July 15 - 21, 2005

The Asian Persuasion

Great Asian restaurants, and the Asians (and Chuck Devore) who love them

First of all, we refuse to believe Osajima eats anything, given that in the months and weeks and days before last April’s film festival, any time you dropped into her office unannounced, there she was: nose to the grindstone, barking into the phone, whipping minions into shape—with nary a Subway wrapper, Big Gulp or empty Dominos box in sight. But when the talk turned small, Osajima did mention “friends” and “going out to eat” and “have you ever eaten at . . .?”—clues that would lead you to believe she possessed some semblance of a life beyond her messy perch across from the private jet hangars at John Wayne Airport. ETHNIC EAT (JAPANESE): 242 Café Fusion Sushi. “Chef Miki Izumisawa employs a palette of some traditional and some surprising ingredients to create specialty dishes with such fanciful names as Sexy Hand Roll and Enjoy Shitake Feeling. Forget their standard spicy tuna rolls and take advantage of this rare window of opportunity to sample the talents of a true artist.” 242 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-2444; http://www.fusionart.us/. ETHNIC EAT: THE SEQUEL: Sushi Wave. “This is our traditional hang. Good, reasonably priced, with some yummy specialties like lobster hand roll and special California roll, which is a California roll smothered in baked scallops. Yum. You’ll see NBFF staff members in there with some regularity, as well as those we’ve converted and those who converted us.” 2075 Newport Blvd., #108, Costa Mesa, (949) 722-8736; http://www.sushi-wave.com/. AMAZING ASIAN: “Hmmm . . . non-Japanese . . . I had a really yummy okra dish at Royal Khyber last night. Does Indian count as Asian? It should, you know. Their dishes are aromatic and tasty to boot. You have to ask for spicy, though, and they will oblige.” 1621 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 436-1010; http://www.royalkhyber.com/.