Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sankai - Costa Mesa

3940 S. Bristol St.
Santa Ana, CA 92704

Sankai is my girlfriend's favorite local spot. It's located a block or so from the South Coast Plaza in a little shopping area where there's a Marshall's or Ross. If you don't know where to look, you might not find the place, but it's there. Anyways, she lives in Newport Coast, and she makes the little drive to this sushi place, sometimes just to order take out.

Sankai's menu is very small and simple. I didn't see any baked dynamite appetizers or a list of crazy baked rolls that I love.... Uh oh. I'm in trouble. Luckily, I've been honing my sushi tastebuds, so I can now survive these kinds of places without much complaint-- if the food is good.

For the raw stuff, we ordered the salmon skin hand roll ($3.50). On my notes here, I wrote "whatevers" for this order. This means that I didn't think much of it; I probably won't order it again; and I don't have an extensive vocabulary of describing my food. Moving on, there's the spicy yellowtail hand roll also $3.50. I don't have any trusty notes for this one, but I'm sure it was better than the salmon skin. We also got an order of salmon sushi ($3.20). Again, I failed to put any notes about it, but I think it was good. I mean, this is why my girl goes to this place. For the sushi.

salmon sushi, spicy yellowtail hand roll, salmon skin hand roll

I realized I can't have a full, satisfying meal if I just eat sushi. Since their rolls are pretty basic with not much to choose from, I had to go with my first love-- Crunchy Roll ($7.50). That one I put "good" on my notes. I can't describe it any other way. It surprises me after all the crazy fusion rolls I've tasted, a well made Crunchy/Crunch Roll can still hang with the big boys. Sankai has a well-made, basic Crunch Roll.

my first love... Crunch Roll

I saved the best dish of the day for last. You won't find this one on the regular sushi menu. Only us regulars know it (I've been here twice). It's their volcano roll. I don't even know the price and I was too lazy to figure it out when we got the bill. I believe it's just a plain California Roll, topped with scallops, some cream sauce, and asparagus. Two things first: I'm not a fan of scallops and it didn't look as great as I was told. I was coming at it with hesistance. My girl said it was good, but I'm like, "I've been around the block baby." So I tried it, and it was very good. *Note to self: add "very good" to notes vocab* It was so good, I wanted to eat it all at once. Too bad my girl was there to take some of it away from me... just kidding honey. I didn't think a relatively basic roll like this could satisfy my high expectations.

Volcano Roll. LOCALS ONLY!!!!! just kidding

So would I go back to Sankai? Even if I didn't like it, I think I'd have to come back cuz my girl would drag me here anyways. But fortunately for her, I did like the place. It's a good place for basic sushi and rolls. The price to quality ratio is very appealing. She said one time she saw Dennis Rodman eating here. Now you know there's something to this place, when such a crazy or interesting guy as he is, goes to a basic, simple restaurant as this.

Oh yeah, this place gets packed during peak lunch and dinner times. So either come early, or eat here during the slower hours.


Mimi said...

we forgot to order stuffed tomatoes. they make it with either salmon or tuna. also not on the menu but very delicious!!! oh you know you loved this place. next time you can order your own volcano roll greedy mcgreedyson. love.

Anonymous said...

Try the Tuna Tataki with cream sauce it is the best! It is seared tuna with creamy sauce and has mushrooms and asparagus on the side.

Jim said...

alright. Tuna tataki w/ cream sauce next time. Probably very soon.

craftycrafter said...

Go for birthdays and special occasions and you can get a nice desert. A crepe with bananas and ice cream. It's hard to describe but sooooo good.

Volcano and Crunchy are my faves from there, and I've been missing them so much. Been away for 2 years.

Tuna tataki is good, and never ever knew about the tomatoes. I'll have to order them. Been going for 17 years now, and still learning