I know this place has been mentioned a couple of times recently, but I just wanted to share with everyone the fantastic meal I had there a few days ago. AMAZING.
Tsuruhashi is a Japanese restaurant that specializes in food cooked and prepared Korean style. There are definite subtle (and not so subtle) differences in the food at a place like Tsuruhashi vs. a traditional Korean restaurant. In any case, the Korean food here was FANTASTIC, and being Korean, I've had LOTS of great Korean food in my life. The meat dishes really do stand up to my mom :).
We went in for lunch, but made sure to order the 'dinner service' which means cooking at the table, larger (slightly more expensive) portions, etc...
There was a group of 8 of us, and we had several different cuts of meat in MULTIPLE portions. - boneless short rib (like kalbi w/o the bones), beef tongue (hand cut, VERY EXCELLENT!), sliced rib eye (their version of bulgogi), marinated chicken, etc... They also served us several different banchan, but this place was really ALL ABOUT THE MEAT. The quality, taste and texture of the meat was amazingly, extraordinarily high. Clearly Prime, clearly Angus certified, clearly delicious. Really amazing... am I going on and on too much? Sorry. It really was that good.
I don't know what the normal lunch menu is like, but I would definitely do the dinner service, or go there for dinner, as it was great.
One of the most amazing things about the meal was how ridiculously cheap everything was. Eight of us ate multiple portions of great high quality beef until we were all ready to burst - read: LOTS OF FOOD, and the bill was amazingly low. If I recall, the food portion of the bill was around $230-$240, or about $30 per person, and believe me, each of us ate MUCH more than a standard single portion amount of food... we were there for around 2.5 hours and ate pretty much the entire time. We did run up the bill by ordering some REALLY high end liquor, but that is definitely atypical, so I would say that the value at this place is extraordinary.
In fact, I don't think it's a stretch to say that the meat prices at Tsuruhashi are about half of what decent regular Korean restaurants charge for regular Choice or Select level of beef w/bones, whereas for that "half price" Tsuruhashi provides PRIME top quality beef, hand cut, and boneless. I still can't figure out how they do it.
The downside was that at lunch the place was EMPTY, and from the sounds of it dinner isn't as busy as it should be. So I entreat all fellow 'hounds... please check this place out, let's keep it around so we have another great, inexpensive place to go to! Really great, can't recommend highly enough. Tsuruhashi is located in Fountain Valley on Brookhurst, a little less than 1 mile south/east of the 405 freeway, right next to a Turner's Outdoor sporting goods shop.
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