Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fukada -- Comfort food without the guilt

8683 Irvine Center Drive Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 341-0111

In Irvine, good food is really hard to come by. For some odd reason, we have one of the best school districts in the country, which attracts families, which attracts money etc, but they can't for some reason attract restaurants which serve up great food. Go figure.

Fukada is the exception -- when it is in a good mood that is. Most of the time, Fukada has great food, except when it has less than stellar food. When that happens, it's not a good experience.

It is a very popular lunch time destination with lines forming before the restaurant even opens at 11.30am. Fifteen minutes upon opening, the restaurant is already at full capacity. Sucks to be you if you arrive just a few minutes too late to snatch up the last table.

They have a pretty good sized menu, but most people go for the lunch combos which are about $10 or less. These give you the option of a noodle and a don (rice bowl), or a salad with slices of seared raw fish with your choice of 3 rice bowls. Some of the selections include unagi-don (eel), spicy tuna don, ten-don (tempura), curry-don and a few others. With the salad selection you can choose only from spicy tuna don and 2 types of rolls. For an extra $2, you can choose any of the other choices available. The same combo is offered at dinner time, but for a few dollars more.

A white board also offers special combos which claims to be daily specials. Only thing is, I've only seen these choices change twice in the years we've been coming here. If you wish to order a la carte, the menu has entrees such as teriyaki chicken and salmon. However, noodles and tempura are their specialty. Fukada makes its own noodles -- specifically, udon. Although I prefer soba (buckwheat noodles) over udon, they often are a hit and miss. On my last visit, they tasted like the flour to buckwheat ratio was off, hence, doughy and hard at the same time. Weird texture just kills it for me.

If you're ordering a la carte, appetizers, entrees and dessert, with a drink or two, be ready to shell out a hefty amount because the portions are on the small side. We've paid close to $100 tip included for a party of 3 at dinner. Of course, if you stick with the combos, it's still a really great deal.

Service could be better but it all depends on who is working that day. However, no matter what the service, you can be sure the food will fly out of the kitchen because they want you in and out faster than you can shout 'oishi' so they can begin the next round of diners waiting in the wings.


icedgreentea said...

I went to Fukada this week! I was so excited to go for the second time. I could eat that udon so often if it was closer. -Linda

Christine said...

Ooh. I've heard about this place, but have never had an inclination to go. Sounds kind of yummy now. :D

melissa said...

I do like this place, and I'm about to be working about half a mile away so I'll probably go more often. I hear you about their "off" days though.