Hanare Sushi

Has anyone dined here? I just heard about it- 1 star Michelin in OC? What are your thoughts??? Thanks in advance!

So I kept hearing conflicting stories about this place. The chef used to have a place new Newport or close somewhere in SoCal. He then went to Costa Mesa to open Hanare. However, during the pandemic he was about to close his restaurant, but I guess he didn’t since it’s still open. They only accept reservations via call or text and I heard the food was good. I plan to go eventually, but it’s not high on my list to make it a priority. Plus they aren’t online with reservations so I’m lazy to make an effort to text/call.

When I visit the lab, I see people in the restaurant but anyone who I know who goes to it says it’s good and pretty much changes the conversation lol make what you will of that good comment. It’s still in business so I’m sure he has a good number of customers supporting this place.

Someone go and report back.


Went once in 2019 so very dated info but I enjoyed it. I think I remember it being almost more of a kaiseki meal but with a bunch of sushi replacing the rice course (notes showed 9 cooked dishes followed by like 13-14 sushi and then 2 dessert including the tamago). I remember enjoying it overall, particularly the mini-kaiseki first half. Sushi I think was good but do remember the rice was on the warmer/hotter side I think. My notes at least say I enjoyed it haha.

When I went it was pretty much the chef, his wife, and maybe a helper or two in the back so a smaller type operation. But again, this is quite old info so take it with a grain of salt. I only ever had a few takeout orders from sushi ii during the pandemic and never tried Omakase by Gino so no idea where it stands in the OC rankings. It’s also been so long that I wouldn’t like to compare it to the LA spots I’ve been to since. But if I was stuck in OC/Irvine and wanted high end sushi that would be what I’d go for.

Disclaimer that I’m no sushi expert haha so your mileage may vary.


My wife and I have visited Hana Re several times in the last two years. It’s quite good. I’m particularly fond of their sake list, which is well-priced and tends to include a lot of rare options. I’d go back any time, only reason we don’t go more often is the distance.


I’ve been to Gino and it’s good, but it’s not a place I would go back to. If I was invited? Sure, but it’s not a place I would put efforts to secure reservations again. I’m spoiled in the sense that I went to great sushi and omakase places in LA and Japan. Therefore my standards when dealing with anything sushi related is unrealistic.

I felt Gino was good, but not great if compared to the LA scene. When I went back in 2021 or so, the menu felt stuck between traditional sushi and western/french/Italian style fusion dishes that used fish.

I recently went to Sonagi and Daniel is ahead of what Gino is trying to do. Both chefs are blending sushi with other styles of cooking that are not “traditional” however, Gino’s dishes at the time (he changed his menu I’m sure) felt off and stuck in a time that just didn’t work. It was bad, but I just didn’t care for the food that I ate. It felt so uninspired and I felt horrible. I was like constantly asking myself why. Why do I think it’s not worth coming back for? I seriously thought I was the problem. Then I moved on and went back to another place in LA and was like. Yes, this is the standard that I’m at. Gino is a great place if you won’t travel to LA and aren’t into sushi. Sonagi is the place that you go to because you want to see what Daniel will do to add his twist.

In terms of OC ranking, most places won’t beat LA, but that’s not the point. At least not for me. I think Gino is great and I’m glad that Santa Ana has such a place. It ranks high for being omakase, but I’m sure Hanare beats it in terms of ranking. I went to Otoro and it was good, but someone pointed out it’s all style rather than truly about the food.


Thanks for the info! Good to know I haven’t missed out much on Gino. I’ve been to Otoro in Irvine for lunch several times pre-COVID and it was fine. But it did not inspire any confidence for me to try their dinner/omakase offerings and I think better value can be found elsewhere in the area.


I plan to check out Taira soon and will report back.

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