Vote for the Best of Orange County 2021

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Taco Bell is testing a vegetarian taco with its own plant-based filling

A couple of years ago, when other fast food chains started partnering with companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods on plant-based alternatives to beef, Taco Bell held back.

But now the Irvine-based fast food giant is making its move.

Taco Bell is testing an item called the Cravetarian Taco with a proprietary filling that’s a blend of peas and chickpeas. It was created by Taco Bell’s chefs to have the taste, look and texture of its ground beef filling.

The taco is available for $2.19 at one Southern California restaurant in Tustin through April 29, or while supplies last, according to a news release. The address is 14042 Red Hill Ave.

It is modeled on Taco Bell’s Crunchy Taco Supreme. In addition to the plant-based filling, it includes shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat sour cream, lettuce and diced tomatoes in a crunchy corn shell. It contains 180 calories, 90 less than the Crunchy Taco Supreme.

It is not vegan. But like other fast food products like Del Taco’s Beyond Taco and Carl’s Jr.s’ Beyond Famous Star, both launched in 2019, it is intended to appeal to flexitarians, people who enjoy the taste of meat but want to cut down on consumption for health or ethical reasons.

Although it has not had a product like the Cravetarian Taco on its menu, Taco Bell has long been a go-to for vegetarians and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called it a secret vegan paradise because it is relatively easy to “veganize” its menu items. The chain made a commitment to expand its vegetarian options early in 2019. It has mostly done so with existing ingredients, but earlier this year it announced it is exploring a new plant-based protein with Beyond Meat.

The company is working with Beyond Meat to “create a new protein that is different from this test,” according to representatives, and it expects to test that product some time this year.

Taco Bell hasn’t announced a next step for the Cravetarian Taco beyond the test.

 

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Prince William says royals are ‘very much not a racist family’

By Angela Dewan and Schams Elwazer | CNN

Prince William has denied the royal family is racist in his first public remarks since his brother Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan, made explosive claims in a TV interview.

Asked by a reporter during a visit to a school in east London if the royals were a “racist family,” the Duke of Cambridge said: “We’re very much not a racist family.”

Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, made a series of damning accusations against the royal family in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in the UK on Monday night.

In response to a question on whether he had spoken to his brother since the interview with Oprah Winfrey, Prince William said, “I haven’t spoken to him yet but I will do.”

Harry and Meghan’s interview has sent the Palace into a tailspin and triggered a nationwide debate on the royals, race and the role of the media in perpetuating xenophobia.

In the interview, the Duchess said that the skin tone of the couple’s child, Archie, was discussed as a potential issue before he was born. The couple would not reveal who had made the remarks.

In the interview, Meghan described having regular suicidal thoughts during her brief time as a working royal, and said the palace had offered her and her son inadequate security and protection.

Buckingham Palace broke its silence on Tuesday evening, saying in a statement on behalf of the Queen that the allegations of racism were concerning and were being “taken very seriously.”

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the statement reads.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Taco Bell announces a crispy chicken sandwich that is also a taco

There’s a new, unexpected player in the hot chicken sandwich war: Taco Bell.

The Irvine-based fast food giant will soon be testing an item called the Crispy Chicken Sandwich Taco, which a news release calls both a sandwich and a taco.

The sandwiches will go on sale for $2.49 each in Nashville, Tenn., and Charlotte, N.C., on March 11. Southern Californians will have to wait for a while. Taco Bell plans a nationwide debut later this year.

The sandwiches feature chicken meat marinated in jalapeño buttermilk, seasoned, and battered with a tortilla chip coating.

The chicken is folded into a piece of bread that resembles a pita and is spread with creamy chipotle sauce.

A spicy version of the sandwich includes a a slice of jalapeño that resembles pickle slices in Nashville chicken sandwiches.

 

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Florida led the world in shark attacks again in 2020

By Sydney N. Walton | CNN

The US is once again the shark attack capital of the world in 2020. Thanks, Florida!

Last year, the US reported 33 unprovoked shark attacks, accounting for about 58% of the total number of unprovoked shark attacks that occurred worldwide, according to the Yearly World Shark Attack Summary from the International Shark Attack File (ISAF).

This is a decrease from 2019, when 64% of the global unprovoked bites occurred in the US.

ISAF categorizes shark attacks by first deciding if they were provoked or unprovoked.

“Unprovoked attacks are defined as incidents in which an attack on a live human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation of the shark,” ISAF said.

“Provoked attacks occur when a human initiates interaction with a shark in some way. These include instances when divers are bitten after harassing or trying to touch sharks, bites on spearfishers, bites on people attempting to feed sharks, bites occurring while unhooking or removing a shark from a fishing net and so forth.”

ISAF said it investigated 129 alleged shark-human interactions worldwide in 2020 — 57 were unprovoked shark bites on humans, and 39 were provoked bites.

Of the 33 unprovoked shark attacks in the US, 16 of them were in Florida. The state’s 16 cases represent 28% of unprovoked bites worldwide.

“For decades, Florida has topped global charts in the number of shark bites, and this trend continued in 2020,” ISAF said in its summary. “However, the state saw a significant drop from its most recent five-year annual average of 30 incidents.”

Eight of the shark bites in Florida, or 50% of the state’s total in 2020, occurred in Volusia County, according to the ISAF.

How the pandemic impacted shark attack reporting process

ISAF said that while the incidence of bites both in the US and globally have been declining over time, “2020’s numbers represent a more drastic drop than would be expected.”

Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s shark research program, said that Covid-19’s impact was something he and his colleagues speculated about back in March.

According to Naylor, the pandemic hasn’t necessarily caused a drop in cases — but it has impacted researchers’ ability to follow-up and confirm cases when they are reported.

“We typically talk to emergency room doctors and nurses to create our reports,” Naylor said. “However, they’ve been so overwhelmed with the Covid-19 response that they haven’t always had time to talk to a bunch of scientists that are asking detailed questions about a shark attack.”

Based on its research in the last year, ISAF said the “observed drop in shark bite incidents may have been caused by the widespread quarantines, closed beaches and minimized vacation travel in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Spike in shark-related fatalities reported worldwide

There were 13 shark-related fatalities this year, 10 of which were confirmed to be unprovoked, ISAF said in its Yearly Worldwide Shark Attack Summary.

“This number is above the annual global average of four unprovoked fatalities per year,” ISAF wrote.

But, “despite 2020’s spike in fatalities, long-term trends show a decreasing number of annual fatalities. Year-to-year variability in oceanographic, socioeconomic and meteorological conditions significantly influences the local abundance of sharks and humans in the water.”

Of the global fatalities, Australia saw “a higher incidence of fatal bites than normal in 2020,” ISAF said. The country had six confirmed fatal shark attacks.

“Australians are not naive when it comes to the inherent dangers of surfing and swimming,” Naylor said. “So I was surprised that the number was as high as it was this year.”

Meanwhile, in the US, there were three confirmed fatal shark attacks last year. This is an increase from 2019, when there weren’t any confirmed cases in the US.

The three fatal attacks happened in Hawaii, California and Maine. Although Florida is usually home to most of the unprovoked attacks, the state didn’t have any confirmed fatalities last year.

How to avoid a shark attack

Most bites — 61% of the total cases in 2020 — were related to surfing and board sports, ISAF said.

But don’t worry: “Short-term trends still show both fatal and non-fatal bites to be decreasing,” ISAF said.

“The total number of unprovoked shark bites worldwide is extremely low, given the number of people participating in aquatic recreation each year.”

Should you find yourself in the sea, ISAF said there are many ways to avoid a shark attack.

ISAF encourages people “avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight hours when sharks are most active and have a competitive sensory advantage.”

The organization also urges people to not enter the water if they are bleeding, because “a shark’s olfactory ability is acute.”

Shiny jewelry can also attract sharks, as “the reflected light resembles the sheen of fish scales.”

ISAF also encouraged people to avoid wearing bright swimwear or dive gear, because “any high contrast color apparel or gear used by a human in the water is especially visible to sharks.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ address reality of coronavirus in new episode

At the end of March, just 14 days after “The Real Housewives of Orange County” shut down production due to the coronavirus pandemic, housewife Kelly Dodd hopped on a flight from Southern California to New York City.

Now, please don’t ask whether she wore a mask on the flight — you know the answer to that question — or if she had a good reason for going. She did, though, have a reason.

“There is nothing that is going to separate me from my man,” she announced after arriving to shack up with her fiance, Fox News reporter Rick Leventhal.

Back home, the other housewives had a different take on Kelly’s travels.

“I just can’t understand that risk for a booty call,” sniffs housewife Braunwyn Windham-Burke.

Kelly, unsurprisingly, gets stuck in New York City and can’t get home to pick up daughter Jolie after her week with her dad, Kelly’s ex.

“I got stuck here,” Kelly tells the child. “I didn’t know it was going to be the epicenter (of the pandemic).”

Oh, if only someone — say, the entire world — could have told Kelly of the folly of her flight.

Still, that wasn’t the dumbest thing we saw this week. That dishonor goes to housewife Elizabeth Lyn Vargas, who shocked her castmates by going full Covid-19 conspiracist. Housewives Braunwyn, Emily Simpson, and Shannon Storms Beador rightly roast her for this behind her back.

Later, Elizabeth expounds on that her theories straight to camera.

“I’m not sure if this is a man-made virus so Big Pharma can make a lot of money, or if this is an actual virus that just happened to come from a monkey,” she says (Take a moment here to imagine Dr. Fauci slapping himself repeatedly in the forehead at what she just said). “But having to stay home is making me nuts.”

Of course, the biggest news in “Real Housewives” this past week was Braunwyn’s off-show announcement that she’s coming out as lesbian. But on the show, Braunwyn literally locks herself in the closet, which is part of a separate storyline in which Braunwyn — who’s been sober for three months — is working through some serious stuff.

Her husband Sean has no idea what’s bugging his wife, but she is not happy being stuck at home with him and their seven kids. She yells at him for violating her new rules on when it’s OK to use the kitchen. She snaps at him when he makes a lame joke about avoiding their booze-drinking friends. She locks herself in her closet, which admittedly, is as big as other people’s bedrooms.

And then, after admitting she’s been “rage-y,” she hauls off and strikes him — off-camera because the housewives are self-filming at this point in the production — over an issue with the vacuum cleaner.

“I lost my temper again, Sean belittling me over the vacuum cleaner,” she says. “I lost it, and I smacked him. I haven’t done that since we were in Aspen,” adding that that time, she hit him even harder.

In the closet, she says she feels trapped partly because of the changes she’s experiencing.

“The truth is there are some big things that are happening that are a part of me that we’ve never talked about,” Braunwyn says.

Other bits and pieces this week:

— Braunwyn responds to her white privilege: The show notes the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed, which along with the coronavirus gave this episode more actual reality than the show ever bargained for. Most of the housewives tweet about it — we know, because the show broadcasts their tweets — and Braunwyn and her older kids are seen marching in a protest in Huntington Beach.

“There’s no excuse for the fact that I’ve tuned this out for 42 years,” she says.

— Finally, there is evidence that housewives and househusbands don’t clean their own homes. While Braunwyn apparently knows which devices make the clothes clean, she admits on camera that — with the hired help staying home in lockdown — she hasn’t a clue how the darn things work.

“I’ve never had to use it,” she says of the mysterious “washing machine.” “This is the first time I’ve gone without a housekeeper since I was in high school.”

Over at Emily’s house, she’s shocked to see her husband Shane vacuuming the carpets. “It’s truly the end of the world when Shane Simpson is vacuuming,” she says. “I’ve never seen that in 11 years of marriage.”

He does bathroom sinks, too! And toilets! And…because the toilet seat was dirty he unscrewed it and put it in the shower, which only raises more questions to which I’m sure I don’t want to know the answers.

— Shannon kicks her boyfriend’s son out of the house for violating her coronavirus lockdown rules, and then is mad when the guy leaves to be with his kid. Later, things get serious when Shannon calls Kelly, weeping, from the urgent care clinic where one of her three daughters has just tested positive for Covid-19.

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We watched Foo Fighters concert livestream from the Roxy: Here’s what it was like

Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters had big plans this year to mark the 25th anniversary of the band.

“That’s right, 2020 was going to be the best year ever!” he said from the stage of the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday evening.

“And here we are.”

Here, playing a live-streamed concert for fans around the world, a show both thrilling and strange, but for fans and Foo Fighters alike, a welcome relief from the drudgery of this unexpected year.

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is singer-guitarist Dave Grohl. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is singer-guitarist Dave Grohl. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is drummer Taylor Hawkins, with singer-guitarist Dave Grohl looking on at left. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is singer-guitarist Dave Grohl. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is rhythm guitarist Pat Smear. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here, foreground, is rhythm guitarist Pat Smear, with Violet Grohl, daughter of head Foo Fighter Dave Grohl, singing backing vocals at right. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is drummer Taylor Hawkins. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is singer-guitarist Dave Grohl. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is drummer Taylor Hawkins. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is drummer Taylor Hawkins, center, with singer-guitarist Dave Grohl, left. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is rhythm guitarist Pat Smear. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here, center, is singer-guitarist Dave Grohl. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. Seen here is a shot from backstage. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

  • The rock band Foo Fighters livestreamed a concert from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the band’s biggest performance since the coronavirus pandemic scuttled its 25th anniversary celebration plans for this year. The livestream was sponsored by Coors Light. (Photo by Andrew Stuart)

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Part of the proceeds also are headed to Sweet Relief Musicians Fund to help those in the music industry struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In many ways, it was a typical Foo Fighters show. The band rocked hard on the cream of its catalog, opening the set with “All My Life,” ending it with it “Everlong.” Grohl rambled on about various tangents as he might have at any arena or stadium show.

In other ways, though, it was unique. Not so much for the intimate Roxy stage that held the six guys in the band and four backing vocalists, including Grohl’s 14-year-old daughter Violet. After all, they’d played there in 1995 when the Foo Fighters were just starting out, and more times over the years, including a KROQ-FM/106.7 show exactly six years earlier than Saturday’s show.

The absence of any fans made for a strange moments between songs. After the second song, “The Pretender,” the audio went so quiet and still I thought for a minute I’d lost the feed. Nope! There’s just no sound when the band stops playing and the room is devoid of fans.

“This is usually the moment in the song where everybody sings along,” Grohl said near the finish of “My Hero.” “But that requires people actually to be here.

“So if you hate your (bleepin’) neighbor, and you hate your (bleepin’) roommate, I want everybody to sing here by yourself to your iPad,” he continued. “If that feels awkward, imagine what it’s like being on this stage pretending there are people here.”

It was also shorter than the typical Foo Fighters show, a tight 12-song set over 90 minutes instead of something on the other side of the two-hour mark as you’d typically expect.

“Listen, if I was in your living room right now we’d be up until 5 o’clock in the morning,” Grohl before a terrific take on “Best Of You,” the penultimate song of the night. “I’m not sure that’s how this works.”

Other highlights included the back-to-back performance of “Times Like These” and “Shame, Shame,” a new song off their forthcoming album “Medicine At Night,” the same tunes they played a week earlier as guests on “Saturday Night Live.”

At one point Grohl acknowledged that he and the band hadn’t been interested in doing live-streamed or drive-in shows like some bands have since the pandemic forced the closure of music venues everywhere.

“And then I realized, you know what, the most important thing is to bring a little joy and happiness,” he said.

Later, after wondering out loud, “What is a virtual encore?” he urged everyone watching at home to stay safe, stay healthy, and look to the future when live shows can resume.

“I think if everyone looks out for the other guy, and everyone gets it together, a little care, a little compassion, we can do this together soon.”

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Best of Orange County 2020: Navigating a year unlike any other


Ron Hasse

Last year at this time, few among us attended family get-togethers via Zoom or wore facemasks to do our grocery shopping. But the events of 2020 have required us all to adapt to a new environment.

The Best of Orange County has had to adapt as well. In its 27th year, the annual reader survey of our community’s top destinations, attractions and businesses faced some unprecedented challenges.

For starters, the places we’d go, such as movie theaters and music venues, closed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic in March and have remained so for months. The popular fairs and festivals we’d previously attended didn’t take place in 2020. Restaurants had to pivot to delivery, takeout and patio dining. Some longtime businesses threw in the towel.

However, like our hardworking local businesses and workers, Orange County Register readers didn’t miss a beat. They cast tens of thousands of votes, a 22% increase over 2019. The businesses and attractions they voted for in scores of categories are in the magazine you’re holding right now.

Besides popular perennial categories such as the best beach, burger and city to live in, this year’s guide features readers’ choices in several new categories. The Places to Go + Do chapter has voters’ recommendations for the best family outing and the best Orange County college or university. The Luxury Lifestyle chapter honors the county’s top charitable organizations and the most breathtaking waterfront dining spots. The Food & Drink chapter calls out the best date night restaurants and food halls.

We hope you enjoy the 27th annual Best of Orange County publication and use it as a resource as you explore the county in the months ahead. Many of the locations profiled here are available for you to visit or patronize right now, while others will have to wait until conditions change to reopen their doors.

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that circumstances can be highly unpredictable. However, one thing you can count on is that Orange County will remain a beautiful place to live and experience, with perfect weather, a stunning coastline and amenities that rival anywhere else on the planet.

The Best of Orange County celebrates the attributes that make our community a world-class destination. Even when terms such as “social distancing” have fallen from use, these places, events, restaurants and other businesses will continue to attract people seeking to experience the Orange County lifestyle.

Ron Hasse

Publisher, The Orange County Register

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Best of Orange County 2020: Best sushi

1. Yama Sushi

27782 Vista Del Lago C-22, Mission Viejo; 949-716-9262; yamasushionthelake.com

Yama Sushi uses the freshest and highest-quality ingredients available. Yama Sushi also will not settle for anything but the best and most highly trained Japanese chefs that create the finest sushi rolls on a nightly basis. Diners not only come to Yama Sushi for the terrific sushi and entrees, but also for the environment and swanky ambiance. In fact, Yama Sushi is known for its picturesque views as it sits right on the Lake Mission Viejo.

Yama Sushi also has great prices considering the prime ingredients being used. However, if customers want an even better price on their sushi, Yama Sushi hosts Sushi Tuesday with sushi rolls  40 to 50 percent off the regular price. This Tuesday tradition became a customer favorite in 2008 when the promotion was started, and has been a staple to the business ever since.

Customers also have the ability to choose a variety of ways to eat their food as well. Omakase style is where chefs prepare items of their choosing in front of customers where they can see it being made. There is also a five-course meal that includes a delicious dessert.

Along with sushi, there are also entrees available such as udon or rice bowls. There is also a kids menu available, which has chicken, salmon, and beef teriyaki, chicken nuggets, and kids’ sushi.

2. Full Moon Sushi

Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Tustin

Full Moon Sushi opened its doors to its first location in Fountain Valley in 2001 and ever since then it has become an extremely popular spot for diners to enjoy their favorite Japanese delicacies. From there, the restaurant opened another location in Costa Mesa in 2007 as well as in Tustin in 2009. Full Moon Sushi is known for its great service, delicious food, and wonderful selection.

The staff at Full Moon Sushi says every hour is happy hour because the prices are some of the best for sushi in Orange County. Not to mention it is family friendly, which brings guests with kids back to Full Moon Sushi time and time again. Customers can even buy fashionable hats and t-shirts to support their favorite sushi joint too.

Make sure to try the popular Healthy Full Moon Roll, Hawaiian Roll, or a fresh poke bowl. There are also delicious dishes outside of sushi such as vegetable tempura, sesame chicken, gyoza (pork dumplings), and fried tofu.

3. Shunka Sushi

369 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa; 949-631-9854; shunkasushi.com

Shunka Sushi is a Japanese spot specializing in some of the freshest sushi in Orange County. The restaurant only offers classically trained chefs who are known for carefully crafting authentic items using fish bought directly from Japan every day at the sushi bar.

Shunka Sushi also prides itself on using fish so flavorful that no wasabi or other additions are necessary in boosting the flavors of the fish, vegetables, and rice. The fish purchased at Shunka Sushi is not as widely available as your typical sushi joint has to offer, and the sushi the restaurant has available is prepared with the freshest and most authentic ingredients available.

Guests must also try the wide variety of sake the restaurant has available to pair perfectly with their sushi. Choose between everything from a California cut roll, to a salmon avocado roll, or a spice tuna hand roll. Shunka also serves fresh salads and sashimi including big eye tuna, fresh water eel, and albacore. No menu option will disappoint.

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