Thursday, January 15, 2009
Lingering around the area of Irvine I called TP to see if she wanted to grab dinner. She happened to be with her "wife" M so we decided to all grub together. They both rave about Niko Niko Sushi in Irvine. Last time TP and I went to the one in Costa Mesa and it was a huge disappointment. Since M is a vegetarian and I am definitely NOT, I thought this would be a good compromise and I can give them one more chance. We used Google Maps on M's IPhone but it was really dumb and almost gave us the wrong direction. Luckily we were able to find it in the Woodbury Center.
Here is a special appearance of TP... striking her pose! Trying to catch a hottie walking out of the fitness center. While we were dining there they saw a bunch of guys that could have potential! lol TP needs to join that gym to find Mr. Right it seems. lol
There wasn't anyone there since we went during lunner time and we were seated immediately. The place looked clean and nice. They immediately brought us the Edamame and TP wanted a nice hot cup of Miso Soup.
TP debated on what to order. She normally loves the Idaho Roll but she was tempted when she saw Crab Cakes on the menu. In the end she decided to have the Idaho Roll but they made a mistake and ordered her the Crab Cakes. The appetizer was nicely presented but what was inside them was another story. At first I thought it could have a lot of potential but then I opened them up... it is Imitation Crab! No wonder they were so cheap, still... the guy who brought it out gave it to us for free since they made the mistake, which was very nice of them. Still the dish itself wasn't good. I only liked the Fried Potato Slivers used for decoration. It's a little weird to eat imitation crab cakes with "tonkatsu" BBQ sauce. I guess I can't complain too much since it was free... =P
M of course go the Idaho Roll, which is generously priced at $4.50. Okay brace yourself.... I actually liked this vegetarian roll! **people fainting all around** The flavor and textures actually work well together. I think I might have to stop by hear again sometime soon and get take out. The veggies inside are lightly breaded and fried so it adds that nice crispy texture. It's simple and good. The one at the Costa Mesa location was nothing like this and not good.
I made a mistake to try the Beef Yaki Udon. At that time I was looking for something filling and how can I go wrong with stir fried Udon... well .... it can definitely go wrong. I like the normal Yaki Soba you buy in the super markets and make at home. The concept somehow fell short with the Udon and there were a bunch of gnats roaming around. One flew around my food and landed on top... then died... that kind of grossed me out. The place looks clean but there were a lot of gnats roaming around and I felt a little annoyed that I had to protect my food or throw out the parts that were contaminated. =*(
The good thing about ordering the noodle was that I could add 4 pieces of sushi for $4. I asked them if I could substitute all the pieces for Salmon Sushi since that is the only kind I would eat. The server checked with the chefs and allowed the substitution, which I thought was nice. The Salmon looked fresh and the picture turned out well. It was solid and enjoyable.
Since their fish looked decent, I decided to get Hamachi Sashimi and asked them for Jalapeños & Lemon. They were very nice and complied, which made the fish taste even better. I like the tangy and spicy kick that they give. Most sushi places offer this already and since they didn't here it never hurts to ask. O=)
I also go the Scallop Hand Roll. It was Raw Baby Scallops inside. There wasn't much taste to it but at least they didn't skimp on the filling. For the price, I'd rather get the Idaho Roll.
All in all it was aiight. It's your typical Americanized Japanese place. I thought they guy who served us later on was really really nice. The food is only so-so at best, but I do love the Idaho Roll now that I think about it. Definitely got to go back to get some more. However, I didn't like that a fly died in my food after it was brought out... TP thought it came that way but M and I saw it fall onto my food after they brought it out. This made me question the cleanliness.... Still it was a nice way to spend time with friends. We all had a laugh checking out the people who went to the gym. O=9
Niko Niko Sushi
Irvine, CA 92620