of you uneducated.  So of course, I will never, haven’t ever, and will not bash that beautiful specimen of a joint.  However, (you saw that coming didn’t you) what I will say is that Shake Shack is pretty dang good for a burger joint.

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A healthy option at Greenleaf

Everyone has a New Year’s resolution…and normally it includes healthy eating and a stricter work out diet.  Of course mine wasn’t any different, especially since I have a wedding to throw and 9 others to attend.  So when my fiance and I headed to The Mix/SoCo/OC Mix Mart to scope out some engagement picture options I offered up Greenleaf as a healthy option.

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Greenleaf is a counter walk up restaurant, but with lots of indoor and outdoor seating.  There are five locations, both in Los Angeles and Orange County. It has build your own salads, hot entrees, sandwiches, soups, burgers, pizza – you name it.  It really has something for everyone.  It also has a special brunch menu that includes smoothies, juices and protein shakes.  I also enjoy the organic sodas and alcohol options.

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On this occasion, I decided to get the spaghetti squash pasta with turkey meatballs and a side of kale.  My fiance ordered the cobb salad (which is fabulous).  The salad was huge and quite filling.  The turkey meatballs were really tasty, but the dish was quite small for the price.  I don’t think that I would order it again because I was hungry an hour later.  I haven’t tried other entrees but the salads are always great!

4/5 for counter service, 5/5 for fast casual dining, 3.5/5 for price to size of meal

A New Year, A New Me, a New Life

Welcome and Happy New Year.  I have been quite a stranger this past year.  I left you high and dry.  But friends, I needed to go through some changes to be ready to get back here.  Don’t worry, I still ate a ton, drank some more and went on quite a few adventures.  For starters, I got engaged!!!  Which is always exciting, and always stressful.

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I also decided it would be smart to start a new job.  Which is crazier than planning a wedding but I decided to do both…at the same time.  Like the break up of a boyfriend, it took me some time to get through all this change and I am still learning how to juggle all the things I have going on.  In the meantime, I eat, I adventure, and I learn.  So guys, I am back to share that journey.  And what better place than starting with pizza at 800 Degrees.

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800 Degrees is a fast service pizza place, really the first of its kind before we got Blaze, Pizza Rev, etc.  It is located in Westwood, in good ol’ Bruin territory.  You order one of the 3-4 pizzas at a counter, and then can add on additional toppings (there are many) for a dollar each topping.  Then, your pizza goes into their oven to cook for 3-4 minutes at “800 degrees.”  Get it?

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800 Degrees also offers salads (see above – The Baby Kale Salad), burrata appetizers/small plates, and side dishes.  The meatballs are amazing, and I love the beets and burrata.  The options are endless, and if you can’t pick a pizza, they have specialty pizzas ready for your choosing that are well balanced and tasty.  I prefer the make your own though because I am in the mood for something different every time I visit this place.

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I really love the crust on the pizzas here, and I like how quick you get your food without feeling like it is pre-made.  It doesn’t hurt that there is a great wine and beer selection to help you eat your carbo load.  And when you are done, there is a gelato bar for those needing a night cap!

5/5 for service, 4/5 for fast casual dining, 3.5/5 for price