Yoko

4566 Beach Blvd

Buena Park, CA 90621

Came here after seeing the pizza katsu online and I knew I had to get it! This restaurant is super small, but everyone seems to eat really quickly as we only had to wait around 10 minutes even though the restaurant was full/ we were 4th on the waiting list. 

The menu is pretty niche- they only offered katsu, udon, and sushi. We ended up getting the combo option which came with a side dish, and we both chose crunchy roll. I of course got the pizza katsu, while my friend got the tempura udon. The server gave me a bowl with sesame seeds to grind, and then filled it with katsu sauce after which was cool. 

The food came out quickly, and I love how it comes out with so much sides! We got radish, jalapenos, miso soup, and of course the crunchy roll. The crunchy roll was extra crispy as they rolled the outside rice with panko, and it was yummy! My pizza katsu was amazing- it was like fried chicken with cheese, mushrooms, and bell peppers. The toppings did make the katsu less crispy and more soft, but I loved the mix! Surprisingly went so well together. The katsu also came with a tempura shrimp and potato which was nice.

I had mixed feelings with the tempura udon as the tempura basically turned soggy immediately as it was in the soup. There was a ton of tempura batter floating around, and it wasn't as good as it could have been because of the sogginess. Probably would be better on the side! Other than that, the udon was great. 

Everything we had here was great! I can see why this place is packed- they make their food well and the combo option is at a reasonable price for what you get. The service is fast and efficient, and they definitely get things done here. Great place to stop by if you're in the area!

Mitsuwa Marketplace (Costa Mesa)

665 Paularino Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

I love Mitsuwa Marketplace! Not only do they offer a market with a variety of Asian snacks and goodies, there's also a food court with some of the best food in town! My favorites here are definitely Santouka Ramen, Gyutan Tsukasa USA, and Matcha Love. 

Came here on a Wednesday afternoon and there was no line at Santouka (yay!) and ordered the Small Japanese Spicy Miso Ramen with an egg as an extra on the side. Total came out to be around $9. Cash only!

The ramen broth was extremely delicious, and the pork was flavorful and tender. What I didn't like was the bamboo shoots and fungi that they give on the soup (personal preference). The noodles were soft and chewy, and overall the ramen was pretty good! However, I wish they included the egg as part of their ramen, as I didn't really care for the toppings that it came with. 

After Santouka, I hopped over to Gyutan Tsukasa USA for their famous beef tongue. I ordered the small beef tongue plate which also came with beef soup and rice for $11.

The beef tongue.. was an explosion of flavor in my mouth. Every bite was so juicy and heavenly... oh man. The only thing I wasn't used to was its thickness-- the tongue here is more chewy and thicker than the tongue at Anjin, but as I kept eating, the beef tongue here really started to grow on me. I enjoyed the sides that came with the beef- wasabi and two more which really surprisngly complemented the beef well. 

The soup was very light and healthy, filled with green onion and tender pieces of beef (kind of like beef braised short rib). It was very refreshing from the pieces of grilled meat that was given to us. 

To finish off my palette, I grab Matcha Love and usually order the sundae combination with either the hoji-cha (roasted green tea), black sesame, or the matcha green tea with boba! 

I thought their Hoji-cha  was super unique, and i love how they add a dash of graham on top! It adds nice texture to the super creamy, rich, delicious soft serve ice cream. The black sesame flavor is strong though, so I would eat the black sesame last if possible so that it does not overpower the other flavors. I can see why it is named matcha love, as the flavors are accentuated and bold, and I really did end up loving it, as full as I was. The boba did become slightly hard at the end because of the cold ice cream, but I didn't mind.

Three amazing restaurants in one location? What a winner! Everything was so heavenly... I wish there was a Mitsuwa near me!