MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View
This Orange County sushi spot's scene is intimate, interesting and absolutely worth seeking out. The small, simple space seats ten at the dining counter, which in turn offers a fun, front-seat view of the buzzy kitchen and is far more preferable than the two tables in an auxiliary room. There is a happy sort of vibe here, ensuring that everyone is chatting by the end of their meal. Behind that ubiquitous bar, Chef Atsushi Yokoyama is a one-man show, lending artistry to the feast without getting caught up in the pomp or fuss. The superlative sashimi and nigiri stand tall and are never overwrought. The freshness of this seafood is center stage when the chef presents live Santa Barbara prawns—you may even find yourself reaching for the camera to capture the swift knife skills and morsels of that sweet and slightly quivering tail meat. Cooked dishes are just as interesting, such as a trio of small bites including deep-fried Japanese river crab arranged to look as though it is climbing onto a stack of baby corn and anago tempura. In-the-know patrons set aside three hours, as the omakase of cooked and raw items is the best dining option, with a few supplements added as nightly specials.