Eatery - RA Sushi (CA)
The District at Tustin, 2401 Park Ave, Tustin, CA 92782
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Japanese
Two things first: Happy International Sake Day and also, this is a review of RA Sushi as a participant of OC Wine Week. I just wanted to make sure I preface that because the menu I chose from and the pricing is definitely different because of this special week.
Anyhow, my friends and I came here for lunch today because we had been meaning to and also to celebrate Sake Day. It was pretty empty for a restaurant when we got in around 1pm. The interior was quite posh and well decorated. It sent, however, red flags off as being an apparently American-Japanese place, even down to the skinny pretty waitresses.
The first part of the meal was the miso soup. It was pretty good actually with a lot of flavor, seaweed, and tofu. I liked it. The second part of the meal was made of 6 pieces of California roll and an uchi no salad. I've never been a fan of California rolls (nor do I respect that they aren't "real" sushi) and haven't had any in years so this was a first in a while. They were alright - just about common/normal. The salad was delicious however. I always love Japanese dressings because they make all salads wonderful. It also came in an interestingly shaped plate that was perfect for salad and rolls.
So for OC Wine Week, there are several entree options from which to choose so since there were three of us, we got three different kinds so that we could taste and share. One friend got the Viva Las Vegas roll ("kani kama crab & cream cheese rolled in rice &seaweed, lightly tempura battered & topped with spicy tuna, kani kama crab mix & sliced lotus root; finished with a sweet eel sauce & spinach tempura bits") which was very appropriately named. I found it to be very heavy and overwhelming in terms of flavor - too much "good" stuff isn't always good! My other friend got the chicken teriyaki bowl which was nicely lean since the chicken was all chicken breast. The sauce was also light enough to not soak and flavor everything it touched.
My entree was the bara chirashi bowl ("tuna, salmon, yellowtail, shrimp, avocado & cucumber with Asian green vegetables, mixed with poki sauce; served over rice"). It was certainly full of rice and lots of seaweed. I liked the seaweed and the pieces of fish in it but the rest was a bit much. I didn't finish it off nor did my friend who was helping.
The last part of our OC Wine Week meal was the dessert. I snagged the green tea ice cream which was just mediocre. It didn't hit any "spot" that I had been hoping it would by the end. However, ice cream is still pretty good just because it's ice cream. That four course meal was $10 due to the special week. Normally, I'm sure it would be a lot more.
For an extra $10, we could get a sake sampler so I did! Why not? It's International Sake Day. We had the Kizakura "pure," Sho Chiku Bai Nigori, and the Kizakura "pure" stars. I liked the stars the best because it was very sweet and refreshing. The first sake was nearly water-like. I couldn't taste a thing. As for the Nigori, it was good, not great. Overall, the lunch was a success (especially for the price) but we'll have to see how it'll measure up to a second visit sometime.