So my friend Akina was saying she wanted to eat Yakiniku, and being an idiot, I suggested she go eat Yakitori. So, the conversation lead to me asking her to show me what real Yakiniku is all about. Wow, totally different from your typical bbq places and definitely different from Yakitori. So we went to this small place near my dentist's office called Tsuruhashi.
Beef Liver Sashimi
Prepared Liver Sashimi with Ginger, Scallions and Lemon
Judgment: For the liver lovers, this is an ideal dish for you. The taste is definitely something that the average person may not enjoy and it does not cater to them at all. However, I fancy the dish and I felt that for a starter it is quite decadent. 8 / 10
Salted Fresh Prime Tongue
Beef Tongue with Salt and Pepper, Cube of Fat for grill prep
Prior to cooking on the grill, we used the cube of fat to "oil" things up on the grill and to give that little extra flavor that you can only get from a cube of fat.
Judgment: The fat rendering with all the meat that we cook on it makes it taste amazing. The tongue is fresh and it doesn't have the consistency as typical beef tongue you would find at a deli restaurant or in a tongue sandwich. The seasoning is a little on the salt heavy side but they provide some dipping sauces to even it out. 8 / 10
Top Quality Beef Boneless Short Rib
Judgment: The beef here is so well marbled that it gives a soft consistency to it. The meat will become chewy if it is overcooked but the ingredient is definitely exquisite. The beef flavor is definitely there. 9 / 10
Kobe Beef Ribeye
Prepared sliced top quality beef ribeye
Judgment: The ribeye is amazing. It is definitely something to order when you have a chance and you have never had it before. Although there are even higher qualities of beef out there for beef connoisseurs, for the average joe, this will be amazing. The flavor, the aroma, and the quality of the beef is unmistakable and top notch. 9 / 10
Japanese Barley Wine -- The interesting part of this restaurant is that we can purchase the entire bottle, and then return anytime within the following 2 months to finish it off. It's like a private collection at your restaurant!
Berkshire Pork Belly
Pork Belly with Scallions, seasoned with salt and pepper
Judgment: The pork belly is just exactly how one would imagine it -- soft, tender, and flavorful. The seasoning is there to accent it and the restaurant also provides lettuce and miso to wrap it so you don't have to be overwhelmed with the oily meat all at once. The miso will take the edge off while the lettuce eases the taste into the mouth. 9 / 10
Marinated Beef Kalbi, Short Rib, Rib Eye and Marinated Chicken
Judgment: We ordered the family platter pretty late into the game when we started to get full and this definitely put us in the position of "OK, we definitely ate too much tonight". Granted the meat was delicious and the quantity was a decent amount to feed 2 people easily. 3 People was a bit of a stretch to order just 1 platter, but over all the meat was again of good quality, and everything was delicious. 8 / 10
Peeled Orange Wedge, Maraschino Cherry
The orange was just there to act as a pallet cleanser along with the after-dinner tea.
Conclusion: The restaurant is definitely a little gem in Fountain Valley. The meat is fresh, the waitstaff is very attentive, although one of my friends was saying that it was weird that the waitstaff would talk to us in English despite the fact that he pretty much ordered everything for us in Japanese. The parking lot is a bit of a nightmare in the sense that on the way to the storefront from the entry point there is a massive pot hole that I have to avoid for sure. Low cars will have a fun time maneuvering around.
The Restaurant gets an A-Rank
The lovely Akina with our bottle of Shochu. Thanks for hanging out with us!