Round 3 - Fukada for handmade noodles


Fukada
8683 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618

949.341.0111 

Hours:
Tue-Sun 11:30 am - 2 pm
Tue-Sun 5 pm - 9 pm


It had been an awesome Sunday afternoon...it was around 5:30p and we had eaten a full lunch, tons of pastries at Cream Pan, then saw a movie and stuffed our faces with popcorn and candy.  So, no...no one was particularly starving at this point.  We were still cruising around the Irvine Spectrum and when we finally decided to head out, Karen brought up the idea of going to this one ramen house in Costa Mesa, but none of us were super hungry.  Chris then said that he didn't like that place enough to drive over there, BUT!  If we were to go to Fukada then he would totally be down for that!  I have never been there, so they proceeded to tell me about the handmade noodles, which of course made me salivate and it didn't really matter whether or not I was super hungry because the more we talked about it, the more I'll become hungry.  That's just how it works for me.

Just the mere mention of handmade noodles was THE ultimate way to perk the interest of my belly and my palette.  And so it was decided and we took off in our cars to head over to Fukada.  Chris literally ran into the restaurant to get our names written down on the wait list.  Lucky for us, we had gotten there early.  I'd say there were about 6 or 8 groups of us that just made the turn and so the following guests had a bit of await ahead of them.
I loved the simplicity of the decor, the community table in the middle and the two banquettes lined with little two toppers that can easily be put together or separated for smaller parties of one or two. A counter is also available to eat at. 

Audrey had ordered a chicken teriyaki dinner and she was the lucky winner of these wonderfully blanched, seasoned green beans.  Lots of terrific sesame flavor, shoyu and I don't know, perhaps mirin or sugar too?  It was tasty and I would order a bowl of just that.  I really wanted to eat her entire bowl of green beans, but of course that would be totally rude of me and that kind of behavior is just unacceptable! haha  (what kind of adult would take a kids bowl of veggies?!)


Karen is the sweetest!  She loves salmon and wanted to share one of her favorite salads, the Salmon Skin Salad...
 

I love my Karen more than you know, and for years I had never confessed to her that cooked salmon is not my favorite thing...at least not until tonight.  I still feel bad...she has made me cooked salmon dishes many a dinner...but I always eat it because I totally appreciate her cooking for me and for Karen, I'd do anything.  She's my sister and I love her!   Anyhow...I did eat this, and I can see how delicious it can be, but most likely not a future item I'd order. =) But I know she loved it...so for all you crunchy salmon skin lovers...get this salad.


One of favorite dishes, nasumiso (eggplant with miso).


This was tasty, a little sweet from the miso, a little charred from the grill and just a really nice softer consistency.  Audrey, 12, is always such a sport.  She is not a huge fan of eggplant, but she was will to take a bite. I always say, Just try it one!  If you hate it, you'll never had to eat it again!  What's the worse thing that can happen right?!  You gotta try it and be open and Audrey is doing so fabulous for a 12 year old!  I'm so proud of her!

Oh yeah...looking down the specials menu, my eyes did not have to travel far before it reached one of my most sought after menu items that always capture my heart and palette!  (besides chocolate or ice cream!)
Yes, you are right...the stewed pork belly baby!!  awww....yah!  I even asked the waiter...has the pork belly been cooked forever so that it is falling apart tender?!  And he of course looked at me like a crazy person, smiled and said yes...it is.  (a short scream of delight was emitted from my lips and I said I'd take an order of it.)


Oh, yes...that's my stewed pork! 


Just a brief reaction to some of the food below...



That first piece of pork I ate on camera was out of this world!  The big chunk I ate later, was not as tender as the first, but still very tasty.  But it could have been cooked a little longer like the other piece.  Oh Lord, that first piece was seriously "melt in your mouth" good!

Vegetable tempura with my udon.  The batter wasn't super crunchy or light per se...but still good.  My favorite piece was the lotus root...because of the crunchy texture of the lotus root itself.  That was really good.


The udon was awesome! 


Loved the silky, bouncy texture of the noodles between my teeth.  It had plenty of body and wasn't mushy at all.  I would love to learn how to make noodles!  They have their noodle making room in the back on the way to the bathroom, but at that time, no one was making them.  Perhaps they only make them earlier in the day...I would have to ask next time I'm there.  Many of you out there seem to be frequent patrons of Fukada, so if any of you know when they typically make them, please feel free to share that info so everyone else can be informed as well.

I walked into this restaurant not even really super hungry...(can you say piggie?) but because it was well known for the handmade noodles, I was down to eat.  The menu itself made me want to order everything on it, but the few things that we did, made my palette and belly very happy.  In fact, I ate everything I ordered.  *sigh...oink oink*  Those of you who have a love affair with food like me...I know you totally understand how I feel.  You can be totally full, but the mere thought of the next meal or something delicious, will just get those stomach juices flowing and you're hungry at the thought of the next piece of food that will go past your lips and touch your tongue...bursting with flavor...and bringing you pure joy!


Anyhow...noodle lovers...come check out Fukada if you haven't already!  I'm ready to go back again and again and again!


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