One of the benefits living in California (for a foodie) is cultural diversity and a wide variety of food that comes along with it. Popular cuisines such as Chinese, Japanese, and Italian are literally everywhere. Even some rare finds like Ethiopian and Burmese restaurants can be spotted.
More restaurants mean tougher competition. Eateries have to strive for success on flavor, service, price, location, and more. In a way, the customers get the best of it. Taking Japanese sushi for instance, the Sushi Koto in Fountain Valley, CA has worked its way and became the to go place in Orange County for reasonably priced sashimi bowls, aka chirashi in Japanese.
Prices for a lunch entrée range between $10.5 to $23. Don't be shocked by the $23 price tag. You actually get a good amount of fresh sashimi along with salad, miso soup, and even dessert with the set. Trust me, I tried to make my own chirashi the other day and it can costs quite a lot of money not even mentioning the prep and cleaning works before and after.
Lunch opens daily at 11:30 a.m., try to be there before noon especially during weekends, the seats get filled quickly.
Lunch menu (click on the image to enlarge the view) -
Some other lunch combinations -
Chirashi variations -
Drink menu -
Koto offers three Japanese beer brands including Asahi, Sapporo, and Kirin -
Generous portion for the salad, especially when compared with the tiny dish you usually get from lunch combos -
Sesame based dressing, not too sticky yet not too diluted. Taste-wise not overly sweetened with granulated sugar.
Miso soup -
Chef's choice omakase kaisen don $23 -
Am I the only person who wants to bring that wooden box home?
Literally sashimi overflowed and I still couldn't see the rice below after digging with my chopsticks. The restaurant also provides a small/medium size plate so that customers can move some sashimi over. It'll also be easier to find the rice in the sea of fish and crustaceans.
You can dip the seafood with soy sauce and a little bit of wasabi, or mix both on the side then pour over the sashimi to enjoy the meal. It's completely up to you and I've seen Japanese eating chirashi in both ways.
Komochi Konbu -
Herring roe on kelp, crunchier and chewier compared to regular salmon roe/ikura. Some people like the feeling when biting into the roes but I'm never a big fan of it. However, it does provide a different kind of texture to the seafood bowl.
Dessert and hot tea -
Warabi mochi, fresh berries, sweet red beans, and cream. The dessert was beyond my expectation. At first I thought the dessert will be something like a small scoop of ice cream or pudding instead of this mixture of semi restaurant made sweet items.
Final bill for two omakase kaisen don -
Sushi Koto can certainly be considered the place to go for bargained chirashi. The freshness is guaranteed especially with the number of customers it receives daily. The sashimi grade might not be the best but definitely well worth the one $20 bill paid for. Service is nice as always for a Japanese establishment.
If you ever crave for sashimi but don't feel like making a dent in your wallet, or reluctantly to settle for compromised seafood grade at the same time, Sushi Koto's serves all the above purposes with its chirashi selection. Just make sure to get there before lunch and dinner rush hours.
Cindy's Rating: 6
Sushi Koto (鮨処古都)
18225 Brookhurst Street. Suite 7
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Lunch daily from 11:30 a.m. ~ 2:15 p.m.
Dinner Monday to Thursday from 5:30 p.m. ~ 10:00 p.m.
Dinner Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. ~ 10:30 p.m.
Dinner Sunday from 5:30 p.m. ~ 9:30 p.m.
Don't feel like dining out? How about homemade chirashi:
Festive Japanese Food at Home - Colorful Chirashi as Easy as 1 2 3!