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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Good Choice Sushi by the Sea offers an authentic sushi bar experience in Capistrano Beach, California



Michelle Endo’s parents are originally from Japan then lived in Hawaii for 4 years. After that they made their way to California and opened Good Sushi in Laguna Niguel 19 years ago. Recently, Michelle’s parents decided to retire and Michelle and her husband took over the business. Laguna Niguel now has a Hawaiian flair plus they decided to expand to a second location, Good Choice Sushi by the Sea, in October 2015. This location has a traditional Japanese sushi bar vibe. It’s so refreshing to have the staff speaking Japanese to each other, which is definitely part of the experience and atmosphere. The view is beautiful with the Pacific Ocean right across the street.

If you feel adventurous, go with omakase. It allows the chef to put his creativity to work to make a menu just for you. Here is an example of what you might see:

Sushi Roll made with soy paper and cucumber on the outside with surimi (imitation crab) and salmon on the inside, and topped with tobiko. The ponzu in it creates a nice balance of acidity and adds a refreshing flavor to the sushi. If you looking to cut carbs, this roll does not contain any rice. It is like a refreshing seafood salad rolled up into a sushi roll.  Rating: 4.5/5

Here’s some items on the menu that you might like to try:

Poke ($11) is made with tuna and salmon served atop greens and topped with tobiko, onions, and avocado with some fried won ton chips. The author is very picky about poke, being from Hawaii and growing up on authentic traditional style poke. This poke is one of the closest to authentic poke in Orange County. It has the deep rich color from the shoyu with just the right amount of sesame oil and onions. Avocado is not necessary but it just wouldn’t be California without it. It is also a good portion for the price to share or to be part of your meal. Rating: 4.3/5

Big Eye Tuna Nigiri Sushi ($6) is one of the best tuna for sushi. With its beautiful deep red color, it lovingly hugs the rice. The bite is luxuriously smooth and just melts in your mouth. Rating: 4.5/5

Japanese Red Snapper Nigiri Sushi ($6) is not one that comes to mind when ordering sushi, but it will definitely be on your mind once you taste it. It has a soft, almost velvety texture. The chili pepper dollop adds a spicy kick. Rating: 4.3/5

King Crab Nigiri Sushi ($9.50) is just amazing! The sweet buttery flavor of the king crab works perfectly with just a hint of wasabi. No shoyu necessary for this one. Rating: 5/5

Ama Ebi Nigiri Sushi ($7) is one of the best sashimi/sushi around. Unlike sea shrimp, which is normally cooked, ama ebi is served raw. The texture is similar to raw lobster with an unexpectedly sweet flavor. The head and sometimes the shell are fried and served later. They are like chips with a shrimp flavor. Or it might come omakase-style in a bowl of miso soup. The miso (mustard or head fat) from the shrimp works well with the soybean miso soup. Rating: 5/5

Salmon Nigiri Sushi ($4) has the perfect orange color with white fat stripes. It has a silky texture and a sweet flavor that just melts in your mouth like butter. Rating: 4.8/5

Oyster Shooter ($6) contains a freshly shucked oyster, quail egg, and spicy ponzu. The ponzu adds just the right amount of acidity. The oyster is slightly briny yet creamy and sweet. The quail egg adds a nice richness. Rating: 4.8/5

Whole Spanish Mackerel Sashimi ($18) is beautifully presented. A telltale sign that the fish is fresh is the crystal clear eyes. The mackerel is meaty with a soft bite but the flavor is very mild. If combined with a little bit of seaweed, it gives it just the right amount of salt balance to push the sweet flavor of the fish forward. The seaweed also adds a crunchy texture to the bite. After you finish your sashimi, the head and bones will be fried for a crunchy treat. Rating: 5/5

Matsuri Roll ($16) has tempura corn tossed in Japanese chili powder and eel sauce on the outside and sautéed garlic, butter shrimp, avocado, cucumber, spicy mayo, and wrapped in soy paper on the inside. This is definitely a first to see corn on sushi, but it works. The corn adds a sweet creaminess while the spicy mayo stokes the fire for just the right amount of heat. There is a lot going on in the dish with flavors from sweet, spicy, and garlicky along with crunchy and soft textures. Rating: 4.5/5

Takoyaki ($5) are three octopus fritters with a crispy exterior and a creamy, custardy interior. It is beautifully presented with takoyaki sauce and Japanese mayo. The best part is finding the tako (octopus) inside. The takoyaki has just the right amount of salty flavor to balance with the sweet takoyaki sauce. It is one of the most ingenious street foods around! Rating: 5/5

If you are looking for an authentic sushi bar experience with friendly service and an amazing view, make a reservation at Good Choice by the Sea.

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars

For more information:
Good Choice Sushi By The Sea
34700 Pacific Coast Highway Suite 106
Capistrano Beach, CA 92624-1349
+1.949.542.8499

Good Choice Sushi by the Sea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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