If you do not think of Irvine, California when you think of tasty Asian food, I am here to try and change your mind about that. Many may not know that Irvine is home to plenty of wonderful Asian options. They have you covered whether you are in the mood for soups, noodles, poke, or spicy meats. Like most parts of California, there are so many options that it is hard for most people to pick a favorite. Though it was not an easy task, I was able to narrow it down to my top three. Read on to learn about the three best Asian restaurants in Irvine.
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Located on Michelson Drive, HiroNori Craft Ramen is not just one of the best ramen spots around, but it is one of the best Asian spots in the area. They simmer their broths for at least 24 hours to impart a rich and robust flavor that is perfect for anyone who likes a delicious broth. When I eat there, I order their Tonkotsu ramen loaded up with green onion and a soft-boiled egg and sometimes I even add extra meat for a few dollars extra. For a side dish, I recommend their crispy rice with spicy tuna. But if you really want to try their all time best side dish, it's the crispy chicken. That garlic and soy marinated fried chicken thigh is something else and it'll seriously change your life. Though they are primarily a ramen place, they also make a mean salmon poke bowl. They offer great vegetarian options as well. Make sure to save room so that you can treat yourself to their mochi ice cream for dessert.
What I recommend: Tonkotsu ramen bowl with a side of crispy chicken
Location: 6626 Irvine Center Dr Irvine, CA 92618
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Located on Irvine Center Drive and inside the Irvine Spectrum, Fukada is another local gem that offers some of the best Japanese cuisine around. When I stop by, I like to start out with their salmon skin salad and their grilled duck appetizer. Trust me, these starters are necessary because they taste as good as their entrees. For those who love crispy, fried offerings, they have a robust tempura menu offering everything from tempura shrimp to tempura scallops. As a main dish, I recommend their curry udon noodles to slurp on. During lunch, they have the special lunch combos and I would get half sansai and half tanuki with the spicy tuna don. Don't even question it, just go up to the counter and order this exactly. And I can’t let you go there without warning you to save room for their zenzai. This sweet red bean and rice cake is a great way to finish off a meal.
What I recommend: tempura for starters and curry udon noodles
Location: 8683 Irvine Center Dr Irvine, CA 92618
Credit: @baekjeongkbbq on Instagram
When you visit Baekjeong, make sure to go with a crowd. Located on Culver Drive, they offer Korean barbecue that is best enjoyed when shared with friends and family. They serve premium cuts of meet such as beef belly, prime ribeye, and short ribs. For the seafood lovers, they offer a seafood ramen that is always a hit when I order it. If you are there with a large party, and you certainly should be, then try one of their large combinations. The beef gopchang combo features a variety of vegetables alongside beef intestine. That may not be for everyone, so make sure to bring your culinary sense of adventure.
What I recommend: prime ribeye and short ribs
Location: 14160 Culver Dr Irvine, CA 92604
The next time you are in the Irvine area and wondering where to have dinner, look no further than one of the above restaurants. You are sure to have a tasty offering of your favorite Asian foods no matter which place you choose and which dish you order. This list is only three of my favorites but I have many more. Let me know what's the best Asian food spot in Irvine!