Had a great meal at Wasa Sushi at the Bluffs, Newport Beach, on Saturday night. The mall location is pretty uninspiring, as is the shouty 'WE'RE OPEN' sign in the window, but once you're inside the diminutive space it's a different story.
The sushi excels, but the main courses lack inspiration. Put it this way: salmon teriyaki is about the most interesting choice on the short list. Very good it is too--a great-quality slab of fish, served over green beans and surrounded by an elaborate swirl of sauce--but it's the kind of thing you could cook yourself at home.
By contrast, the choice of appetizers is lengthy and appealing, from rock shrimp with spicy creamy miso sauce (delectable) to wasa fried chicken (like spicy chicken nuggets, only made with real chicken). And kudos for including a full page of vegetarian options.
They've also made an effort with the desserts... Next time I'll save room for the green tea cheesecake (OK, it's hardly the only restaurant that offers it, but, even so, at least it's not yawn-inducing green tea ice cream).
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One other minor criticism: the tables are a tad close together. At least it gave me the chance to see what everyone else was eating, and, seemingly, enjoying. (Note to guy at next table: top marks for bringing your date here, but dumping piles of salt and pepper onto your rice is not going to impress her!)