One of my greatest joys of living in OC is regular trips to my FAVE sushi joint in Costa Mesa.

Ikko’s seriously MASTER CLASS y’all. I’ve probably dined over two dozen times (first blogged HERE) and each time is a different experience than the last. With a seasonally rotating menu reflecting whatever Chef Ikko Kobayashi’s into these days, I revel at the opportunity to visit once/twice/ or even 3 times a quarter, since I SWEAR my most memorable meals were spawned out of Ikko’s freestyle kitchen and sushi bar.

Ikko Sushi and Freestyle Japanese Cuisine

735 Baker St | Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | (714) 556-7822

Best of the Best

From their Japanese mainstays like fresh sashimi and accompanying top-shelf sake to more outlandish offerings like pork carpaccio (yes, RAW pork!) and sous-vide truffle chicken, I happily shell out over $250 each date night and immediately map out my next trip back. It’s not every day I dine this well, but when I’m down to drop a few ducats on a super satisfying meal, I ALWAYS turn to Ikko for an unparalleled gastronomic feast ! How many of you can say that about your time-tested FAVES?? Do share! Dying to know what peeps be eatin’ these days in the OC!
Fried Smoked Salmon Skin stick  (above) 
with Ikko-made Japanese Mustard Mayonnaise Sauce. C’mon look at her…is that not the most gorgeously presented appetizer you’ve ever seen or what?? Like little fried fish sticks except wayyyyy more gourmet and nothing you’d find packaged at your neighborhood Mitsuwa. And at only $3 a pop, I’d also try this starter with their homemade BBQ sauce if you’re looking for an added kick.
Marinated Sparkling Enop Squid
(Seasonal whole baby squid) on sesame cracker with cheese mousse and strawberry foam: Fan-friggin’-tastic! Bouncy and bouyant, the baby squid was super juicy and al dente to the bite. The cream cheese mousse helped to add a bit of fat to a super fresh palette. One of my ALL TIME faves! So unique, a total testament to Chef Ikko-San’s innovative delicacies!
Assorted sashimi
That Uni alone should have your mouth watering…if not, peep out the pair of amaebi plucked straight from the sea. This plate alone was half the bill. Worth every dang penny!
Iberico pork sushi.
Yup, that’s raw pork you’re lookin’ at my friends. Hand smoked and served top a bed of sushi rice with a dollop of fresh grated wasabi in the center. I’ve been DYING to try pork carpaccio somewhere (missed it at Broadway’s grand opening in Laguna Beach and haven’t forgotten it since!) so this was a delectable TREAT! That layer of yummy char is your first foray into this oralgasm…the beautiful sight, the intense smoky flavor and smell, tender and juicy bite, everything mastered to create this totally original dish. MUST.TRY.TODAY! *Little tip: Chef recommends it sushi style (also served alone without rice)…the rice helps to render the rawness undetectable as it’s almost akin to a pork and rice dish yo’ Moms would make…familiar taste, unfamiliar preparation*
Grilled yellowtail cheek with ginger sauce
Very traditional preparation, the yellowtail is always super juicy with equal amounts of fat and fish. I love to pick at the flesh inbetween courses…light, fresh, and fun…what these meals should always be about.
Berkshire “Kurobata” Pork with blueberry and broccoli sauce topped with shredded filo dough.
I can’t even begin to describe how effin’ GENIUS this dish is. What started out as a super fragrant and almost indescernible smell developed into a 1-2-3 flavor punch that literally knocked the bobby socks off of the boy and myself. From the minute the dish hits the deck you’re bombarded with blueberry notes wafting around the olfactory…the flash fried pork is then submersed into a honey glaze before resting in its bed of beautiful greenery…Soft and tender, the combination of the juicy pork, the crunchy crushed filo, and the scoop of sauce is one amazing bite…after another…after another. I really couldn’t wait to get this post in so I can scream from the top of my lungs IKKO IS THE *ISH!!!!
Don’t believe me??
Test this entire menu above and HOLLA at yo’ girl!
If you’re really game, test this ONE out too and lemme know what y’all think!
Know Before You Go
Ikko adds, updates, and refines their menu regularly. I visited a few months prior and the entire “NEW” menu had been replaced with a more notable one. New dishes, new fish to consume. Gets me every time dude. Even the “old” stuff!”
Happy Weekend y’all!
Author

31 Comments

  1. WOW this place looks incredible. Definitely worth the money! The baby squid look so good, ir probably tastes 1000x better!

    Love from the NaNa girls xoxo

  2. OH MY GOODNESS! This looks so good..I love japanese food and sushi! If this is in costa mesa, I guess it's not too far from LA 🙂

    161cm.com

    joanne♥choi

  3. Jaysus it looks so YUM!!! 😀
    I love sushi but I stopped eating it recently after reading an article on tuna. Well, not completely stopped… Just homemade sushi for me for a while… Shrimp, cucumber and all… Love this stuff TOO MUCH! And the first photo is just awesome – would LOVE to try this! 🙂

    Love and hugs my dear Julie! 🙂
    xoxo
    Karola
    http://www.karolasway.blogspot.com

  4. These looks so yummy!! Food-gasm!

    Followed you via GFC and Bloglovin'
    Hope you follow back? 🙂

    Arra
    theprincessonthebrink.blogspot.com

  5. MMMM LOVELY PICS:) I really like your blog and Im following..I hope you follow me also:)

    This week I have wedding special at Inredningsvis…check it out.
    Have a great week.

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
    (Sweden)

  6. Drooling all over the
    keyboard 😛
    I want to try the enop
    squid with the
    strawberry foam! Like
    omg strawberry foam??

    xx

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