The Skinny: Fukada is a very popular, local, Japanese spot in BFE Irvine. They’re known for their healthy and fresh ingredients and greatly-priced combos. You can pair a hot/cold udon or soba noodle with a variety of different donburi bowls with brown/white rice, i.e. Oyako don, spicy tuna don (the most popular), curry don, etc. If you’re not in the mood for noodles, you can also get a seafood salad with a donburi bowl or sushi roll. Unlike other places, they are VERY generous with the amount of sashimi they give for the price. The salad comes with tuna, salmon and albacore but they’ll even let you substitute for one kind of fish without an extra charge. They also serve a plethora of izakaya items which are fairly priced and very delicious. Overall, the prices are great, the food is even better and the décor is peaceful and soothing to the eyes.
The High: One word…combos! For people who love variety but don’t want to order the whole menu and look like a piggy (like me), this is the perfect place. They give you just the right amount of food so you can finish both items in the combo, if you’re super hungry, or take one to-go for later. The seafood salad is definitely worth trying here. If you like sashimi salad, this place will definitely not disappoint. They give you huge chunks of tuna, salmon and albacore tuna on a bed of organic spring mix salad and topped with a pepper onion dressing. Their donburi bowls are also very tasty and you can get it with brown rice for no extra charge!! The first time I went, I tried the oyako don which is chicken pieces folded into an omelette and placed over brown or white rice. I loved it. The spicy tuna don is the the most popular bowl and they give you a good amount of tuna without all that mayo. The noodles that come with the combo are simple but still delicious. I’ve tried their hot udon and thought it was very tasty as well. Their fried squid legs are crispy and not covered in batter. Everything tastes fresh and you feel healthy even if you stuffed your face.
The Low: The only thing that was disappointing was the shrimp roll that comes with the combo. It’s tempura shrimp and asparagus wrapped in too much rice and not enough flavor and fillings.
Would I come back again? Hell yeah!! I’ve been here twice in the past month and I can’t wait to go back.
More Info: www.fukada2go.com 8683 Irvine Ctr Dr. Irvine, CA 92618 | (949)341-0111 | They also have Fukada2Go if you don’t want to wait. Fukada2Go also offers brown rice for their rolls which they don’t do at the restaurant.
– Nom Nom Bobbie
The Skinny: Salakot is a Filipino restaurant found in the heart of Los Angeles’s own Historic Filipinotown. The place serves popular Filipino dishes like Adobo, Sinigang, Lumpia, and Pancit. They even have a 2nd floor dedicated to those who love to eat and party with a karaoke machine.
I actually discovered Salakot when I went to go see the indie folk-rock band The Steelwells, a great live act with 2.5 kick ass drummers, at the Bootleg Theater. The restaurant itself is about a block away from the venue and I took a mental note of it because one of my co-workers was looking for a Filipino one. It turns out, he had already discovered the place on Yelp, so we went there for lunch along with a few other colleagues.
The High: Of the 5 things we ordered and shared, the Spicy Sisig and Chicken Adobo were the best. The Adobe was unapologetic about the strong Filipino flavors and ingredients it had in it. The chicken was cooked on the bone and tender enough to use a spoon and fork to peel the flesh right off. The smell of vinegar was strong, but it hardly bothered me in terms of flavor. It did however repel one of my co-workers who couldn’t even hold the dish due to the sour pungency. I don’t really have a gauge on what is a really good adobe, and although it was complex, the chicken Adobe tasted fine to me.
The Sisig was what I was anticipating but it wasn’t what I was expected. The first time I saw the dish was on TV during the travel show No Reservations. The host Anthony Bourdain went to the Philippines and had the popular Sisig at a late night pub. It was suppose to be made out of crispy gelatinous pig ears and snout mixed with fat and pieces of actual meat and potatoes. I was hoping to get that but instead received salty vinegary steak-ish pork bits with green peppers and onions. It wasn’t bad, but if I didn’t have rice to eat it with, I’d have a hard time enjoying it. It was tasty though, maybe a little bit too tasty.
The Low: We also ordered shrimp fried rice, Pancit, and Lumpia. The fried rice, with just 5 pieces of shrimp, was whatever. I only appreciated it because it helped mellow out the saltiness of the Sisig. The Lumpia was filled with a rather bland pork filling that only picked up flavors once you dipped it into a sweet chili dipping sauce. I’m sure it would taste even better during a drunken state of mind.
With Pancit, I’ve always found it a bit bland whenever I eat it. Salakot’s version of it didn’t make me think otherwise either. At first, all it’s flavors were found at the bottom of the plate because we didn’t mix the noodles and condiments together well enough. However, when we did mix it properly, it still didn’t make a difference. The Panci was just an one note dish of blandness with only a few hints of citrus to break up the monotony of it all.
Would you come back again? Yes! Even though some of the dishes were more misses than hits, the Crispy Pata looks really good.
More Info: Yelp it!
Boxes by The Steelwells
I think The Steelwells should have named themselves Beards Papa since they all have full on facial hair, well except for the Korean keyboardist who has a peach fuzz pornstache thing going on. It’s also so they can get sponsored by Beards Papa, the Japanese cream puffs store, and make it rain pastries on the crowd!
Anyways, even though the Rolling Stones magazine did put the ever so annoying Justin Bieber on their cover and asked him douchie questions about rape and abortion, it would be nice to see these talented bearded kids on it instead. So rate them with 5 stars at the Rolling Stones website. Link