Shunka, Shunka, Shun’ka’do-ba-dee-doo
The Oompa loompa’s have nothing to do with Shunka because Shunka means something along the lines of “season?” in Japanese…. ok, or an alternative Oompa loompa jingle.
I think Shunka opened in or around Feb/March of 2012, so I have a lot of pics which is why I thought I’d compile some of my camera phone pics (iPhone pics from 6 years ago suuuuck).
Regardless if Yuki’san is the owner, he’s no slacker because you’ll see him working upwards of 7-days a week (I can barely make it 5-days a week which is why I was at Shunka eating and drinking all the time).
Yuki’san’s wife (Toshimi’san) also works the front of the house too, she’s really cool.
Yuki’san has four boys, so I’m sure the way he’s handling that tuna collar is not any different from child-rearing.
Any given night Shunka is filled with a lot of first timers, Tinder to Grindr dates, and a lot of regulars from around the hood: Bentleys to Dodges and even actors, I sat next to one.
The usual sushi chef roster is typically (left to right): Shige, Seigo, Juro, Eiji (sorry Eiji for not having your pic, but you can find pics of Eiji and Seigo on Yelp), and Yuki’san.
Shunka is very affordable and they probably have the best range of fish then the vast majority of sushi restaurants in Orange County. It is also not a place where you will have to spend upwards of $200-$300+ like a Michelin starred sushi restaurant.
If you read any of the other media outlets hyping Shunka, they’ll tout Shunka as serving a “nuanced procession” to “upscale,” I suppose that’s what you would think if you have never really been, or are just reading Yelp reviews.
The media to Yelp Elites will think that all sushi restaurants are supposed to be compared to Jiro or Sushi Saito in Japan which is silly AF, but that’s what happens when they see “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” (the producers need to do a follow-up to Jiro, with “Juan dreams of Philly Rolls).
Shunka is not your fusion restaurant with Americanized mayo covered sushi, and they fit in with being on par with Nana San in which both restaurants are above average.
Want to know where Shunka stands for sushi in all of Orange County? Check out my top 10 Best Authentic Sushi Bars in Orange County, or my “Best of” list which will help you find the best restaurant for large groups, best value, to the best omakase.
Shunka is all about variety at affordable prices which is why I recommend that you try all the fish on the specials board. Just keep in mind much of the seafood is seasonal:
- Anago (salt water eel)
- Fresh tako (raw octopus)
- Akamutsu (rosy seabass)
- Mejina (rudder fish)
- Kan sawara (Spanish mackerel when it is the fattiest)
- Any hikarimono (if you like fishy, you’ll love aji, iwashi to saba)
Think this is a weak list of suggestions, go full Japanese and read this list.
The weekends (Fri, Sat, and Sun) are the busiest times to go, and you’ll most likely have to wait. If you have a large party (larger than a 4-top), I highly recommend that you call in for reservations.
Mixed sashimi plate served with wasabi although there a few fish that go great with yuzu kosho, matcha, soy marinated shishito, grated ginger, to chili oil.
One of the best things at Shunka is the anago.
Innards, fermented, and tasty.
Not a paid advertisement, if it were, maybe I’d hear from my brownie more often.
Ending my dinner with tamago (and more beer).
If you go, say hi to Chitose for me, thanks
Most expansive range of fish (a lot of Japanese fish) than the vast majority of restaurants in Orange County and beyond. Not only does Shunka have the best variety, but they are very affordable compared to other restaurants in the area.
No drink specials or happy hour times to incentivize you to come at certain hours or days such as on slower days.
See you tomorrow!