Shibutani-san, the etamae-san/owner for the original Shibucho on Beverly and subsequent restaurant in Mitsuwa (Yaohan) Plaza (now Tsukasa) has opened a new restaurant in Costa Mesa!
It has always been a dream of his to have a small shop where he can do all the preparation by himself. He is behind the counter and his wife is the hostess/waitress. The counter seats eight and there are two small tables (these act more like a waiting area where you can drink tea and have something small to eat until a counter seat opens).
My wife, parents and I went last night and it is very apparent that Shibutani-san has not lost his touch after a two year hiatus. The selection is somewhat limited because he only wants the best quality items in his counter but we were not disappointed. Hirame, maguro, tai, saba, aji, uni, ikura, kazunoko, shake, and hamachi were among the items we ordered.
As a way of background.....Shibutani-san is an "old-school" sushi chef that teaches his apprentices in the old-fashion Japanese way and then helps them to open their own stores. These include, Katsu, Yuu, Tsukasa and Shibucho on Beverly.
If you are looking for a traditional sushi experience by a chef who has devoted his entire life to the craft, you will not be disappointed. He's in the process of getting his liquor license so I would suggest you wait a month or so before visiting if like me you enjoy a little sake with your sushi.
590 West 19th Street
Disclosure: Shibutani-san is a family friend from his days at Horikawa and has been teaching me the proper way to eat and appreciate sushi since the 1970's.