259 E. 17th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Elmo Monster


  • Open Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun., 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • $$; $$$
  • Dinner, Lunch
  • Beer/Wine
Temakira is a Japanese restaurant in Costa Mesa. You order at the cashier, sign with your finger on a tablet computer that swivels, and then wait for your hand rolls to be assembled by a worker hidden behind a partition. Half of the customers order takeout. If Temakira fits into a category, it’s the modern kind of sushi purveyor that eschews stuffiness and tradition for accessibility and convenience. Its closest kin is Fountain Valley’s Samurai Burrito, but it’s classier than that -- it’s less Instagram, more Pinterest. If Samurai Burrito’s customers seem as if they just got out of high school, Temakira’s clients look as though they’re working on their graduate degrees. Here, you could get a beer poured from a tap and sake, too -- something you can’t at Samurai Burrito. And there’s the main difference: the product itself. Where Samurai Burrito takes sushi ingredients and constructs gigantic cylinders that are neither burritos nor futomakis, Temakira’s hand rolls hews close to what temakis traditionally are: overflowing cornucopias filled with all manner of fish and veggies.

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    The best sushi hand roll I ever had was made by Katsu Aoyagi, the sushi master behind Tustin's venerable Sushi Wasabi. I haven't been back since he retired last summer and sold his shop to a younger chef, but I still remember that b...

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