Best Sushi Restaurants Orange County
Credit: Ed Visions

Your Guide to the 12 Best Sushi Restaurants in Orange County

These Local Hotspots Are Serving Up the Freshest Fish in Town

The history of sushi in Southern California was born in the early 1900s when sushi was the “it” dish at luncheons thrown by socialites. The trend dissipated during WWI and WWII, and the first Japanese restaurant to serve sushi didn’t appear until the mid-1960s. That’s when Noritoshi Kanai opened Kawafuku with Chef Shigeo Saito in Los Angeles. The concept of the sushi bar took off once again, and today the cuisine is more popular than ever.

With such close proximity to ports and fish markets, it’s no surprise that Orange County has become a hub of delicious sushi restaurants, each with its own unique flair and specialty. Here are 12 spots for the hands-down best sushi in Orange County.

 

Best California-Style Sushi: Mahé

YouTube video

Best Sushi Restaurants Orange County
Credit: Ed Visions

A true Seal Beach gem, Mahé took up residency on PCH in 2000, just in time for the local California-style sushi trend to take off. “When we started talking about Mahé, we knew we wanted to do a menu of fresh fish with some steaks, and at that time, some of our favorite restaurants were the California-style sushi restaurants that were making all the fun rolls,” shares Mahé co-owner and co-founder Toby Reece.

With its fresh fish, complex flavor combinations and creative takes on sushi rolls, Mahé continues to entice its guests with dishes like the classic Mahé Roll, the delicate Queen Roll and the addictive Heat Wave Roll—a tasty combo of spicy tuna, crab, jalapeños, cream cheese, avocado and salmon in soy paper with a light tempura crust.

If you happen to have a date or someone in the friend group who isn’t a fan of raw seafood, Mahé also has plenty of wood-fired seafood options (like the blackened swordfish) as well as delicious steaks and burgers for the carnivores. “Because of the layout, we were able to create a sushi bar that has an open kitchen behind a full grill where you can get fresh grilled fish, raw fish or a big steak,” Reece explains.

Location: Seal Beach

 

Best Michelin Rating: Hana re

For a truly bespoke dining experience, visit Hana re in the LAB Anti-Mall, where you can enjoy a 10-course omakase meal crafted by Chef Atsushi Yokoyama. Here, each place at the 10-seat sushi bar is treated like a chef’s table, making for an evening that’s as artful as it is delicious. At $250 per person, this omakase menu is pricey but absolutely worth the array of thoughtful plates, peak-season ingredients and the stunning presentation. Needless to say, Hana re’s Michelin Star win is well-deserved, making it one of the best spots for sushi in Orange County.

Location: Costa Mesa

 

Best Innovation: Yuzu Japanese Sushi Bar

Best Sushi Restaurants Orange County
Credit: Yuzu Japanese Sushi Bar

Get ready for the gastronomic experience that is Yuzu Japanese Sushi Bar—the ideal meeting ground for traditional sushi lovers and adventurous, thrill-seeking foodies alike. The restaurant offers an array of classic rolls, nigiri and sashimi, but the stars of the show are the specialty rolls, new-style nigiri, carpaccio and shareable dishes. Yuzu also has a fantastic cocktail list of delicate and complex drinks, including the tart and refreshing Yuzu Drop, the umami Sweetheart and the elegant and fruit Pretty in Pink.

Location: Costa Mesa

5/14

 

Best Fusion: Akashiro Nikkei Sushi 

In true nikkei style, the culinary standards of Japanese precision and Peruvian vibrancy come together at Akashiro—the perfect spot to head to if you’re craving the freshness of sushi but want to try something more adventurous. Nikkei food is a century-old marriage of Peruvian ingredients and Japanese techniques, resulting in a dish that’s lighter than ceviche but more seasoned than sashimi. If this is your first time experiencing nikkei and tiradito, expect fresh fish with punches of flavor that’ll keep you coming back for more.

Location: Fullerton

 

Best Hole in the Wall: Angotei

Formerly located near the Mitsuwa Marketplace, Angotei moved to a new location in the bustling 3033 Bristol Plaza in 2023. Despite this more visible location, we think it deserves to keep its “Best Hole in the Wall” status for garnering a devoted crowd of regulars since opening in 1982. Perhaps the longest-lasting legacy on this list, Angotei was possibly one of Orange County’s first high-quality sushi restaurants—so it should come as no surprise that the restaurant is a favorite across multiple generations. Must-orders include the soft-shell crab hand roll and the shrimp boats.

Location: Costa Mesa

4/14

 

Best New-School Style: ROL Hand Roll Bar 

Rol Hand Bar
Credit: Nick Gales

While this next spot might not be for the die-hard traditionalist, ROL Hand Roll Bar in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach is inarguably delicious and serves up some of the best sushi in Orange County. As ROL puts it, it’s “not here to reinvent the wheel—just roll it in a different direction.” Each guest is in store for an exciting chef-to-table experience that can range anywhere from the conventional spicy tuna roll to the experimental truffle and toro roll. Should you want to deviate from the hand rolls, ROL also offers Japan’s viral Kaisendon: a heaping mountain of rice topped with assorted sashimi.  

Locations: Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach

 

Best Upscale: Omakase by Gino

A time-honored tradition in Japan, omakase (“chef’s choice”) leaves the customers in the hands of the chef and allows for the chef’s creativity and technique to shine. It’s a beautiful and one-of-a-kind experience, and Omakase by Gino is one of the few sushi restaurants in Orange County that solely revolves around the omakase concept. Located in downtown Santa Ana, Omakase by Gino is a 10-seat, fine-dining experience headed by Chef and owner Gino Choi, who orchestrates an innovative symphony of textures and flavors with each course.

Location: Santa Ana

4/17

 

Best Catering and Party Trays: Starfish

Best Sushi Restaurants Orange County
Credit: Ed Visions

Make hosting your next party a breeze with the help of Starfish, a sushi restaurant in Orange County that’s been serving up a fusion of Asian coastal cuisine since 2011. With Starfish’s sushi party trays, you can order an array of crowd-pleasing nigiri, sashimi and sushi rolls in 24- or 48-piece packages (trust us: you won’t want to pass up the Lobster Macadamia Roll!). Want to enjoy the food at the restaurant? Join Starfish and staff at the flagship Laguna Beach location or the new Newport Beach location, which is just a short walk from the water.

Locations: Laguna Beach and Newport Beach

 

Best Price: Fisherman’s Table Yamasaki 

Credit: Fisherman’s Table Yamasaki

Kazuma Yamasaki, chef and owner of Fisherman’s Table Yamasaki, comes from a family of fishermen going back seven generations. Growing up on Awaji Island, Chef Yamasaki has 20 years of experience as a fisherman, which is evident in the way the fish is prepared at his restaurant. Thanks to its ocean-to-table philosophy, each mouthwatering bite allows the fullest flavors of the fish to shine—and because of Yamasaki’s experience and industry know-how, he can offer a lower price without downgrading the seafood’s quality or portions.

Location: Huntington Beach

2/21

 

Best Variety: Uni Japanese Restaurant

If your friend group has a lot of different cravings on their minds, take them to Uni Japanese Restaurant. Uni’s menu features a ton of different fish and seafood options for those looking to indulge in sushi, sashimi, rolls and carpaccio alongside diverse cooked options like creamy udon noodles, miso butterfish, fried rice and more. Uni not only offers some of the best sushi in Orange County, but it also boasts four different omakase offerings—perfect for anyone who is feeling up to a culinary adventure.

Location: Garden Grove

 

Best View: Bluefin

With a beautiful view of the ocean’s horizon, Bluefin has been well-loved by the Newport Beach community since opening in 2006. With renowned chef Takashi Abe (who has worked with Chef Atsushi Yokoyama from Hana re) at the helm, Bluefin’s focal point is exquisite, traditional sushi, which can be seen in the menu’s omakase, cold plate, sushi and specialty roll offerings. However, Chef Abe’s culinary expertise extends to the menu of hot appetizers and entrees, such as the signature Chilean sea bass.

Location: Newport Beach

 

Best Traditional: Ohshima Japanese Cuisine

Established in 2007, Ohshima Japanese Cuisine is a restaurant that takes pride in preserving the delicate art of Japanese and Okinawan cuisine with its distinctive Tokyo-style sushi. The sushi rice is expertly prepared and served warm, which helps enhance the seafood’s natural flavors. Each piece of sushi is glazed with the chef’s blend of shoyu (sea salt) and yuzu, so it doesn’t require additional soy sauce, but chefs will provide it upon request. For the best experience, order omakase and expect authentic and traditional dishes—Ohshima avoids popular, mainstream rolls.

Location: Orange

Writer | Website | + posts

Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.

+ posts

Trending

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

INTERESTS

Related Content

Azure Palm Hot Springs
Skip to content