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Where to Go, What to Order and What to Expect From Newport Beach’s Sushi Scene

Written By: Raphael Madrid
Photographed By: Celine Haeberly Best Sushi Newport Beach

No matter how you look at it, sushi is an art form. It has transcended generations and continents with its delicate strokes of the knife and subtlety in preparation. As Californians, we are immensely lucky to experience some of the most expertly prepared seafood outside of Japan, and few Californians are so fortunate as the patrons of these seven sushi restaurants in Newport Beach.

 

1 | Cafe Sakana Best Sushi Newport Beach

Must Order: “The Ocean” Omakase Set

Often times, it’s the details that make a meal truly special. Cafe Sakana’s attention to the specifics are what help create a magnificently modern sushi experience at an affordable price. Inside and out, from Cafe Sakana’s charmingly nestled patio, to the vibrant throw pillows accenting their monochromatic floor plan, Sakura blossom textured chopsticks, and hummingbird-embossed napkins, there are many components that will enamor you. Cafe Sakana is not your traditional sushi dining experience; it’s a neighborhood gem with a dog-friendly patio, intimate enough for date nights, and casual enough for a family dinner. Their “Ocean” omakase is a true testament to their high quality sushi without the high price—the best way to experience their master sushi chef’s skills.

Native Knowledge: Just because you don’t see a certain roll or sushi dish on the menu doesn’t mean they won’t make it special for you. All you have to do is ask! 

Cafe Sakana
1703 Westcliff Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949.287.6511

 

2 | Sushi Roku Best Sushi Newport Beach

Must Order: Avocado “Hanabi”

Sushi Roku is not the traditional dining experience you might have at a sushi establishment. This contemporary concept presents a modern twist by incorporating different aspects of flavor gathered from around the globe. Their Avocado “Hanabi” (or fireworks) is a prime example with its use of wasabi, soy truffle and parmesan reggiano. 

Sushi Roku
327 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949.706.3622

 

3 | Buddha’s Favorite

Must Order: Yoshi Spring Roll

Photographs Provided By: Jess Phillips

This little local gem is situated portside and is a friendly, family-owned restaurant specializing in serving a refreshing assortment of rolls. It’s not your traditional sushi experience, but it’s definitely California within. If you’re into firing up your taste buds, Buddha’s Favorite serves up and abundance of heat in their roll selections. 

Buddha’s Favorite
634 Lido Park Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92663
949.723.4203

 

4 | San Shi Go

Must Order: Chef’s Course Meal

The most appealing thing about San Shi Go is probably how intimate it feels. The sushi bar is the main attraction of the restaurant, so if you are looking for an experience that feels personal and inviting, definitely find a seat there. Their Chef’s Course omakase experience is well-priced for a high-quality, assorted six-course meal in Newport Beach. 

San Shi Go
205 Main St
Newport Beach, CA 92661
949.678.3724

 

5 | Nana San

Must Order: Toro and King Salmon Sushi

Nana San is one of those low-key sushi restaurants tucked away within a small shopping plaza, so it might be easy to overlook this spot. Don’t let the location fool you, however, as they pull their weight in amazing fish. Like most small sushi places, Nana San’s main attraction is the sushi bar, and with good reason—their chefs know how to take care of you. 

Nana San
3601 Jamboree Rd
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949.474.7373

6 | Kitayama Best Sushi Newport Beach

Must Order: Deluxe Assorted Sushi

The authenticity of atmosphere at Kitayama is unrivaled in Newport—maybe even in all of Orange County. Kitayama surrounds you with traditional Japanese decor that’s both immersive and inviting. The Zen garden alone is reason enough to find yourself taking in its beauty, but the quality of their sushi is exactly what you would expect from a place of this caliber. 

Native Knowledge: To amplify this textbook Japanese experience, take advantage of their Tatami Rooms, when available.

Kitayama
101 Bayview Pl
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949.725.0777

 

7 | Nobu

Must Order: Yellowtail Sashimi With Jalapeño

There is little left to be said about the world famous Nobu restaurant chain, as it’s been a pillar of elegance in fine dining for well over two decades. Make it a point to visit this location, and head right up the curved staircase for the lovely marinaside view. Your evening will always start off without a hitch when you order their staple yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño. 

Native Knowledge: Wagyu Whiskey Wednesdays (yeah, say that five times fast) from 6 p.m. to close is the elevated happy hour where you can get one of everything and still have money in your pocket. 

Nobu Newport Beach
3450 Via Oporto, Ste 101
Newport Beach, CA 92663
949.429.4440

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