215-17 Riverside Ave, Newport Beach, CA | Directions 9266333.622029 -117.923710
The self-dubbed "Asian freestyle" food is just one surprise from this quirky restaurant with a misspelled Japanese name. – The Scene
Expect the unexpected at Tokyo-born Michiko Soffer's noodle-shaped restaurant, tucked away on a quiet side street. Despite the Japanese name, this eatery looks like a kitschy pasta palace, from the nondescript exterior to the festive hodgepodge of potted plants, year-round Christmas lights and myriad of wine bottles inside.
Asian Freestyle cuisine, as conceived by the talented kitchen, consists of meats, fish and pasta with a novel Asian edge. The can't-miss dish is braised pork belly, an unctuous cut of meat updated with a sweet and sour sauce of citrus and caramel. A sauce of fresh ginger, pineapple, white wine and garlic on meaty Salmon Talley is a quick trip to Hawaii. Predictably heavy, the gnocchi with duck breast in creamy pesto sauce gains nothing from being homemade. The rich tiramisu, layers of dense mascarpone and airy ladyfingers drenched in espresso and heavily dusted with chocolate, is a surprise ending.
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