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Best Japanese Restaurants in Costa Mesa, CA | 7 Must-Try Places

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Costa Mesa is a city that inspired us to embark on the simplicity of life. 

Life is gorgeous and simple if you have your friends and know how to enjoy a great time with them.  

This city is known for its thriving arts and culture scene. While we were there, we expanded our art knowledge and became more artistically knowledgeable. 

Costa Mesa is home to the renowned Segerstrom Center for the Arts, a world-class performing arts venue that hosts Broadway shows, ballet performances, concerts, and more. 

The center also includes the South Coast Repertory Theater, which showcases a range of theatrical productions.

Costa Mesa, California, is also home to several Japanese restaurants, the subject of this article.. 

Here is the list of the Japanese restaurants in Costa Mesa that we visited, restaurants that will make you have a special bond with Japanese cuisine. 

Top Three Japanese Restaurants in Costa Mesa

RestaurantTop PickOur Rating
Gyutan Tsukasa U.S.ABeef tongue 5/5
Sushi Sho Sashimi4.5/5
Don Don MugimaruUdon noodles 4/5

7 Best Japanese Restaurants in Costa Mesa

Sushi Sho Japanese Restaurant

2263 Fairview Rd. # J, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, United States +19496455502 

We found this place without strategic planning, and we came to the conclusion that it is definitely a hidden gem for all sushi enthusiasts. 

We went through a delightful culinary journey with authentic Japanese cuisine in a bustling neighborhood.  

The first thing that struck me upon entering Sushi Sho was the warm and inviting ambiance. I like the traditional Japanese decor, with its wooden furnishings and soft lighting, creating a cozy, intimate atmosphere. 

For appetizers, we had traditional miso soup and agedashi tofu with crispy tempura and gyoza. These appetizers showcase the art of Japanese cooking beyond sushi.

We ordered Sushi Nigiri, and it was impeccably crafted nigiri sushi. Using the freshest and highest quality fish and seafood, the skilled chefs delicately place thin slices atop small mounds of perfectly seasoned sushi rice. Each piece is a bite-sized masterpiece, allowing the flavors of the fish to shine through.

Our other choice was Sashimi. We highly recommend it for those who prefer the pure taste of raw fish. Sushi Sho offers a vast selection of sashimi. 

If you are a fan of Sushi rolls, Sushi Sho offers an array of innovative and artistic sushi rolls. From classic California rolls to more elaborate specialty rolls, there is something to suit every taste. 

Sushi rolls

Sushi Sho Japanese Restaurant in Costa Mesa is a delightful dining destination for sushi lovers. With its authentic cuisine, impeccable presentation, and warm ambiance, it stands out as a testament to the artistry and dedication of its culinary team.

Shunka Sushi & Japanese Cuisine

369 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627, United States  +19496319854

From the moment I stepped inside, I was transported to a traditional Japanese setting, complete with warm hospitality and an inviting ambiance.

During my recent visit, I was thoroughly impressed by the restaurant’s commitment to authenticity, quality, and the exquisite flavors they offered. It was a really outstanding experience that I was happily writing about it in my diary.

Shunka’s menu is a testament to the richness and diversity of Japanese cuisine. It offers a wide range of options, including traditional sushi, sashimi, tempura, teriyaki, and various cooked dishes. 

We ordered tempura, which was crispy and a true delight. Fresh vegetables or seafood are dipped in a delicate batter and quickly fried to perfection.


Our next impeccable choice was savory teriyaki dishes, where meats or seafood are grilled and glazed with a rich and tangy teriyaki sauce. 

In this pleasant and authentic Japanese restaurant you can enjoy classics like miso soup, gyoza (pan-fried dumplings), edamame (steamed soybeans), and sunomono (vinegared salads), among others. 

We will definitely come back for sushi and sashimi, with the impressive selection of both classic and creative options.

Whether you’re a sushi enthusiast, a lover of noodle dishes, or someone who appreciates the art of Japanese cooking, Shunka Sushi & Japanese Cuisine in Costa Mesa offers a wide range of delectable dishes to satisfy your cravings and provide a memorable dining experience. 

Don Don Mugimaru

665 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States   +17145571145

In Don Don Mugimaru, we established new friendships, and it was the restaurant itself because this place learned how to be completely dedicated to the authenticity of one cuisine.   

The service at Don Don Mugimaru is efficient and friendly. The staff is attentive and willing to assist with any inquiries or special requests. The food is served promptly, allowing for a quick and convenient dining experience, which is ideal for those seeking a satisfying meal during a busy day.

We had a  casual setting  turned into a casual lunch, and it exudes a sense of authenticity that adds to the overall charm of the place.

Don Don Mugimaru specializes in udon noodles and offers a range of delectable dishes that highlight the versatility and flavors of this traditional Japanese staple.

We started with the star of the menu, udon noodles, as the main attraction at Don Don Mugimaru. Made in-house, these thick and chewy noodles are the epitome of comfort food.

Udon noodles

We couldn’t leave this restaurant without trying tempura udon, a classic dish that combines crispy tempura with a steaming bowl of udon noodles. 

Other dishes that have to be part of your traveling journey in this charming city are Kitsune Udon, which is a popular choice that features udon noodles served with sweet fried tofu, together with Niku Udon, a meat lover’s delight. 

Whether you’re a fan of traditional udon preparations or curious to try unique variations, Don Don Mugimaru offers a selection of dishes that celebrate the essence of Japanese food in Costa Mesa.

KATSUYAKI – Costa Mesa

2180 Harbor Blvd Ste A, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, United States  +19492876559

KATSUYUKI in Costa Mesa is a fantastic destination for katsu enthusiasts and Japanese food lovers. The menu offers a range of flavorful and crispy cutlets accompanied by delicious sauces and side dishes.

We are definitely Japanese food lovers; therefore, this place is top-notch for us and our preferences when it comes to Japanese food in Costa Mesa. 

The service at Katsuyaki is prompt and attentive. The staff is knowledgeable about the menu and willing to offer recommendations based on individual preferences. The food is served efficiently, allowing for a convenient and hassle-free dining experience.

I ordered classic pork katsu, a popular choice among katsu enthusiasts. Tender pork cutlets are breaded with a light and crispy coating, then deep-fried to perfection.

My friend had Vegetarian Katsu since he is always seeking vegetarian options, and luckily Katsuyaki offers vegetable katsu dishes.

Vegetarian Katsu

And here is my favorite dish that always causes a smile on my face. Katsuyaki also offers the popular combination of katsu and Japanese curry. This dish features a breaded cutlet (pork, chicken, or vegetarian) served on a bed of rice, topped with a rich and aromatic Japanese curry sauce. 

For a handheld option, Katsuyaki serves katsu sandwiches. We love sandwiches as much as Јоey from the popular sitcom show, Friends, so we couldn’t resist  katsu sandwiches

The crispy breaded cutlet is placed between soft bread, often accompanied by fresh lettuce and tangy sauces. The sandwich offers a convenient and satisfying way to enjoy the flavors of katsu on the go.

If you are in this area or near this artistic city, we recommend you visit this place.

Katsuyaki ensures that each dish is prepared with care, maintaining the balance of textures and flavors that make katsu so beloved. This is a great twist on authentic Japanese food in Costa Mesa. 

Miyabi Tei

665 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States +17147547044 

If you are seeking a place where you can have comfy food and a nice ambiance that will give you the needed escape from the ordinary things in your life, this is the right place. 

The menu at Miyabi Tei features a range of classic Japanese dishes, showcasing the rich flavors and culinary artistry of the cuisine. 

Here are some highlights of the dishes you can expect to find. As food experts and people that seriously should figure out if they have food addiction, we recommend you to try these dishes in these restaurants with traditional Japanese decor. 

Miyabi Tei offers a selection of robatayaki dishes, which are prepared on a traditional Japanese charcoal grill. Miyabi Tei serves a variety of donburi bowls that are hearty and satisfying. These bowls feature a bed of steamed rice topped with various ingredients such as teriyaki chicken, beef, or fresh sashimi.


The Pork Katsu was juicy and fried to perfection, while the curry sauce was wonderfully thick and flavored well. There are spices, but it’s not super strong. 

Our chicken order was crispy and moist inside.

Miyabi Tei Japanese restaurant in Costa Mesa provides a delightful and authentic Japanese dining experience. You will feel welcomed and you will be fully satisfied with everything you will get here. 

Oak & Coal

333 E. 17th St. Ste. 2, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, United States  +19492876150

Oak & Coal also offers a variety of fresh and seasonal vegetables to complement the grilling experience. These include mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, and more.

Oak & Coal is an exceptional Japanese yakiniku restaurant located in Costa Mesa. It is a restaurant that provides professional service, and there will not be a second where you will not feel valued. 

The concept of yakiniku, which translates to “grilled meat,” takes center stage at Oak & Coal. Each table is equipped with a grill, allowing guests to cook their own selection of premium meats and vegetables to their preferred level of doneness.

In these authentic restaurants, we tried different Japanese beers and other refreshing choices, and also we were thrilled because of the high selection of sake. 

We ordered fresh shrimp, scallops, and squid, which can be grilled to perfection on the tableside grill. We were happy that this restaurant had an extensive selection of seafood options. 


To complement the grilled meats and vegetables, Oak and Coal offer a selection of rice and noodle dishes. 

We love their attention to detail and the fact that to enhance the flavors of the grilled meats and vegetables, they include savory soy-based sauces, tangy ponzu, spicy chili sauces, and more.

We loved it and are coming back. Don’t miss this gem.

Gyutan Tsukasa U.S.A.

Mitsuwa Marketplace, 665 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626, United States  +17144341023

We are happy to confirm, based on our experience, that Gyutan Tsukasa U.S.A. is a hidden gem of a Japanese restaurant in Costa Mesa that specializes in gyutan, or grilled beef tongue.

The star of the show at Gyutan Tsukasa U.S.A. is, of course, the gyutan itself. The grilled beef tongue is expertly prepared, resulting in tender and succulent slices that are packed with flavor.

beef tongue

Gyutan Tsukasa U.S.A. also offers a selection of accompanying dishes that complement the star of the show. These can include rice bowls topped with gyutan, flavorful soups, and a variety of side dishes featuring seasonal vegetables.

We also ordered tongue curry and tongue stew.  The curry has a very good flavor, not too thin.

Gyutan Tsukasa U.S.A. is a must-visit for meat lovers and those seeking a unique culinary experience. 

Everyone needs to come here if they want to try good beef tongue. 

Foodies Also Ask

What kind of Japanese restaurants in Costa Mesa can we expect? 

In Costa Mesa, California, you can expect to find a variety of Japanese restaurants catering to different tastes and preferences. They often have skilled sushi chefs who prepare the dishes right in front of you. You will encounter Teppanyaki restaurants, Japanese bakeries and cafés, and izakayas restaurants as traditional Japanese gastro pubs where you can enjoy a variety of small plates, skewers, and drinks. 

Are these restaurants expensive?

The pricing of Japanese restaurants in Costa Mesa can vary depending on factors such as the type of restaurant, the ambiance, the location, and the specific dishes offered. 


Costa Mesa offers a diverse range of Japanese restaurants that cater to different culinary preferences. Whether you’re craving sushi, ramen, izakaya-style dishes, teppanyaki, or Japanese pastries and beverages, you can find a variety of options in the area. The local Japanese dining scene provides a blend of traditional flavors and contemporary twists, ensuring a satisfying experience for both locals and visitors. From elegant sushi bars to lively izakayas and cozy ramen shops, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Costa Mesa’s Japanese restaurant scene.

If you’re looking for other culinary wonders in Costa Mesa, check my guides here:

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