Best thing I ate this week: baby squid sushi

I told the chef “omakase,” meaning that I trust his judgement, I’m in his hands. And the first few courses were fairly predictable, as I’ve dined at the sushi counter at Shunka a dozen times before and knew more or less what to expect. But I also knew there would be a curveball at some point, and here it was: baby squid sushi.

I took a deep breath. I love sushi, and I like squid. But this is something else altogether. It’s practically still alive. And to be quite honest, I’m nervous as I bring it toward my mouth. While I love sushi, I hate fishy flavors. There are still a few textures that I have trouble with, and this might be one of them, or so I’m thinking.

But the moment the squid touches my tongue, I know it’s all going to be okay, at least flavor-wise. There’s not even a hint of fishiness. I bite into it, and the texture is exotic, for sure, but not one that I can’t embrace. Something inside the squid’s head explodes, releasing a rush of flavor into my mouth that reminds me of almond milk. Odd, but utterly delicious. Omakase, chef. Omakase indeed.

Shunka
Where: 369 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa
When: Lunch and dinner daily
Cost: Omakase from $35
Phone: 949-631-9854

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