I went there on Saturday with my sister for her birthday and was so disappointed. I was intending to take her to Frenzy Sushi in Costa Mesa but then heard raves from a couple of acquaintances about Taiko and their fresh fish and the value and quality.
I do have to say that their portions and their set deals are a very good value. You get a lot for your money. My sister ordered the lobster boat and it come with a large lobster tail, shrimp and vegetable tempura, beef skewer, soup, rice, kobachi, ice cream, and green tea all for less than $19. She actually said the lobster was surprisingly good. I got sesame chicken, shrimp and vegetable tempura, sashimi, soup, rice, and green tea for less than $15.
We had tons of food, but truth be told, I'd rather have a smaller high-quality meal than a large mediocre meal. The tempura was so stale, the chicken and beef were chewy, the tuna sashimi was frozen, the red snapper was dry and rubbery and had no flavor. I wonder if you order a la carte if the fish is any better. I tried to look at other tables and check it out and it seemed like the fish was of the same quality even if you didn't order the set combos. To give credit, I tasted my sister's lobster and it was fairly tasty for something that came part of a big set that's less than $20. Everything else left me non-plussed.
I really can't understand the appeal of this place. Is it just about quantity? They sure do give you a lot for your money, but what's the point if it's no good??? We went on a Saturday night at 7:30pm and were expecting a really long wait (I've heard upwards of 2 hours), but we got in in about 40 minutes. The traffic was amazingly steady though and obviously it's a local favorite. I had to give a try based on the assessments I'd heard. Now I've been there and done that and am left very underwhelmed. What gives??? Was it just an off day??? I do not recommend this place but will give it another try if other chowhounds give it praise.