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Japanese Restaurant Huntington Beach, Seafood Restaurant Huntington Beach, Sushi Top,

Baked Eel Bowl, Fish, Salmon Teryaki Bowl, Gyudon Bowl, Tuna, Maguro, Albacore, Binchou Maguro, Salmon, Shake, Smelt Egg, Masago, Red Snapper, Izumi tai, Shrimp, Ebi, Squid, Ika, Egg Omelet, Tamago, Yellow Tail, Hamachi, Baked Eel, Unagi, Baby Scallop, Mini Hotate, Octopus, Tako, Seared Tuna, Maguro Tataki, Cucumber Roll, Avocado Roll, Orange Roll, Vegitable Roll, Albacore Roll, Spicy Yellow Tuna Roll, Philadelphia Roll, Volcano Roll, Caterpillar Roll, Rainbow Roll, White Meat Sasame Chicken, BBQ Mackerel, BBQ Squid, Shrimp Tampura,
92605, 92615, 92646, 92647, 92648, 92649

(714) 962-7199
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"Quoted Best Sushi In Orange County"




Sushi Top Restaurant

(714) 962-7199

19171 Magnolia Street #8,
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Hours: Monday - Friday
Lunch: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:00pm - 9:00pm

Saturday Dinner Only
Dinner: 5:00pm - 9:00pm

"Click Here for
Map Directions"



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Information Article 1:
About California Rolls
Information Article 2:
About Sashimi
Information Article 3:
About Salmon
Information Article 4:
About Tuna
Information Article 5:
About Tempora
Information Article 6:
About Teriyaki
  Information Article 7:
About Miso Soup
Information Article 8:
About Gyudon

How do you become famous?
Helping people!
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Healthy Fresh Fish & Seafood

Sushi Top is a favorite sushi (Japanese) restaurant in Huntington Beach known for its ample portions and resonable prices. Sushi has gone from being an exotic food to one that is found almost everywhere in America. Sushi Top serve inventive Japanese cuisine ranging from sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, bowls, gyudon, squid, mackerel and creative salads to signature roll dishes like Pliladelphia Rolls, Orange Rolls, Albacore Rolls, Scallops Rolls, Baked Eel Rolls, Crunchy Rolls, Spider Rolls, Rainbow Rolls, Volcano Rolls, Cucumber Rolls, Avocado Rolls Salmon Rolls, Tuna Rolls, Spicy Tuna Rolls, Vegitable Rolls.

" The Best Sushi I have ever had! and the prices are reasonable! "

SUSHI TOP Japanese Restaurant

Thao P. 10/31/2009
Went here for dinner and was pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive and decent the food was. The place is small, we had 7 people and they had to push 3 tables together, was a little in the way of the door way and took up half the restaurant. The staff is friendly, it wasn't busy when we came but got filled up later on and they still did a good job of checking with us for refills of tea, etc. As for the food, here's a sample lowdown of what we ordered and found good: Seared beef sushi (can you really call this sushi?)- $1.75/pc, melts in your mouth King crab roll - $10.95/8 pcs, good Spider roll - $7.50/5 pcs, deep fried soft shell crab, etc. shrimp sushi - $1.45/pc King crab sushi - $2.45/pc, good decent piece of king crab on rice chicken teriyaki and tempura combo - $6,95, comes with rice, salad, soup, tastes like what you'd expect top box combo with chicken teriyaki and two pieces of sashimi - $8.95, comes with soup, salad and rice, and slice of orange. The sashimi was fresh. They gave us $5 off discount for ordering over $25 on sushi. I'd go back again, definitely if I lived closer, I would frequent it more often.

Tiffany 8/14/2009
Came here twice for the awesome combination platters... was so happy to see more people in the restaurant the second time around! The food is so good and cheap that I don't want this joint going out of business!

SERVICE: 3/5 Okay, here is where it falters... the waitress was polite (but not very chatty or gregarious), and service was somewhat slow. Meh, I've had worse.

VARIETY: 4/5 I just glanced, but there are a bunch of bento type platters and sushi rolls. There were also appetizers and I think some udon and all that good stuff.

VALUE: 5/5 Whoa! My brother had chicken teriyaki, a salad, miso soup, rice, broccoli, 4 pieces of California roll, and an orange slice for just $4.95!!! I substituted white meat chicken for just 50 cents more, and my mom substituted salmon for just 50 cents as well. Holy cow! You could also substitute beef sukiyaki and maybe one more thing. Everything was tasty; I might say that the sesame salad dressing was a weeee bit too salty and the avocado in the roll a bit soft, but I was really satisfied overall. Chicken was nicely grilled, salmon was delicious, teriyaki sauce was ample.... Mmm.
Spread the word! This is definitely the place to go for a delicious lunch at a great price!

Mike M. - 5/11/2009
This little hole in the wall is tucked behind a grimy little strip mall next the old K-Mart, now new Home Depot. This strip mall is very old and dated. The front side, facing Magnolia, houses Basilico's and Catalina Fish Kitchen, two great restaurants (see my other reviews). Around the backside is the totally forgettable Jimenez Mexican Food (horrible). The wrecking ball was very close to this strip mall, I imagine, until Home Depot went in. Now, it's prime space, but still a dive. I'm sure once the recession is over, they will give this place the face lift it deserves, then jack up the rent and kick out all of the old tenants who paid the slumlord through the bad times. But I digress...... Near the rear is Sushi Top. The kids and I walked over from Home Depot because the other choice was Taco Bell. "Not on my watch, kids." I checked YELP on my crackberry and was thrilled to see the positive reviews. The Japanese owner/operators (and their kids) were there, just as advertised. The place is small, cozy, but comfortable. About 6 seats at the sushi bar and 6 tables or so. Saturday morning cartoons were on the flatscreen in the corner with the remote control in one of the kids hands. I felt like I was at home. The service was polite and friendly. The menu was easy to read and the specials were clearly visible. Being my first time, I stuck to the basics. Spicy tuna hand roll. That's the big fella. Crispy wrapper, a very good sign. Spicy but flavorful. And Cheap. The kids had a combo platter that was bigger than their heads. Teriyaki chicken, rice, miso soup, salad with a yummy sesame dressing and 4 pieces of California roll. The plate was ridiculously priced at $4.95. I had a similar plate but with tempura for $6.95. Now this was not the best food I have ever had but it was VERY good. Super cheap, walking distance to my home, very friendly owners and kid friendly (not a date place). They have a convenient to-go menu that eliminates Marco's (around the corner) from my Rolodex. Awesome. Another great local find. Not worth more than a 5 minute drive but it's a great little neighborhood sushi joint.

Dan H. - 5/11/2009
Unique sushi dining expierience awaits at Sushi Top. Been going here since it was a fast food set up. Much better since Kiyoshi moved out front with a traditional glassed in sushi display, albeit a very small one. The fish is always super fresh, try his oysters if availible. Everytime I walk in he flashes a big smile and "I have oyster for you tonight" if they are in. It takes awhile for him to warm up to new people because his english is very poor and I think he is a bit shy as well. We have learned to communicate and even share some laughs. His wife is usualy the waitress as well as working the kitchen and is really really sweet. They have 2 adorable kids that come out and hang with the customers and are both pretty funny, and I am an old grumpy guy with no kids. The bad; the tv is always on, sometimes with the worst tv has to offer, i.e. Americas funniest home videos etc. I usualy ask him to put some sports on and he and the other customers are cool with that. The food is incredible for the price, more of a neighborhood place than a lets drive accross town for. I usualy get out of there for $20 + sake. Oh, they do carry premium sake as well as soju. If you live in the area' check it out, you will enjoy.

Nickole M. - 8/17/2009
Their Spicy Tuna is amazing....their prices are more then fair...Try the Shrimp Dumplings, and I crave the salad dressing everyday, its a special Miso blend....honestly, i love this place....so does my whole family

Rene L. - 8/3/2009
This is a little hole in the wall place that has absolutely fresh sushi and the prices are great. If you don't want to be around a crowded place like Suish On Fire, then this is the place!

Rico H. - 8/2/2008
This is the perfect sushi restaurant since I live only 2 mins away & like eating Japanese 2-3x a week! A very affordable healthy stable. Tiny & laid-back & with a deserving sushi bar.... using real plates & utensils. I hate eating off styrofoam & using plastic forks. A large menu for the size ranging from fresh sushi, familiar rolls, combinations & cooked fish. The miso soup is yummy! And the poki bowl is great!

Fred C. - 6/3/2009
I have been going there since they first opened. They are always friendly and so polite. The food is always fresh. I enjoy eating here. I ate there tonight. I would give five stars if the meals hadn't shrunk. But with four stars, I still highly recommend this place.

Eddie L. - 6/26/2008
Not that much selection. Not too many tables. Fairly hidden. Service is slow due to a seemingly 60 year old lady servicing the whole place (with a smile though). But.. Tastes really good and fairly fresh for very little money. THE place to go to for drinking premium sake at SUPER discounted prices. I likey.

Scott K. - 10/6/2008
Fast food Japanese run by a Japanese family. When you want your beef or chicken teriyaki and tempura fix, Sushi Top is the locals choice. The combos come with a pretty tasty side salad with miso dressing. I occasionally get the spider roll cuz it's pretty big and filling (they don't skimp). The restaurant is clean, take out orders are quick, and the service is fantastic.

Comming soon!


At most sushi bars, the waitress will offer a hot towel to wash your hands so you can pick up sushi with clean fingers.

With your Sushi order, you will be served some pickled ginger, a small mound of wasabi, and soy sauce. Eat a slice of pickled ginger after each variety of sushi to cleanse your palate. It is not proper to mix the wasabi with the soy sauce.

Sushi is meant to be finger food, quick and tasty. It is preferable to eat sushi with ones hands rather than with chopsticks, but both ways are acceptable in America.

Eat the whole sushi roll at once. It is not appropriate to eat part of a piece of sushi and place the other piece back on a plate. Once you have picked something up you should eat all of it.

Do not dip the rice portion of the sushi pieces into the Soy sauce as it becomes too moist and can cause sushi to fall apart. Simply dip the topping or the seaweed (Nori) in the soy sauce before eating.

During the 1970s, a smart unknown California chef, realizing that many Americans did not like the though of eating raw fish, created the now famous California Roll, made with crab, avocado, and cucumbers. Since then, American sushi chefs have created many variations with unique names such as Spider Roll, Philadelphia Roll, and Rainbow roll. Most people in Japan have never heard of the California Roll, though, and I would advise not trying to order one there.


How To Speak Your Sushi Chef In Japanese

Some basic phrases:

Arigato: Thank you.

Domo/Domo arigato: Thank you/thank you very much.

Dozo: Please.

Gochiso-sama [deshita]: Traditional phrase closing a meal.

Hai: Yes.

Itadakimasu: Traditional phrase opening a meal.

Kanpai: The Japanese equivalent of “cheers,” used when drinking

Konbanwa: Good evening.

Konichiwa: A basic Japanese greeting, equating to “Hello, how are you?”

Oaiso or Okanjo: The check.

Oyasumi nasai: Good night.

Sabinuki: No wasabi.

Sumimasen: Excuse me.



The Difference Between Sushi And Sashimi

Sushi is a dish made of vinegared rice combined with seafood, vegetables, egg and, in the world of nouvelle cuisine, other items from beef to barbecue chicken. Sushi does not mean “raw fish,” but “vinegar[ed] rice.” While much of the fish used to make sushi is raw, some of the items are blanched, boiled, broiled, marinated or sauted.

Sushi was originally developed as a snack food—as the story goes, to serve at gambling parlors so the gamblers could take quick bites without stopping the action. There are different styles of sushi:

  • Nigiri-sushi, slices of fish or other items on pads of rice
  • Maki-sushi, rolled sushi (including handrolls, temaki)
  • Chirashi-sushi, fish and other items served on top of a bowl of vinegared sushi rice
  • Oshi-sushi, squares or rectangles of pressed rice topped with vinegared or cooked fish, made in a wooden mold
  • Stuffed sushi, including chakin-zushi or fukusa-sushi, ingredients wrapped in a thin egg crpe; and inari-sushi, with ingredients stuffed into a small pouch of fried bean curd (tofu)
  • Sashimi is sliced fish that is served with a bowl of regular boiled rice on the side

Abalone or Awabi: The “king of clams,” has exquisite pearlized coloring on the inside of its shell that is used for jewelry and decorative items. The meat has a crisp, chewy texture.

Aburage: A rectangular, fried bean curd (tofu) pouch used for inari sushi. They are prepared by cooking the bean curd in mirin (sweet cooking sak), shoyu (soy sauce) and water.

Aemono: A pure of tofu and seasonings, used as a dressing or sauce for other dishes.

Agari: Green tea.

Agemono: Deep-fried or pan-fried food.

Aji: Spanish mackerel, also known as horse mackerel. It is fillet marinated in vinegar to cure it before serving. Also called sawara.

Aji-No-Moto: Monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Aji-No-Moto: Fresh Spanish mackerel.

Ahi: Ahi tuna is also known as big-eye and yellowfin (not to be confused yellowtail, or hamachi, which is not tuna but a different species). Ahi is also used for tuna tataki (see photo at top left), and is frequently the type of tuna served seared.

Ahi Tuna Sushi
Ahi tuna, also known as big-eye and yellowfin.

Akagai: Red clam or ark shell.

Akami: Red meat tuna.

Albacore Tuna SushiAlbacore Tuna: High-fat and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the albacore has the lightest flesh (white with a hint of pink) and is the only tuna with meat that can be called “white” in the U.S. Its prized white flesh and mild flavor make it prized for both sushi and canning; it is the most expensive canned tuna, with comparisons to chicken (this earned it the sobriquet “chicken of the sea” and created a major brand of the same name). Albacore tuna are commonly 80 pounds and can reach 200 pounds.
Photo courtesy of sugarFish, sugarfishsushi.com.

Ama-ebi SushiAma-ebi: Sweet shrimp, served raw. If it is served with the deep-fried shells of the shrimp, the shells are to be eaten as well. Photo of ama-ebi, at right, by Radu Razvan | IST.

Amberjack: A more mature hamachi or yellowtail.

American Sushi: California rolls, Philadelphia rolls, spicy rolls, spider rolls, even salmon skin rolls were born in the U.S.A. Read more about them under the individual listings.

Anago: Salt water eel, a.k.a. conger eel (see photo below). Salt water eel is less fleshy and rich than fresh water eel (unagi), but “richness” is a relative term: As apple lovers enjoy different varieties of apples, eel fanciers welcome both types. Eel is not served raw, but is pre-boiled and then freshly grilled prior to serving. In Japan, each restaurant is judged by its anago, since the recipe each uses to steam, boil, marinate and grill differs. Most of our anago supply comes from Japan.

Ana-kyu-maki: Conger eel and cucumber rolls (the salt water eel, anago).

Ankimo: Monkfish liver, generally served in a marinade. The Japanese “foie gras,” and much more affordable!

Anko-nabe: Monkfish stew.

Aoyagi: Yellow round clam.

Awabi: Abalone.


Anago (Eel) Sushi

Bakagai: Orange clam, a beautiful orange color, like a creamsicle. They are harvested off of Long Island; the adductor muscle of the clam is called kobashira and is served separately as a “boat roll.”

Baigai: Small water snails.

Bara Sushi: From the Kansai region of Japan, ingredients mixed with sushi rice to make a rice salad.

Basashi or Sakura: Raw horse meat “sashimi,” typically served on a bed of shredded daikon (white radish) with shiso leaves.

Battera-sushi: Oshi-zushi (pressed sushi) topped with mackerel. Along with hako Pressed Sushisushi, battera uses plant leaves (here, aspidistra leaves, which are inedible); however, in battera sushi, the layer of leaves is upside down, which makes for easier removal from the mold. The rice is generally topped with mackerel (and in Japan, gizzard shad is also used), strong-tasting and oily fish. Because of the oily quality, the fish can stay fresh for several days, making battera sushi popular for quick dinners, since it stays fresh for days. (In fact, it evolved in the more inland areas that had no access to fish). To make battera, the mackerel is salted, allowed to stand for six or seven hours, washed and marinated it in a vinegar mixture, placed on the rice and pressed.

Beef Sushi and Sashimi: Top quality beef, including wagyu, is served as sushi or sashimi—for nigiri sushi, the beef can be served lightly cooked as well as raw. Sliced very thin, it is absolutely delicious (and one our favorite ways to eat wagyu, cooked and raw). Horsemeat is also served—see bashashi.

Beni-shoga: Red pickled ginger.

Biiru: Beer.

Blowfish: See fugu.

Bo Sushi or Bozushi: A pressed sushi that is made in a long, candy bar-type shape and then cut into bite-size pieces. Bo means “stick.”

Bonito or Katsuo: Bonito, also known as skipjack tuna (an all-dark-meat tuna), is eaten as a cooked fish, but is also smoked and dried into a popular Japanese seasoning called katsuo-bushi (the Japanese word for bonito is katsuo). Dried bonito flakes are used to make stock for miso soup, stews, sauces, dips and other foods. In sushi bars, they are often used as a garnish atop mackerel sushi, spinach and other dishes.

Buri: Older yellowtail. Younger yellowtail are called hamachi. Hamachi is unusual in that the same fish is called by a different a name at different stages of life.

Buri Toro: Fatty yellowtail, the belly strip of the fish. Given the fatty richness of yellowtail to begin with, this is an extremely rich piece of fish with a buttery flavor. It is a delicacy and rarely found in the average sushi bar.


California Roll: An American invention, the original California Roll was made by a California sushi chef in the early 1970s. He incorporated avocado, cucumber and fish cake into a roll; he hid the seaweed, which many Americans did not like, inside a layer of rice—today known as an “inside out roll.” The California roll was an instant hit and helped to make sushi part of the 1970s health food movement. Ultimately, crab stick (imitation crab meat) replaced the fish cake. Some chefs decorate the outside rice with tobiko, flying fish roe; some use sesame seeds; most leave it plain. Other variations include substituting carrot or spinach for the cucumber.

Chakin-zushi: Vinegared rice wrapped in a thin egg crpe. Also called fukasa-sushi. See also inari-sushi, vinegared rice stuffed in a tofu pocket.

Chirashi SushiChirashi-sushi: A bowl of sushi rice topped (“scattered”) with assorted raw fish and vegetables; the rice has more vinegar and less sugar than the rice used for nigiri sushi. The toppings are called gu, and can consist of almost anything, raw or cooked. Chirashi is different from “sashimi with a bowl of rice” because sashimi is fish only, not vegetables (except for daikon and carrots and shiso leaf typically used as garnish), and sashimi is served with a separate bowl of plain boiled rice, not set atop seasoned sushi rice. The most common form of chirashi in Japan is vegetable chirashi; the dish is easy to make, and often served at home. Chirashi-sushi originated as bara-sushi in the Kansai region of Japan, where it was largely eels on rice. Later, sushi chefs in the Kanto region scattered sashimi atop rice, the beginning of chirashi as we know it. Today, each restaurant has its own creative chirashi recipe. In addition to sashimi selections, toppings can include ikura, kampyo, nori, shiitaki mushrooms and tamago. See tekka-don.

Chu-Toro: Medium fatty tuna, from the upper belly of the fish.

Crab Stick: See kanikama.

Crunchy Roll: See panko.

Cucumber Roll: Kappa maki, a roll of rice, cucumber, and usually, white sesame seeds.

Cucumber Wrap: A naruto roll (maki), where the rice and other ingredients are wrapped in a thin wrapping of cucumber instead of seaweed.

Daikon: A large, long white radish (often called giant white radish), usually served shredded as an edible garnish with sashimi.

Dashi: The basic Japanese cooking stock made with kombu seaweed and bonito flakes.

Dragon Roll: An American invention, the Dragon Roll is an inside-out roll with a center of eel (and sometimes, cucumber). Sliced avocado is applied to the surface, to resemble the scales of a dragon.


Ebi: Shrimp. While boiled ebi are often served on a sushi combination plate, they are not considered a delicacy. The way to enjoy shrimp is via ama-ebi, raw shrimp, sashimi-style. Ama-ebi is a different species of shrimp.

EdamameEdamame: Soybeans steamed in the pod and salted, a popular starter at sushi bars.
Photo of edamame, at right, by Hilary Brodey | IST.

Edomae-zushi or Edo-Style Sushi: An old term for nigiri-sushi, based on the Japanese word for Edo, as Tokyo was previously called, where the style was created.

Eel Roll: Broiled eel (unagi), often combined with avocado or cucumber, and garnished with “eel sauce” (see kabayaki tare).

Eel Sauce: See kabayaki tare.

Engawa: Fluke fin. This portion of flesh, near the tail end of the fish, has more a feathery texture, and is popular with connoisseur.

Fatty Tuna: See toro.

Fish Cake: See kamaboko.

Fugu: Blowfish or puffer fish. Its innards and blood contain a deadly poison, tetrodotoxin. In Japan, only licensed fugu chefs are allowed to prepare the fish. It is illegal to import fresh fugu into the U.S.; only frozen fugu is allowed as any toxins would be killed by freezing. The attraction of fugu is not so much an outstanding flavor, but the novelty of the “near-death adventure.”  A master sushi chef will serve every edible part of the fugu—not just the flesh (toro, back and tail meat) but the liver, intestines, skin and sperm sac (fugu no shirako).

Fukusa-sushi: A style of sushi in which the rice is wrapped in a paper-thin egg crepe. Fukusa means “silk square.” Silk fabric squares are often used in Japan to wrap presents or precious articles. Also called chakin-sushi.

Funamori: Boat wrap, to contain items that would fall off of regular nigiri-sushi. See gunkan-aki.

Futomaki: Japanese for “large roll,” these are oversized rolls, three times the Futomakidiameter of a standard maki. Sushi bars in America traditionally offer a single “futomaki” often consisting of tamago (omelet), kampyo (sweetened gourd), kanikama (crab stick) and spinach, shiitake or cucumber, plus a sprinkling of a sweet, pink fish powder called oboro or denbu. However, any sushi can be made as a “large roll.” A chain of sushi restaurants in New York City, called Monster Sushi, has a menu of jumbo sushi rolls for people who like their makis “futo.”
Photo of futomaki by Radu Razvan | Dreamstime.

Gai: The word for clam. There are many types of clam served at sushi bars; akagai, aoyagi, bakagai, hokkigai (surf clam) and mirugai (geoduck) are often found in the U.S.

Gari: Thinly-sliced ginger root pickled in sweet vinegar. It is served with both sushi Gariand sashimi as a palate-cleanser, to be eaten between different types of fish. It can be pink or beige, depending on coloring. The ginger root itself is called shoga; gari is the sound made when the ginger is chewed (the American equivalent might be the onomatopoeias, “chomp” or “slurp”). Gari first began to be served with sushi during the Edo period; it refreshed the mouth between different fish flavors, and also served as an antibacterial agent. Ginger itself had long been used for medicinal purposes. Sushi artists will turn the strips of gari into a rose shape, as shown in the photo at right, and turn the wasabi into a leaf.
Photo of gari by Lekyu | SXC.

Geoduck: Pronounced gooey-duck. See mirugai.

Geta: The block of wood traditionally used as a plate at a sushi bar. The original “sushi bars” were portable wagon carts in front of movie theatres, requiring serving pieces that were not breakable.

Gobo: Burdock root—a long, slender vegetable that looks like tiny carrot. Often part of an order of oshinko (pickles), it is also an optional for vegetarian sushi roll.

Gohan: Plain boiled rice (not sushi rice).

Goma: Sesame seeds, which are sprinkled on particular rolls at the discretion of the chef, notably kappa maki and uramaki. Shiro-goma are white sesame seeds, kuro-goma are black sesame seeds.

Gomoku Sushi: Another term for chirashi sushi.

Grade Of Fish (For Sushi Or Sashimi): This is a marketing term referring to top quality, fresh fish; you need to ask if it has been frozen for parasite control (more about that in a moment). There is no official FDA Standard of Identity for a “sushi grade” or “sashimi grade” of fish. The FDA does, however, have guidelines for the handling of raw or undercooked fish, including sushi and sashimi as well as ceviche, cold-smoked fish, drunken crabs, green herring, herring roe, lomi lomi, poisson cru and cooked dishes that are served with raw interiors. It suggests that food handlers ensure the destruction of microscopic parasites that can cause gastrointestinal infection by freezing the seafood (there are options, e.g. at -4F (-20C) or below for 7 days, at -31F (-35C) or below for 15 hours, or at -31F (-35C) or below for 24 hours. You can read the details here. The irony is, most people think that “sushi grade” fish is the absolute freshest fish. But it isn’t, because to protect the consumer from parasites, much of it has been frozen. Some fish—mackerel and salmon, for example—are known to harbor higher levels of parasites than others, but these days almost all fish served Gunkan-Makiraw are frozen first.

Gunkan-maki: Literally “battleship roll,” the nori is rolled around the pad of nigiri rice to form an oval-shaped cup (which vaguely resembles a battleship) to contain neta, the “liquid” sushi that can otherwise fall off (for example, ikura, oysters, quail eggs, tobiko and uni). Also known as funamori and kakomi sushi.

Gyu Tataki: Beef tataki (tartare) that is lightly grilled before being chopped into the tataki.



Hako Sushi or Hakozushi: A type of oshi sushi (pressed sushi) made using a wooden rectangular mold. It is the best-known style of pressed sushi, which originated in Osaka. Ric is pressed into the mold lightly, toppings are overlaid, and the “cake” is cut into squares or rectangles. See oshi sushi.

Hamachi: Hamachi, or young yellowtail, is a gleaming, unctuous, firm, pink-hued fish, one of the more flavorful. Often served chopped in a roll with with scallions (negi-hamachi). Hamachi is called by different names, depending on its maturity. Older hamachi is referred to as amberjack.

Hamachi-kama: Yellowtail collars, generally served broiled.

Hamagari: A type of Japanese clam, in season in March.

Hamagari-zushi: A trompe l’oeil style of sushi where egg crpes are folded into quarters and stuffed with sushi rice and any variety of flavoring ingredients (sesame seeds, ikura, parsley, etc.) The finished product resembles a clam shell. Hamagari-zushi is related to chakin-zushi, where the omelette is wrapped in a bag shape and tied like a beggar’s purse.

Hamo: Pike eel.

Hanakatsuo: Dried bonito, shaved or flaked.

Hand Roll:  See temaki. Photo of handroll by Radu Razvan | Fotolia.

Harusame: Thin, transparent noodles made of bean gelatin.

Hashi: Chopsticks. Hashi is the Japanese word for bridge. While Chinese chopsticks are squared and the ends are blunt, Japanese chopsticks are round (like a pencil) and the ends taper to a point. One reason for this is the nature of the cuisine: much Chinese cuisine is cut-up and wok-based, while the Japanese eat a lot of whole fish, and the tapered ends facilitate the removal of bones. Chopsticks are the world’s second-most-used method of bringing food to the mouth, after fingers. They were invented in China, where they have been traced back to the 3rd century B.C.E.

Hawara: Domestic mackerel (it tends to be less fishy than saba).

Hazushi: A variety of pressed sushi that is a specialty of Nara, the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. It layers rice and toppings with plant leaves, such as persimmon leaves.

Hijiki: Black seaweed, which has the appearance of large tea leaves (tea leaves also can be eaten as a vegetable, but are not due to the expense). While often enjoyed in a salad, hijiki can be made into a vegetarian sushi roll as well.

Hichimi Togarashi: A mixture of spices for table seasoning, which typically include black hemp seeds, dried mandarin orange peel, ground sansho pepper pods, nori seaweed bits, red pepper (togarashi), white poppy seeds and white sesame seeds.

Hikari Mono: Silver-skinned fish (aji, iwashi, kohada, sanma, sayori, e.g.) sliced for serving, with the silver skin left on. (See photo at right.)


Hirame: Hirame is fluke, although it is often mistakenly translated as halibut (which is ohyo). While some people think that the thin, translucent piece of fluke, flecked with red, is one of the less expensive pieces of fish on the plate because it doesn’t have a lot of flavor, it is actually an expensive fish. The rippled fluke fin, or engawa, is popular with sushi connoisseurs.

Surf ClamHokkigai: Surf clam. Farmed in northern Japan and common to the arctic and the Northeast coast of the U.S. from Delaware to Maine, these sweet, attractive red and white clams appear frequently in sushi bars. Photo of surf clam at left by Maria Gritcai.

Horse Mackerel: See aji.

Hotate-gai: Scallops. The Spanish also serve scallops raw, but instead of with rice, they’re marinated in citrus juice and called ceviche. Once you taste sweet, raw scallops, you may never cook them again!

SquidIka: Squid. Squid is one of the seafood items that is not served raw—it would be too chewy to be edible. It is blanched and scored before serving.

Ika-geso: Squid legs, or the tentacles. These are tender and delicious, very different in flavor and texture from the body of the squid. It is unusual to find them at American sushi bars.

Iki zukuri (or ikizukuri): Iki zukuri, or live fish sashimi, is exactly that: You are served a fish live from the tank. Often the fish is carved live and reassembled whole, from head to tail. In New York City, live fish and lobster are served this way, and live octopus and shrimp are also available. This is not limited to Japan and major world cities: We have seen a live lobster carved at a small Japanese restaurant in northern New Jersey.


Ikura: Salmon roe. Ikura means “How much?” in Japanese, likely referring to the value of the roe. (Photo at right.)

Inari-zushi: A style of sushi made by stuffing a fried bean curd pocket (tofu) with sushi rice and vegetables or other ingredients. The pocket itself is called aburage. (Photo below.)

Itamae: The sushi chef (or any Japanese chef).

Iwana: Arctic char.

Iwashi: Anchovy.



Ikura Sushi



Kabayaki Tare: Kabayaki tare, or eel sauce, is a thick, savory sauce brushed onto eel sushi. It is made of soy sauce, syrup, eel extract and mirin (some products include sugar, but this is not a traditional Japanese ingredient). It is often heated prior to serving. Kabayaki tare also can be served with other sushi and non-sushi foods.

Kaibashira: Eye of scallop, the valve muscle.

Kaiware: Daikon radish sprouts. They can be made into a vegetarian roll.

Kajiki: Swordfish.

Kaki: Oysters.

Kaiten: A conveyor-belt sushi restaurant. Plates of food are placed on a conveyor Kaiten Sushibelt which travels around a long, oval-shaped sushi bar. Newer-style kaiten restaurants have booth-style seating, so that groups can dine and converse facing each other; the conveyor belt is a long, narrow track with booths on either side (think of a model train track making a long loop with just a few inches between the tracks). Consumers help themselves to whatever looks appealing; or can order from the sushi chef (in the booth system, there are waiters and tableside computer-ordering as well). Plates are color-coded by price, and include not just sushi but salads, soup, udon (noodles) and other hot dishes.
Plates of food circulate around on a conveyor belt at a Sakae Sushi restaurant.

Kakomi Sushi: Styles of nigiri that use the seaweed as a wrap to hold less solid ingredients. Examples include gunkan maki, the “battleship roll” shape that is used to hold semi-liquid ingredients like quail egg, and funamori or “boat wrap” (the terms are Sweet Gourdvirtually identical).

Kamaboko: Fish cake, made from pounded whitefish mixed with cornstarch, formed into a oval sausage shape, seasoned and cooked.

Kampyo or Kanpyo: A popular vegetarian sushi, long, dried gourd strips the width of fettuccine, marinated in a sweet sauce. Also an ingredient in futomaki. Before the gourd is prepared, it is a light tan color; after marinating, it becomes a translucent brown. (Photo at right.)

Kani: Authentic crab meat, always served cooked (though often cooked and then frozen—ask the sushi chef). If you can get real, fresh crab, it is worth the price.

Kanikama or Kani Kamaboko: Imitation crabmeat, also called sea leg. It is usually made from pollack or other inexpensive whitefish (hake, tilapia) that has been ground, combined into a paste with starch, egg white, salt, vegetable oil, sugar and seasonings, and formed, artificially colored and flavored to resemble a more expensive seafood—lobster, shrimp, crab, etc. This type of imitation seafood is known categorically as surimi. Kanikama is primarily used in California Rolls, although it also can be served in a salad. Imitation crab does not taste like the real thing—it is just an approximation, as a veggie burger approximates a beef burger.

Kanpachi: Very young yellowtail.

Kappa Maki - SushiKappa Maki: Cucumber roll. The word for cucumber is kyuri; Kappa is a water goblin in Japanese mythology who was very fond of cucumbers, which he stole from the fields near his riverbank home. He is always pictured with a saucer on his head that looks like a cucumber slice. According to myth, the saucer must always be kept full of water or Kappa loses his goblin powers. Photo of kappa maki, at left, by Quayside | IST.

Karei: Flounder or flatfish.

Katsuo: Bonito, a type of tuna related to the skipjack. Bonito is the English word, katsuo the Japanese word. See bonito.

Katsuo-bushi: Bonito flakes, a seasoning made of dried bonito.

Kazunoko: Herring roe. Although sometimes served raw (kazunoko konbu), it is usually served marinated in broth, sak and shoyu for added flavor.

Kinmedai: Gold eye sea bream, more rare than regular sea bream, tai.

Koba-shira: Bay scallops.

Kohada: Gizzard shad, known for its shimmering silver skin. See a photo.

Koi: Saltwater carp.

Kombu or Kombu: One of the key ingredients in Japanese cuisine (it is one of three ingredients needed to make dashi, the basic Japanese soup stock), it is also eaten fresh as sashimi. (Photo at right.)

Kurodai: Snapper.

Kuro Goma: Black sesame seeds.

Kurma-ebi: Prawn.


Live Shrimp: Live shrimp sushi or sashimi are a delicacy in Japan. The shrimp are swallowed alive, the shrimp taken from an aquarium, peeled and immediately handed to the customer in sushi or sashimi for for consumption. The shrimp do squirm as they are chewed (or swallowed, by the more squeamish tourists), which is part of the excitement. See also ikizukuri. In Thailand, live shrimp are eaten in a dish called “dancing shrimp.”

Mackerel: See saba.

Madai: Sea bream. This white fish has red stripes in the translucent, white flesh and is often mistaken by newbies for fluke, which has random splotches of red (but not stripes) in translucent, white flesh.

Maguro: Red, beefy maguro, along with ahi the leading varieties of sushi tuna, is America’s most popular raw fish. Regular maguro is the leaner part of the tuna, from the sides and back of the fish (toro, the belly, is the fatty “delicacy” portion). With thick, firm flesh, it is one of the most flavorful of raw fish. Different species of maguro run at different times of the year: blue fin tuna (hon-maguro) from September to March, big eye tuna (mebachi maguro) after April. The albacore tuna (shiro-maguro) is not considered as choice as these two, or the ahi tuna. Lean tuna cut from the back of the fish is called akami. Spicy tuna rolls are an Americanization.

Cucumber Maki SushiMaki and Maki Sushi: Maki is the Japanese word for “roll,” or rolled sushi. While nigiri-sushi is a relatively recent development, maki sushi originated with Buddhist monks in the 13th century. Maki sushi wraps a sheet of toasted seaweed (nori) and a layer of rice around a different fish, vegetable or other fillings (sometimes, cucumber, egg crpe or tofu is used as the wrapper). Su-maki is a regular roll, futo-maki is a large roll and te-maki is a hand roll. While some maki have special names, you can order anything in a roll by naming it and adding the word maki (saba-maki, uni-maki, hamachi-maki, etc.) and your wishes will be understood.
Maki with a cucumber wrap instead of seaweed.

Makisu: The bamboo mat used to roll sushi.

Masago: Smelt or capelin roe. Capelin roe, is similar to tobiko but slightly more orange in color.

Masu: Trout. Rainbow trout is nijimasu.

Meji Maguro: Young tuna.

Mentaiko: Spicy, marinated cod roe.

Mirin: Sweet rice wine. Mirin is used for cooking, and a small amount is added to sushi rice along, with the vinegar.

Mirugai: A giant, long-necked clam or horseneck clam, also known as geoduck. It is slightly crunchy and sweet, and is harvested in the Pacific northwest.

Miso Soup: Often offered as a precursor to a sushi or sashimi meal. A traditional Japanese soup consisting of dashi (stock made from kelp and katsuo-bushi) mixed with miso (soybean) paste. Other ingredients are added depending on regional and seasonal recipes; the soup is often served in the U.S. with bits of green onion and cubes of tofu or strips of aburage.

Nama: A prefix which means raw. (The same prefix applied to beer, nama-biiru, means draught.)

Nama-tako: Fresh or raw octopus. Most octopus sushi served in the U.S. is frozen and cooked.

Nanami Togarashi: A table spice made of seven ingredients: black hemp seeds or white poppy seeds, dried mandarin orange peel, ground sansho pepper pods (which provide heat), nori seaweed bits, red pepper (togarashi) and white sesame seeds.

Nasu: Eggplant.

Natto: Fermented soybeans. Natto has a very strong taste and smell that many Westerners won’t grow to like. Japanese enjoy it in a sushi roll.

Naruto: A roll (maki) wrapped in cucumber instead of seaweed.

Negi: Scallion or green onion.

Negi-toro: Chopped toro and scallion, a popular mixture for rolls and hand rolls.

Neta: Sushi topping, referring to the “liquid” sushi such as ikura, oysters, quail eggs, tobiko and uni, served in kakomi sushi (funamori and gunkan maki).

Nigiri-sushi: A pad or “finger” of vinegared rice upon which a slice of fish or other topping is layered. This style was developed in Tokyo, then known as Edo, at the beginning of the 19th century, and was served at food stalls. It is also known as Edo-style sushi or Edomae-sushi. (Photo at right.)

Nigiri Sushi

Nori: Dried sheets of purple laver seaweed used in the preparation of sushi rolls, known as norimake. The seaweed is washed and spread to dry, then toasted to enhance its flavor, texture and color. When toasted, it becomes black with green highlights.

Nori-tama: Tamago, or sweetened omelet, wrapped in dried seaweed.

Ocha: Tea.

Odori-ebi. “Dancing shrimp,” these are ama-ebi served and eaten alive. A Japanese custom, they are generally not served in U.S. establishments catering to Americans.

Ohba: Another word for the Japanese beefsteak plant, shiso.

Onigiri: Balls (or other shapes) of rice that include various seasonings and stuffings—sesame and nori, flakes of salmon, etc.

Ohitsu: A special bowl to keep the sushi rice warm. Today, these are electric rice warmers.

Ohyo: Halibut.

Omakase: Chef’s choice—the chef prepares a selection based on the available fish of the day and his personal preferences.

Okonomi: The practice of ordering sushi a few pieces at a time.

Onigiri:  Rice balls made with plain steamed rice and filled with various stuffings, generally cooked fish and vegetables. Some can be wrapped in nori.

Oshibori: The moistened, heated towel offered to cleanse the hands before a sushi meal.

Oshiwaku: A wooden box with a top used to make pressed sushi.

Pickled VegetablesOshinko: Assorted pickled vegetables, which can be very salty. Another term for pickled vegetables is tsukemono. Depending on the restaurant, the latter can refer to a pickled cucumber salad. The vegetables generally include pickled carrot, cucumber, eggplant and different types of radish. (Photo at right.)
Photo of oshinko courtesy 5.ocn.ne.jp.

Oshi-zushi: Osaka-style sushi, squares of pressed rice topped with vinegared or cooked fish. The sushi is prepared in a wooden box called an oshiwaku, then unmolded and cut into bite-size squares and rectangles. There are different styles of pressed sushi, including battera (topped with mackerel or gizzard shad and cut into squares or rectangles), bozushi (pressed into a long candy bar shape and cut into bite-size pieces), hazushi (layered with plant leaves), hakozushi (cut into squares or rectangles, Osaka style), masuzushi (utilizing a bamboo leaf) and tazunazushi (toppings put on at a slant, resulting in “candy cane” stripes).

Otoro: Also known as toro, the fattest and most prized portion of the tuna, from the lower belly of the fish. As with beef, the marbling of fat makes the cut more tender.

Panko: A crispy wheat breadcrumb used in Japanese cuisine. It is made in small flakes rather than ground into crumbs like traditional breadcrumbs, so it provides a crunchier coating. Panko is used to provide crunch in some sushi rolls, either mixed in with chopped fish or sprinkled on other ingredients before they are rolled.

Philadelphia Roll: A roll created in America, made of cream cheese (hence the “Philadelphia” brand reference) and either regular raw or smoked salmon.

Ponzu: A sweet sauce made with Japanese citron.

Pressed Sushi: See oshi-sushi.

Rainbow Roll: A reverse roll with strips of variously colored fish and possibly avocado placed diagonally across the top (the Japanese term is tazuna sushi). The inside can be tuna or whatever the chef wishes.

Red Clam or Aka-Gai or Ark Shell or Cockle: Red clam is imported frozen from Red ClamJapan. The red color comes from hemoglobin in the flesh. It is a tradition to rinse the clam in rice vinegar prior to serving, since some people find the natural scent of the clam to be strong. However, over time, people have become accustomed to it. Ask the sushi chef if it has been rinsed, just so you’ll know if you are tasting vinegar or the natural flavor of the clam.
Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.

Renkon: Lotus root.

Roe: Fish eggs. You can make a “roe tasting” of ikura (salmon roe), kazunoko (herring roe), masago (smelt roe), mentaiko (spicy cod roe), tarako (Alaska pollock roe), tobiko (flying fish roe) and uni (the gonad of the sea urchin). Don’t forget to add uzura no tamago (quail egg), on top either tobiko or uni—or any of the others.

MackerelSaba: Mackerel. Mackerel is not served completely raw, but is one of those fish that is cured in rice vinegar with some salt because it spoils quickly. Different types of mackerel can be found at sushi bars, including aji (Spanish mackerel also called horse mackerel), sanma (Japanese mackerel) and sawara (Spanish mackerel). Marinated mackerel is shime-saba. Fresh mackerel, not marinated, is saba-no-tataki.
Photo of mackerel courtesy of MorgueFile.

Sabinuki: This term means “without wasabi” (if you’d like to request your sushi with no wasabi).

Salmon Sushi

Sake: Salmon, pronounced SAH-keh, has glistening orange flesh, which makes it one of the more colorful pieces on the sushi or sashimi plate. It has a wonderful, unctuous texture like toro and yellowtail, but (along with mackerel) much higher levels of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. In addition to being served plain and in spicy salmon rolls, the skin of the salmon, which tastes very different from the flesh, is often grilled and served in a hand roll (temaki).

Sak: Pronounced sah-KAY. Distilled rice wine, pronounced sah-KEH. It is served hot or cold, depending on the quality. Note that unlike regular wine, sak is a distilled product and meant to be drunk young, not aged. Read more about sak in our our Introduction To Sak article and our Sak Glossary.

Sakura-masu: Ocean trout.

Salmon: See sake, above.

Salmon Skin Roll: The skin of a smoked salmon is broiled and served, hot and crunchy, generally with cucumber, in a handroll. Invented in America, salmon skin is considered a delicacy, although prior to its adoption by sushi chefs, the skin was thrown away.

Sansho: Called sansho in Japan, this is Sichuan (or Szechuan) pepper. It is not true pepper, but the outer pod of the tiny fruit harvested from of a number of species of evergreen shrubs in the genus Zanthoxylum, known as the prickly ash. Learn more about types of pepper in our Varietal Peppercorn Glossary.


Sanma: Japanese mackerel.


Sashimi: Sliced raw fish, generally served with a bowl of plain, steamed rice (not sushi rice, which is prepared with vinegar and sugar). The word literally means “pierced body.” No one is certain of the origin, but it may have come from the former practice of sticking the tail and fin of the fish on the slices, to let it be known which fish one was eating. Regardless, it must be interesting as a native Japanese speaker to order a “pierced body” platter. While there is no rice implied in the term sashimi, it is generally served with a bowl of plain, boiled white rice.

Sashimi-Grade Fish or Sushi-Grade Fish: See grade of fish.

Sayori: Springtime halfbeak, a fish not often found in the U.S.

Sawara: Spanish mackerel. See also aji.

Sea Bass: See suzuki.

Sea Bream: See madai.

Sea Urchin: See uni.

Seigo: Young sea bass.

Senbei: Thin, crisp rice crackers, flavored with soy sauce (or other seasonings). Senbei can be crumbled and added to sushi rolls for crunch, flavor and decoration, in the manner of panko.

Shako: Mantis shrimp, feisty crustaceans that are neither shrimp but get their name from their combined resemblance to shrimp and the praying mantis. About 12 inches in length, they have powerful claws that they use to kill prey, and can snap a finger from a diver. Mantis shrimp have been known to break through aquarium glass with a single strike from a claw.

Shamoji: A plastic or wooden flat spoon used to scoop and serve rice.

Senbei - Rice Crackers

Shari: A sushi bar term for sushi rice.

Shichimi Togarashi: Hot red pepper flakes, used as a table spice.

Shima-aji: Striped jack.

Shime-saba: Marinated mackerel, as opposed to fresh mackerel (saba-no-tataki). Mackerel is marinated to cure it as a spoilage preventative.

Shirauo: Whitebait, served as severa tiny white bait fish in a gunkanstyle boat wrap.

Shiro-goma: White sesame seeds (shiro=white, goma=sesame seeds).

Shiro-maguro: Albacore, or white, tuna.

Shiromi: “White meat” sushi and sashimi, such as karei (flounder) hirame (fluke) and tai (snapper).

ShisoShiso: The shiso leaf may be viewed by some as decorative garnish, but it is a delicious and costly addition to a sashimi plate (or to a sushi roll: negi-hamachi-shiso, yellowtail with scallions and shiso leaf, is an exquisite combination). It is also widely known as the beefsteak plant; from its botanical name, Perilla frutescens var. japonica, the leaf is also called perilla; in Nepal and parts of India, it is called silam. It is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. There are both green-leafed and purple-leafed varieties. The flavor is a cross between mint and fennel. The plant is also called ohba. Photo of shiso leaf courtesy of Wikipedia.

Shoga: Ginger root. Many people erroneously learn this as the word for pickled ginger, when they ask for the word for “ginger” at a Japanese restaurant. However, they mean to ask for the word for “pickled ginger,” which is gari. There is a separate type of shoga, beni-shoga, that is colored red and cut into small, thin strips as a garnish for food other than sushi.

Shoyu: Soy sauce, a salty sauce made from fermented soybeans. There are all levels of quality, from “supermarket level” to artisan soy sauces. As with any other products, you can taste the difference. The finest soy sauces aren’t merely salty: You can taste a winey flavor and the beans themselves. Usukuchi shoyu is “light” soy sauce.

Shrimp: See ebi, ama-ebi and odori-ebi.

Soba: Buckwheat noodles.

Soba-zushi: Sushi made with soba instead of rice.

Spicy Tuna Roll: In this American invention, originally developed to hide the discoloration of older tuna, toubanjan (Chinese hot paste) and shichimi (red pepper flakes) are often blended into mayonnaise and mixed with the chopped fish. An American chile pepper sauce like Tabasco, mixed with mayonnaise, or plain hot chile oil, or hot chile oil, can be used instead. The dish became so popular that spicy salmon, spicy salmon and spicy yellowtail are now commonly found.

Spider Roll: An American invention, this is an inside-out roll of tempura-fried soft shell crab. The legs of the crab stick out at either end of the cut roll, resembling the legs of a spider (well, a very tasty spider).

Squid: See ika.

Su: Rice vinegar. Part of the derivation of the word, sushi. Rice is shi in Japanese.  (Photo at right.)

Suimono: Clear soup, based on a fish stock. It is generally offered as an alternative to miso soup prior to the sushi or sashimi.

Suji: Toro sinew, served grilled.

Sukimi: Bits and pieces of  fish scraped from the bones of salmon, tuna and yellowtail, to be used in rolls.

Rice Vinegar


Sunomono: Vinegared foods, as distinguished from aemono (a pured tofu dressing/sauce) or oshinko (pickled vegetables). A sunomono “salad” of vinegar-marinated bean sprouts can often be found on Japanese restaurant menus.

Surf Clam: See hokkigai.

Nigiri and MakiSushi: A variety of preparations made with vinegared rice. Contrary to popular opinion, sushi does not mean “raw fish,” but “vinegar rice”: su = vinegar, shi = rice. See Zushi for issues of correct spelling. There is vegetarian sushi as well as sushi made with cooked fish and with raw and cooked meat. The main types of sushi are maki sushi (rolls, including temaki, hand rolls), nigiri sushi (slices of fish on pads of rice) and oshi-sushi, (rice with fish and other toppings molded in a wood box and cut into bite-size rectangles or squares). The photo at left shows, clockwise, salmon and tuna sashimi, cucumber and tuna rolls (maki), and four nigiri: shrimp, yellowtail, salmon and tuna.

Sushi Bar: In Japan the sushi bar plays a role similar to the pub in England: a relaxed and informal atmosphere. True aficionados sit at the actual sushi bar on a stool, watching the itamae (sushi chef) prepare the selections.

Suzuki: Sea bass. Also called black sea bass, the fish has a delicate white color with red stripes on the skin. The flavor is delicate as well.

Tai: In Japan, this refers to the sea bream. It must be imported to the U.S., so often, according to an item in the Chicago Sun-Times (May 10, 2007), Japanese restaurants in the U.S. have begun referring to tilapia as tai—it is similar in flavor to tai (sea bream, related to porgy and daurade). Previously, U.S. sushi bars had been substituting red snapper for sea bream, but red snapper is not as easy to obtain as tilapia, and the newspaper quotes some sushi chefs as saying that red snapper isn’t well-suited for sushi or sashimi because its flesh is too soft. Real sea bream has a lovely white flesh with a pink hue, Octopus Sushiand red accents. Unless you know your fish, it is easy to confuse with sea bass, which has a similar coloring (but the red accents are more striped).

Tako: Octopus. Much octopus is frozen; it is also blanched because, like squid, it is too chewy to eat raw. Nama tako indicates fresh octopus.
Photo of tako by Radu Razvan | Fotolia.

Takuwan: Pickled daikon, generally deep yellow in color. Often part of an order of oshinko, and an excellent option for a vegetarian roll.

Tamago SushiTamago-yaki: Tamago is the Japanese word for egg. In sushi, it refers to a sweetened omelet made in a rectangular  pan, cut into small rectangles for sushi or sashimi. When a slice of dried nori (seaweed) is wrapped around the slice of omelet, it is known as nori-tama. In Japan, tamago is the “signature dish” of each chef: Often potential customers will ask for a taste of it in order to judge the chef’s proficiency.
Photo of tamago by Yong Hian Lim | IST.

Tataki: Japanese for “finely chopped.” The equivalent of the French “tartare” (see photo at top of page).

Tarako: Alaska pollock roe.

Tazuna-sushi: A maki roll with diagonal strips of different-colored ingredients across the top—red maguro, orange salmon, green avocado, etc.—as colorful as a rainbow, and hence given the name “rainbow roll.” See rainbow roll.

Tekka-don: Slices of raw tuna over rice. This is tuna chirashi-style, except that chirashi implies an assortment of fish.

Tekka-maki. A tuna roll. The reason it is called tekka-maki and not maguro-maki has two derivations. “Tekka” means “iron on the fire” and in the old days, the red color of the fish looked like the color of a hot iron glowing in the fire. However, if you ordered a maguro maki, you would be understood; and maguro-temaki is the correct way to order a tuna hand roll. Tekka is also the word for Japanese gambling parlors in Japan, where the snack originated as a quick, hand-held food that could be eaten at the gaming table (as the sandwich was so the Earl of Sandwich could eat without interrupting his card game).
Tekka Maki

Temaki-zushi: A temaki is a cone-shaped hand roll. Add the name of any fish or vegetable the word before temaki, and you will get that item wrapped with rice in a sheet of toasted seaweed. Maguro temaki is a tuna hand roll, hamachi temaki is a yellowtail hand roll, etc. For a photo, see Hand Roll.

Tobiko SushiTobiko: Flying fish roe. Orange to red in color, these tiny, pinhead-size eggs are crunchy. They are served as in gunkan-maki (boat-style sushi rolls), and also used to coat the outsides of uramaki, “inside out” rolls or reverse rolls. One popular gunkan-maki is tobiko topped with an uncooked quail egg yolk (uzura no tamago). Photo at left of tobkio by Maria | IST.

Toro: The most tender part of the tuna, buttery, rich toro comes from the fatty belly portion. It is a smaller area, so a pricier part of the tuna, rosy in color rather than the bright red maguro that is more commonly served. It is often chopped with scallions for a negi-toro roll. At connoisseur sushi emporia, toro can be ordered as medium fat (chu-toro) and high fat (oo-toro)—similar to choosing the level of fat marbling you want on your steak. Interestingly, prior to the 1920s, when Japanese started adapting more Western dining habits, this fatty part of the fish was not considered prime and was used for cat food.

Tsukemono: Vinegared vegetables. This can include lightly marinated vegetables such as a salad of marinated bean sprouts, as well as pickles (oshinko), which can include Chinese cabbage, cucumber, daikon, ume and turnips. Gari is also a type of tsukemono. They are served with rice, and can be made into sushi.

Tuna: Several varieties of tuna are used for sushi and sashimi, including ahi (yellow fin) and maguro. Blue fin, big eye and albacore are different species of maguro. See also toro (above) and chu-toro.

Umeboshi: A small, bitter, pickled Japanese plum that is made into a paste (neri ume) used in a sushi roll.

Ume-shiso: A tart plum paste (neri ume) and shiso leaf mixture, a popular sushi roll (maki) combination in Japan. Japanese diners feel that ume clears the palate and leaves a pleasant aftertaste, and often order it to conclude a sushi dinner. Many American palates find the flavor too tart.

Unagi - Eel SushiUnagi: Freshwater eel, which is richer than salt water or conger eel (anago). Eel is not served raw, but is pre-boiled, freshly grilled prior to serving and brushed with a rich sauce called kabayaki tare. Most of our unagi supply is imported pre-cooked from Taiwan and China, but is marinated and re-broiled by the restaurant.

Uni: The gonad of the sea urchin. Sea urchin is one of those foods that people Uni Sushieither love or hate. The taste can vary widely—people tend to think it is seasonality, but it is actually geographical. U.S. uni can come from California, the east coast of Canada, Maine and other regions, each with different nuances of flavor and appearance. The California uni tend to be sweeter and more creamy. Maine uni are reportedly less creamy, with a stronger taste. Even if one has a preference, each of these can be attractive as long as they are fresh. (Note: Lobsters love to eat uni!) Photo of uni by Radu Razvan | Fotolia.

Uramaki: Reverse roll or “inside out roll,” where the rice is on the outside of the sheet of nori instead of on the inside.

Uzura no tamago: Quail egg. A raw quail egg is often served on top of tobiko or uni in a gunkan-maki.

Wakame: A popular seaweed, long strands known as lobe-leaf seaweed, served as a vinegared salad (tsukemono) at sushi bars, as well as in miso soup.

Wasabi: In most restaurants, this is “faux wasabi,” a hot horseradish/mustard mixture that is served instead of real wasabi, to be mixed with soy sauce as a dip for sushi and sashimi.

Yakumi: Strongly-flavored seasonings such as grated daikon (daikon oroshi), finely- chopped scallions (negi) and a spice blend such as shichimi togarashi are used instead of wasabi on stronger-flavored nigiri such as aji, iwashi, katsuo and sanma. However, the technique has been expanded by some chefs, who use no wasabi or soy sauce on any of their sushi. In New York City, Sushi of Gari and Sushi Seki season each type of fish individually, ready to eat—white tuna with a concasse of tomato and onions, scallops with curried mayonnaise and salmon marinated in citrus vodka, for example. The results are spectacular.

Yellowtail: See hamachi. Yellowtail is a fish that is called different names depending on its age. Inada is a very young yellowtail, hamachi is medium age, buri an older yellowtail.

Zuke: Japanese for “marinated.” In the Edo Period, sushi was often served already marinated in soy sauce. Today, some creative sushi chefs serve pieces of sushi already marinated in citrus, sak or vodka, requiring no use of soy sauce.

Zushi: The more correct spelling for sushi; however, the “unvoiced” transliteration has caught on in the U.S., to the chagrin of Japanese-speaking people. A grammatical rule called rendaku governs the voicing of the initial consonant of the non-initial portion of a compound or prefixed word. Thus, the word “sushi” as a standalone noun would be pronounced with the unvoiced “s,” but when it becomes part of a compound noun, it becomes a voiced “z,” e.g., maki-zushi. There are also exceptions to the rule—all of which are too complex for Americans to follow. Thus, Japanese will continue to translate correctly, while Americans will continue to call everything “sushi” rather than attempt to figure out which is sushi and which is zushi.



Different types of nigiri-zushi ready to be eaten.
Platter of makizushi (sushi rolls)

Sushi is vinegar rice, topped with other ingredients, such as fish. Sliced raw fish alone is called sashimi, as distinct from sushi. Sushi served rolled inside or around dried and pressed layer sheets of seaweed (or nori) is makizushi . Toppings stuffed into a small pouch of fried tofu is inarizushi. Toppings served scattered over a bowl of sushi rice is called chirashi-zushi.


Sushi by Hiroshige in Edo period

The traditional form of sushi is fermented fish and rice, preserved with salt in a process that has been traced to Southeast Asia, where it remains popular today[Citation needed]. The term sushi comes from an archaic grammatical form no longer used in other contexts; literally, "sushi" means "it's sour", a reflection of its historic fermented roots.

The science behind the fermentation of fish packed in rice is that the vinegar produced from fermenting rice breaks the fish down into amino acids. This results in one of the five basic tastes, called umami in Japanese. The oldest form of sushi in Japan, Narezushi still very closely resembles this process. In Japan, Narezushi evolved into Oshizushi and ultimately Edomae nigirizushi, which is what the world today knows as "sushi."

Contemporary Japanese sushi has little resemblance to the traditional lacto-fermented rice dish. Originally, when the fermented fish was taken out of the rice, only the fish was consumed and the fermented rice was discarded. The strong-tasting and -smelling funazushi, a kind of narezushi made near Lake Biwa in Japan, resembles the traditional fermented dish. Beginning in the Muromachi period (AD 13361573) of Japan, vinegar was added to the mixture for better taste and preservation. The vinegar accentuated the rice's sourness, and was known to increase its life span, allowing the fermentation process to be shortened and eventually abandoned. In the following centuries, sushi in Osaka evolved into oshi-zushi. The seafood and rice were pressed using wooden (usually bamboo) molds. By the mid 18th century, this form of sushi had reached Edo (contemporary Tokyo).

The contemporary version, internationally known as "sushi," was invented by Hanaya Yohei ( 17991858) at the end of Edo period in Edo. The sushi invented by Hanaya was an early form of fast food that was not fermented (therefore prepared quickly) and could be eaten with one's hands roadside or in a theatre. Originally, this sushi was known as Edomae zushi, because it used freshly caught fish in the Edo-mae (Edo Bay or Tokyo Bay). Though the fish used in modern sushi no longer usually comes from Tokyo Bay, it is still formally known as Edomae nigirizushi.

Types of sushi

The common ingredient across all the different kinds of sushi is sushi rice. The variety in sushi arises from the different fillings and toppings, condiments, and the way these ingredients are put together. The same ingredients may be assembled in a traditional or a contemporary way, creating a very different final result. In spelling sushi its first letter s is replaced with z when a prefix is attached, as in nigirizushi, due to consonant mutation called rendaku in Japanese.



Nigirizushi ( lit. hand-formed sushi) consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that is pressed between the palms of the hands, usually with a bit of wasabi, and a topping draped over it. Toppings are typically fish such as salmon, tuna or other seafood. Certain toppings are typically bound to the rice with a thin strip of nori, most commonly tako (octopus), unagi (freshwater eel), anago (sea eel), ika (squid), and tamago (sweet egg). When ordered separately, nigiri is generally served in pairs. A sushi set may contain only one piece of each topping.

Gunkanmaki ( lit. warship roll) is a special type of nigirizushi: an oval, hand-formed clump of sushi rice that has a strip of "nori" wrapped around its perimeter to form a vessel that is filled with some soft, loose or fine-chopped ingredient that requires the confinement of nori such as roe, natto, oysters, sea urchin, corn with mayonnaise, and quail eggs.Gunkan-maki was invented at the Ginza Kyubey restaurant in 1931; its invention significantly expanded the repertoire of soft toppings used in sushi.

Temarizushi ( lit. ball sushi) is a ball-shaped sushi made by pressing rice and fish into a ball-shaped form by hand using a plastic wrap. They are quite easy to make and thus a good starting point for beginners.

Makizushi or Makimono

Rolling maki
Makizushi rolls
Makizushi and Inarizushi in a Japanese supermarket.

Makizushi ( lit. rolled sushi) or makimono ( lit. variety of rolls) is cylindrical piece, formed with the help of a bamboo mat, called a makisu. Makizushi is generally wrapped in nori, but can occasionally be found wrapped in a thin omelette, soy paper, cucumber, or parsley. Makizushi is usually cut into six or eight pieces, which constitutes a single roll order. Below are some common types of makizushi, but many other kinds exist.

Futomaki (lit. thick, large or fat rolls) is a large cylindrical piece, with nori on the outside. A typical futomaki is three or four centimeters (1.5 in) in diameter. They are often made with two or three fillings that are chosen for their complementary tastes and colors. During the Setsubun festival, it is traditional in Kansai to eat uncut futomaki in its cylindrical form, where it is particularly called ehou-maki ( lit. happy direction rolls). Futomaki is often vegetarian, but may include non-vegetarian toppings such as tiny fish roe and chopped tuna.

Hosomaki (lit. thin rolls) is a small cylindrical piece, with the nori on the outside. A typical hosomaki has a diameter of about two centimeters (0.75 in). They generally contain only one filling, often tuna, cucumber, kanpyo-, thinly sliced carrots, or, more recently, avocado. Kappamaki, a kind of Hosomaki filled with cucumber, is named after the Japanese legendary water imp fond of cucumbers called the kappa. Traditionally, Kappamaki is consumed to clear the palate between eating raw fish and other kinds of food, so that the flavors of the fish are distinct from the tastes of other foods. Tekkamaki is a kind of Hosomaki filled with raw tuna. Although some[who?] believe that the name "Tekka", meaning 'red hot iron', alludes to the color of the tuna flesh, it actually originated as a quick snack to eat in gambling dens called "Tekkaba ", much like the sandwich. Negitoromaki is a kind of Hosomaki filled with scallion and chopped tuna. Fatty tuna is often used in this style. Tsunamayomaki is a kind of Hosomaki filled with canned tuna tossed with mayonnaise.

Temaki ( lit. hand rolls) is a large cone-shaped piece of nori on the outside and the ingredients spilling out the wide end. A typical temaki is about ten centimeters (4 in) long, and is eaten with fingers because it is too awkward to pick it up with chopsticks. For optimal taste and texture, Temaki must be eaten quickly after being made because the nori cone soon absorbs moisture from the filling and loses its crispness and becomes somewhat difficult to bite.

Uramaki (lit. inside-out rolls) is a medium-sized cylindrical piece, with two or more fillings. Uramaki differs from other makimono because the rice is on the outside and the nori inside. The filling is in the center surrounded by nori, then a layer of rice, and an outer coating of some other ingredients such as roe or toasted sesame seeds. It can be made with different fillings such as tuna, crab meat, avocado, mayonnaise, cucumber, carrots. Uramaki has not been so popular in Japan and most of makimono is not uramaki because it is easy to hold makimono with nori skin by fingers. However, since some Western people dislike the black impression of makimono with nori skin, uramaki has become more popular in Western countries than nori-skined makimono.


Sasazushi, a type of oshizushi

Oshizushi ( lit. pressed sushi), is a pressed sushi from the Kansai Region, a favourite and specialty of Osaka. A block-shaped piece formed using a wooden mold, called an oshibako. The chef lines the bottom of the oshibako with the toppings, covers them with sushi rice, and then presses the lid of the mold down to create a compact, rectilinear block. The block is removed from the mold and then cut into bite-sized pieces.



Inari-zushi ( stuffed sushi) is a pouch of fried tofu filled with usually just sushi rice. It is named after the Shinto god Inari, who is believed to have a fondness for fried tofu. The pouch is normally fashioned as deep-fried tofu ( abura age). Regional variations include pouches made of a thin omelette ( fukusa-zushi or chakin-zushi). It should not be confused with inari maki, which is a roll filled with flavored fried tofu. A very large version, sweeter than normal and often containing bits of carrot, is popular in Hawaii, where it is called "cone sushi."


Sukeroku ( name of a man in Edo period) is the combination set of inarizushi and makizushi, which is served as a single-portion takeout style sushi-pack. In a famous Kabuki play Sukeroku, a good looks man Sukeroku is the lover of an Oiran courtesan named Agemaki ( lit. fry for age and roll for maki). Age and maki which form her name correspond to fried tofu namely inari and makimono, respectively. One rumour of sukeroku-zushi is that takeout style packs of inarizushi and makizushi had served at performances of Sukeroku kabuki in Edo period. Sukeroku is a cheap sushi-pack and often vegetarian.


Nama-chirashi, or chirashizushi with raw ingredients

Chirashizushi ( lit. scattered sushi) is a bowl of sushi rice with other ingredients mixed in (also refers to barazushi). It is commonly eaten in Japan because it is filling, fast and easy to make. Chirashizushi most often varies regionally because it is eaten annually as a part of the Doll Festival, celebrated only during March in Japan. Chirashizushi is sometimes interesting because the ingredients are often chef's choice. Edomae chirashizushi (Edo-style scattered sushi) is an uncooked ingredient that is arranged artfully on top of the sushi rice in a bowl. Gomokuzushi (Kansai-style sushi) are cooked or uncooked ingredients mixed in the body of rice in a bowl.


Narezushi ( lit. matured sushi) is a traditional form of fermented sushi. Skinned and gutted fish are stuffed with salt, placed in a wooden barrel, doused with salt again, then weighed down with a heavy tsukemonoishi (pickling stone). As days pass, water seeps out and is removed. After six months this funazushi can be eaten, remaining edible for another six months or more.

Western sushi

A small tray of tobiko, salmon sashimi, and part of a chicken teriyaki roll.
Western sushi

The increasing popularity of sushi in North America as well as around the world has resulted in variations of sushi typically found in the West but rarely if at all in Japan. Such creations to suit the Western palate were initially fueled by the invention of the California roll. A wide variety of popular rolls has evolved since. Some examples include:

  • California roll consists of avocado, kani kama (imitation crab stick), and cucumber, often made uramaki (with rice on the outside, nori on the inside)
  • Caterpillar roll generally includes avocado, unagi, kani kama, and cucumber.
  • Dynamite roll includes yellowtail (hamachi), and fillings such as bean sprouts, carrots, chili and spicy mayonnaise (In some parts of Canada, especially western Canada, a dynamite roll consists of a tempura-fried shrimp, masago (capelin roe), avocado and cucumber.)
  • Rainbow roll is typically a California roll topped with several various sashimi.
  • Spider roll includes fried soft shell crab and other fillings such as cucumber, avocado, daikon sprouts or lettuce, roe, and spicy mayonnaise.
  • Philadelphia roll almost always consists of smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, and/or onion.
  • Salmon roll has grilled salmon skin with sweet sauce and cucumber.
  • Crunchy roll a California roll deep fried tempura-style, often topped with sweet eel sauce or chili sauce.
  • Seattle roll consists of cucumber, avocado, and raw or smoked salmon.
  • B.C. Roll contains salmon skin, roe, cucumber, sweet sauce.
  • Louisiana Roll contains blue crab and/or crawfish, spicy mayonnaise, creole seasoning or hot sauce, and sometmies green onion and cucumber.

Other rolls may include scallops, spicy tuna, beef or chicken or teriyaki roll, okra, and vegetables.Sushi rolls can also be made with brown rice and black rice. These have also appeared in Japanese cuisine.

In Hawaii, there is a predominant style of maki sushi that includes shoyu tuna (canned not fresh), tamago, kanpyo, kamaboko, and the distinctive red and green hana ebi (shrimp powder).


All sushi has a base of specially prepared rice, complemented with other ingredients.

Sushi rice

Sushi is made with white, short-grained, Japanese rice mixed with a dressing made of rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and occasionally kombu and sake. It has to be cooled to room temperature before being used for a filling in a sushi. In some fusion cuisine restaurants, short grain brown rice and wild rice are also used.

Sushi rice (sushi-meshi or su-meshi ) is prepared with short-grain Japanese rice, which has a consistency that differs from long-grain strains such as those from India, Thailand, Vietnam. The essential quality is its stickiness or glutinousness. Rice that is too sticky has a mushy texture; if not sticky enough, it feels dry. Freshly harvested rice (shinmai) typically contains too much water, and requires extra time to drain the rice cooker after washing.

There are regional variations in sushi rice and, of course, individual chefs have their individual methods. Most of the variations are in the rice vinegar dressing: the Kanto region (or East Japan) version of the dressing commonly uses more salt; in Kansai region (or West Japan), the dressing has more sugar.


A sheet of nori.

The black seaweed wrappers used in makimono are called nori. Nori is a type of algae, traditionally cultivated in the harbors of Japan. Originally, algae was scraped from dock pilings, rolled out into thin, edible sheets, and dried in the sun, in a process similar to making rice paper. Whereas in Japan, nori may never be toasted before being used in food, many brands found in the U.S. reach drying temperatures above 108 degrees Fahrenheit.

Today, the commercial product is farmed, processed, toasted, packaged, and sold in standard-size sheets about 18 cm by 21 cm (7 in by 8 in). Higher quality nori is thick, smooth, shiny, green, and has no holes. When stored for several months, nori sheets can change color to dark green-brownish.

The standard size of a whole nori sheet mentioned above influences the size of maki-mono. A full size sheet produces futomaki, and a half produces hosomaki and temaki. To produce gunkan and some other makimono, an appropriately sized piece of nori is cut from a whole sheet.

Nori by itself is an edible snack and is available with salt or flavored with teriyaki sauce. The flavored variety, however, tends to be of lesser quality and is not suitable for sushi.

When making fukusazushi, a paper-thin omelette may replace a sheet of nori as the wrapping. The omelette is traditionally made on a rectangular omelette pan (makiyakinabe), and used to form the pouch for the rice and fillings.

Toppings and fillings

Yaki Anago-Ippon-Nigiri. A roasted and sweet sauced whole conger.

For culinary, sanitary, and aesthetic reasons, fish eaten raw must be fresher and of higher quality than fish which is cooked. Professional sushi chefs are trained to recognize important attributes, including smell, color, firmness, and freedom from parasites that may go undetected in commercial inspection. Commonly-used fish are tuna (maguro, chu-toro, shiro-maguro, toro), Japanese amberjack, yellowtail (hamachi), snapper (kurodai), mackerel (saba), and salmon (sake). The most valued sushi ingredient is toro, the fatty cut of tuna. This comes in a variety of o-toro (often from the bluefin species of tuna) and chu-toro, meaning middle toro, implying that it is halfway into the fattiness between toro and regular red tuna (maguro). Aburi style refers to nigiri sushi where the fish is partially grilled (topside) and partially raw. Most nigiri sushi will be completely raw.

Other seafoods such as squid (ika), eel (anago and unagi), conger (hamo), octopus (tako), shrimp (ebi and amaebi), clam (mirugai, aoyagi and akagi), fish roe (ikura, masago, kazunoko and tobiko), sea urchin (uni), crab (kani), and various kinds of shellfish (abalone, prawn, scallop) are the most popular seafoods in sushi. Oysters, however, are less common, as the taste is not thought to go well with the rice. Kani kama, or imitation crab stick, is commonly subsituted for real crab, most notably in California rolls.

Ebifurai-Maki. Fried-Shrimp Roll.

Pickled daikon radish (takuan) in shinko maki, pickled vegetables (tsukemono), fermented soybeans (natto-) in natto- maki, avocado, cucumber in kappa maki, asparagus, yam, pickled ume (umeboshi), gourd (kanpyo-), burdock (gobo), and sweet corn may be mixed with mayonnaise.

Tofu and eggs (in the form of slightly sweet, layered omelette called tamagoyaki and raw quail eggs ride as a gunkan-maki topping) are common.

Date-Maki. Futomaki wrapped with sweet-tamagoyaki.


Sushi is commonly eaten with condiments. Sushi may be dipped in Sho-yu, soy sauce, and may be flavored with Wasabi, a piquant paste made from the grated root of the Wasabi japonica plant.

True wasabi has anti-microbial properties and may reduce the risk of food poisoning. The traditional grating tool for wasabi is a sharkskin grater or samegawa oroshi. An imitation wasabi (seiyo-wasabi), made from horseradish and mustard powder and dyed green is common. It is found at lower-end kaiten zushi restaurants, in bento box sushi and at most restaurants outside of Japan. If manufactured in Japan, it may be labelled "Japanese Horseradish".

Gari, sweet, pickled ginger is eaten with sushi to both cleanse the palate and aid in digestion. In Japan, green tea (ocha) is invariably served together with sushi. Better sushi restaurants often use a distinctive premium tea known as mecha. In sushi vocabulary, green tea is known as agari.


Sushi in shops are usually sold in plastic trays.

The main ingredients of traditional Japanese sushi, raw fish and rice, are naturally low in fat, high in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The same may not be said categorically of Western-style sushi, which increasingly features non-traditional ingredients such as mayonnaise[citation needed], avocado[citation needed], and cream cheese.[citation needed]

Most seafood are naturally low in fat; and what fat is found in them is generally rich in unsaturated fat Omega-3. Since sushi is often served raw, no cooking fat is introduced during its preparation. Some non-traditional ingredients such as cream cheese and mayonnaise that are sometimes found in Western-style sushi dishes can add significant amounts of unhealthy fat to a traditionally lean dish.

Fish, tofu, seafood, egg, and many other sushi fillings contain high levels of protein. Imitation meat such as krab stick may be lower in protein and other nutrition than their natural, unprocessed counterparts.

Vitamins and minerals are found in much of the seafood and vegetables used for sushi. The nutritional content is dependent on the ingredients used. For example, Shrimp are high in calcium and iodine, while salmon are rich in Vitamin D. The gari and nori used to make sushi are both rich in nutrients. Other vegetables wrapped within the sushi also offer various vitamins and minerals.

Carbohydrates are found in the rice and the vegetables. Certain non-traditional ingredients can raise the carbohydrate level quite high, as with the fat level.


Sushi chef preparing Nigirizushi, Kyoto, Japan.

Traditionally, sushi is served on minimalist Japanese-style, geometric, mono- or duo-tone wood or lacquer plates, in keeping with the aesthetic qualities of this cuisine.

Many sushi restaurants offer fixed-price sets, selected by the chef from the catch of the day. These are often graded as sho--chiku-bai, sho-/matsu (pine), chiku/take (bamboo) and bai/ume (ume), with matsu the most expensive and ume the cheapest.

In Japan, and increasingly abroad, sushi is served kaiten zushi (sushi train) style. Color coded plates of sushi are placed on a conveyor belt; as the belt passes customers choose as they please. After finishing, the bill is tallied by counting how many plates of each color have been taken. Newer kaiten zushi restaurants use RFID tags embedded in the dishes to bill automatically and manage elapsed time after cooked.


Some specialized or slang terms are used in the sushi culture. Most of these terms are used only in sushi bars.

  • Agari: Green tea. Ocha in usual Japanese.
  • Gari: Sweet, pickled and sliced ginger, or sushi ginger. Shoga in standard Japanese.
  • Gyoku: Sweet and cubic-shaped omelette. Tamagoyaki in standard Japanese.
  • Murasaki: Soy sauce. Murasaki is the color name for violet or purple. Shoyu in standard Japanese.
  • Neta: Toppings on nigiri or fillings in makimono. Ne-ta is from reversal of ta-ne. Tane in standard Japanese.
  • Okanjou: Bill or check. Customer should not say Oaiso. Okanjou in standard Japanese as well.
  • Otemoto: Chopsticks. Otemoto means the nearest thing from the customer seated. Hashi or Ohashi in standard Japanese.
  • Sabi: Japanese horseradish. Contracted form of wasabi .
  • Shari: Vinegar rice or rice. It may originally be from Sanskrit (zaali) meaning rice and/or Sarira. Gohan or meshi in standard Japanese.
  • Tsume: Sweet thick sauce mainly made of soy sauce. Nitsume in standard Japanese.


Nigirizushi is traditionally eaten with the fingers, since sushi rice is packed loosely so as to fall apart in one's mouth. This is allowed even in formal settings. However, this has become over-etiquette today.[citation needed] Instead, most Japanese now eat sushi with chopsticks.[citation needed]

Soy sauce may be poured into a small sauce dish. While many dip the rice side into the soy sauce, traditional etiquette insists instead that the sushi is turned over so that the topping is dipped, as proper loosely packed rice might fall apart. If it is difficult to turn the sushi, one can smear soy sauce, using gari as a brush. Mixing wasabi and soy sauce together is the practice when eating sashimi, however it is not proper etiquette when eating sushi.

Utensils for preparing sushi




The modern term "Japanese cuisine" (nihon ryo-ri or washoku) means traditional-style Japanese food, similar to what already existed before the end of national seclusion in 1868. In a broader sense of the word, it could also include foods whose ingredients or cooking methods were subsequently introduced from abroad, but which have been developed by Japanese who made them their own. Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on seasonality of food (shun), quality of ingredients and presentation.

Japanese cuisine has developed over the centuries as a result of many political and social changes. The cuisine eventually changed with the advent of the Medieval age which ushered in a shedding of elitism with the age of shogun rule. In the early modern era massive changes took place that introduced non-Japanese cultures, most notably Western culture, to Japan.

National cuisine


Ancient era - Heian period

Following the Jo-mon period, Japanese society shifted from semi-sedentary hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural society. This was the period in which rice cultivation began, having been introduced by China. Short-grain rice has been the only type of rice grown in Japan, which contrasts with the long-grain rice grown in other Asian regions. Rice was commonly boiled plain and called gohan or meshi, and, as cooked rice has since always been the preferred staple of the meal, the terms are used as synonyms for the word "meal." Peasants often mixed millet with rice, especially in mountainous regions where rice did not proliferate.

During the Kofun period, Chinese culture was introduced into Japan from the Korean Peninsula. As such, Buddhism became a large influence on Japanese culture. After the sixth century, Japan directly pursued the imitation of Chinese culture under the Tang dynasty. It was this influence that marked the taboos on the consumption of meat in Japan. In 675 A.D., Emperor Temmu decreed a prohibition on the consumption of cattle, horses, dogs, monkeys, and chickens during the 4th-9th months of the year; to break the law would mean a death sentence. Monkey was eaten prior to this time, but was eaten more in a ritualistic style for medicinal purposes. Chickens were often domesticated as pets, while cattle and horses were rare and treated as such. A cow or horse would be ritually sacrificed on the first day of rice paddy cultivation, a ritual introduced from China. Emperor Temmu's decree, however, did not ban the consumption of deer or wild boar, which were important to the Japanese diet at that time.

The eighth century saw many additional decrees made by emperors and empresses on the ban of killing of any animals. In 752 A.D., Empress Ko-ken decreed a ban even on fishing, but made a promise that adequate rice would be given to fishermen whose livelihood would have otherwise been destroyed. In 927 A.D., regulations were enacted that stated that any government official or member of nobility that ate meat was deemed unclean for three days and could not participate in Shinto observances at the imperial court.

It was also the influence of Chinese cultures that brought chopsticks to Japan early in this period. Chopsticks at this time were used by nobility at banquets; they were not used as everyday utensils however, as hands were still commonly used with which to eat. Metal spoons were also used during the 8th-9th century, but only by the nobility. Dining tables were also introduced to Japan at this time. Commoners used a legless table called a oshiki, while nobility used a lacquered table with legs called a zen. Each person used his own table. Lavish banquets for the nobility would have multiple tables for each individual based upon the number of dishes presented.

Upon the decline of the Tang dynasty in the ninth century, Japan made a move toward its individuality in culture and cuisine. The abandonment of the spoon as a dining utensil is one of the marked differences, and commoners were now eating with chopsticks as well. Trade continued with China and Korea, but influence en masse from outside of Japan would not be seen again until the 19th century. The 10th and 11th centuries marked a level of refinement of cooking and etiquette found in the culture of the Heian nobility. Court chefs would prepare many of the vegetables sent as tax from the countryside. Court banquets were common and lavish; garb for nobility during these events remained in the Chinese style which differentiated them from the plain clothes of commoners.

The dishes consumed post 9th century included grilled fish and meat (yakimono), simmered food (nimono), steamed foods (mushimono), soups made from chopped vegetables, fish or meat (atsumono), jellied fish (nikogori) simmered with seasonings, sliced raw fish served in a vinegar sauce (namasu), vegetables, seaweed or fish in a strong dressing (aemono), and pickled vegetables (tsukemono) that were cured in salt to cause lactic fermentation. Oil and fat were avoided almost universally in cooking. Sesame oil was used, but rarely, as it was of great expense to produce.

Documents from the Heian nobility note that fish and wild fowl were common on the table along with vegetables. Their banquet settings consisted of a bowl of rice and soup, along with chopsticks, a spoon, and three seasonings which were salt, vinegar and hishio, which was a fermentation of soybeans, rice, wheat, sake and salt. A fourth plate was present for mixing the seasonings to desired flavor for dipping the food. The four types of food present at a banquet consisted of dried foods (himono), fresh foods (namamono), fermented or dressed food (kubotsuki), and desserts (kashi). Dried fish and fowl were thinly sliced (e.g. salted salmon, pheasant, steamed and dried abalone, dried and grilled octopus), while fresh fish, shellfish and fowl were sliced raw in vinegar sauce or grilled (e.g. carp, sea bream, salmon, trout, pheasant). Kubotsuki consisted of small balls of fermented sea squirt, fish or giblets along with jellyfish and aemono. Desserts would have included Chinese cakes, and a variety of fruits and nuts including pine nuts, dried chestnuts, acorns, jujube, pomegranate, peach, apricot, persimmon and citrus. The meal would be ended with sake.

Kamakura period

The Kamakura period marked a large political change in Japan. Prior to the Kamakura period, the samurai were guards of the landed estates of the nobility. The nobility, having lost control of the Japanese countryside, fell under the militaristic rule of the peasant class samurai, with a military government being set up in 1192 in Kamakura giving way to the period. Once the position of power had been exchanged, the role of the court banquets changed. The court cuisine which had prior to this time emphasized flavor and nutritional aspects changed to a highly ceremonial and official role.

Minamoto Yoritomo, the first shogun, punished other samurai who followed the prior showy banquet style of the nobility. The shogun banquet, called o-ban, was attended by military leaders from the provinces. The o-ban originally referred to a luncheon on festival days attended by soldiers and guards during the Heian period and as such was attached to the warrior class. The menu usually consisted of dried abalone, jellyfish aemono, pickled ume called umeboshi, salt and vinegar for seasoning and rice. Later in the period, the honzen ryo-ri banquet became popularized.

The cuisine of the samurai came distinctly from their peasant roots. The meals prepared emphasized simplicity while being substantial. Specifically the cuisine avoided refinement, ceremony and luxury and a shedding of all further Chinese influence. One specific example is the change from wearing traditional Chinese garb to a distinct clothing style that combined the simplistic clothing of the common people. This style evolved into the kimono by the end of the Middle Ages.

The Buddhist vegetarian philosophy strengthened during the Kamakura period as it began to spread to the peasants. Those who were involved in the trade of slaughtering animals for food and/or leather came under discrimination. Those practicing this trade were considered in opposition to the Buddhist philosophy of not taking life, while under the Shinto philosophy they were considered defiled. This discrimination eventually intensified to the creation of a separate caste, the burakumin.

Modern era

Japanese cuisine is based on combining staple foods (shushoku), typically rice or noodles, with a soup, and okazu - dishes made from fish, meat, vegetable, tofu and the like, designed to add flavor to the staple food. These are typically flavored with dashi, miso, and soy sauce and are usually low in fat and high in salt.

A standard Japanese meal generally consists of several different okazu accompanying a bowl of cooked white Japanese rice (gohan), a bowl of soup and some tsukemono (pickles). The most standard meal comprises three okazu and is termed ichiju--sansai ( "one soup, three sides"). Different cooking techniques are applied to each of the three okazu; they may be raw (sashimi), grilled, simmered (sometimes called boiled), steamed, deep-fried, vinegared, or dressed. This Japanese view of a meal is reflected in the organization of Japanese cookbooks, organized into chapters according to cooking techniques as opposed to particular ingredients (e.g. meat, seafood). There may also be chapters devoted to soups, sushi, rice, noodles, and sweets.

As Japan is an island nation its people eat much seafood. Meat-eating has been rare until fairly recently due to restrictions placed upon it by Buddhism[citation needed]. However, strictly vegetarian food is rare since even vegetable dishes are flavored with the ubiquitous dashi stock, usually made with katsuobushi (dried skipjack tuna flakes). An exception is sho-jin ryo-ri , vegetarian dishes developed by Buddhist monks. However, the advertised sho-jin ryo-ri usually available at public eating places includes some non-vegetarian elements.

Noodles are an essential part of Japanese cuisine usually as an alternative to a rice-based meal. Soba (thin, grayish-brown noodles containing buckwheat flour) and udon (thick wheat noodles) are the main traditional noodles and are served hot or cold with soy-dashi flavorings. Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat stock broth known as ramen have become extremely popular over the last century. There are many foods in Japan that are healthy, such as seaweed.

Common staple foods found on a national level (Shushoku)

There are many staple foods that are considered part of Japan's national cuisine today. Below are listed some of the most common.

Rice (gohan)

The rice most often served in Japan is of the short-grain Japonica variety. In a traditional Japanese setting (e.g., served in a conic bowl) it is known as gohan or meshi ( generally only referred to as such by males). In western-influenced dishes, where rice is often served on a plate (such as curries), it is called raisu (after the English word "rice"). Other rice dishes include okayu, donburi ( "bowl") and sushi.

Noodles (men-rui)

Noodles often take the place of rice in a meal. They are featured in many soup dishes, or served chilled with a sauce for dipping.

Bread (pan)

Bread/Pan is not native to Japan and is not considered traditional Japanese food, but since its introduction in the 19th century it has become common. The word pan is a loanword originally taken from Portuguese.

Common foods and dishes found on a national level

There are many dishes that are considered part of Japan's national cuisine today. Below are listed some of the most common.

Grilled and pan-fried dishes (yakimono ), stewed/simmered dishes (nimono ), stir-fried dishes (itamemono ), steamed dishes (mushimono ), deep-fried dishes (agemono), sashimi, soups (suimono and shirumono ), pickled, salted, and dressed foods (tsukemono , aemono , sunomono ), chinmi
Japanese-style sweets (wagashi), old-fashioned Japanese-style sweets (dagashi), Western-style sweets (yo-gashi), sweets bread (kashi pan)

Imported and adapted foods

Japan has incorporated imported food from across the world (mostly from Asia, Europe and to a lesser extent the Americas), and have historically adapted many to make them their own.


Japan today abounds with home-grown, loosely western-style food. Many of these were invented in the wake of the 1868 Meiji restoration and the end of national seclusion, when the sudden influx of foreign (in particular, western) culture led to many restaurants serving western food, known as yo-shoku, a shortened form of seiyo-shoku lit. Western cuisine, opening up in cities. Restaurants that serve these foods are called yo-shokuya , lit. Western cuisine restaurants.

Many yo-shoku items from that time have been adapted to a degree that they are now considered Japanese and are an integral part of any Japanese family menu. Many are served alongside rice and miso soup, and eaten with chopsticks. Yet, due to their origins these are still categorized as yo-shoku as opposed to the more traditional washoku , lit. Japanese cuisine.

Regional cuisine

Japanese cuisine offers a vast array of regional specialities known as Kyo-do Ryo-ri (????) in Japanese, many of them originating from dishes prepared using traditional recipes using local ingredients.

While "local" ingredients are now available nationwide, and some originally regional dishes such as okonomiyaki and Edo-style sushi have spread throughout Japan and is no longer considered as such, many regional specialties survive to this day, with some new ones still being created.

Regionalism is also apparent in many dishes which are served throughout Japan such as zoni soup. For example, the dashi-based broth for serving udon noodles is heavy on dark soy sauce, similar to soba broth in eastern Japan, while in western Japan the broth relies more on the complex dashi-flavoring, with a hint of light soy sauce.


See Also: List of Japanese ingredients, Category:Japanese ingredients

The following is a list of ingredients found in Japanese cuisine:

Many types of Seafood are part of Japanese cuisine. Only the most common are in the list below. Includes freshwater varieties:

Traditional table settings

The traditional Japanese table setting has varied considerably over the centuries, depending primarily on the type of table common during a given era. Before the 19th century, small individual box tables (hakozen, ??) or flat floor trays were set before each diner. Larger low tables (chabudai) that accommodated entire families were gaining popularity by the beginning of the 20th century, but these gave way to western style dining tables and chairs by the end of the 20th century.

Traditionally, the rice bowl is placed on the left and the soup bowl on the right. Behind these, each okazu is served on its own individual plate. Based on the standard three okazu formula, behind the rice and soup are three flat plates to hold the three okazu; one to far back left, one at far back right, and one in the center. Pickled vegetables are often served on the side but are not counted as part of the three okazu.

Chopsticks are generally placed at the very front of the tray near the diner with pointed ends facing left and supported by a chopstick rest, or hashioki

Dining etiquette

  • It is customary to say itadakimasu, (literally "I [humbly] receive") before starting to eat a meal, and gochiso-sama deshita, (literally "It was a feast") to the host after the meal and the restaurant staff when leaving.
Hot towel
Before eating, most dining places will provide either a hot towel or a plastic-wrapped wet napkin. This is for cleaning of the hands prior to eating and not after. It is rude to use them to wash the face or any part of the body other than the hands.
The rice or the soup is eaten by picking the relevant bowl up with the left hand and using chopsticks with the right, or vice-versa if you are left handed. Traditionally, everyone holds chopsticks in their right hand and the bowl in their left this avoids running into each others' arm when sitting close together and this is safest in formal situations, but left-handed eating is more acceptable today. Bowls of soup, noodle soup, donburi or ochazuke may be lifted to the mouth but not white rice.
Soy sauce
Soy sauce is not usually poured over most foods at the table; a dipping dish is usually provided. Soy sauce is, however, meant to be poured directly onto tofu and grated daikon dishes. In particular, soy sauce should never be poured onto rice or soup. It's considered rude to waste soy sauce so moderation should be used when pouring into dishes.
Chopsticks are never left sticking vertically into rice, as this resembles incense sticks (which are usually placed vertically in sand) during offerings to the dead. Using chopsticks to spear food or to point is also frowned upon. It is also very bad manners to bite on your chopsticks.
Communal dish
When taking food from a communal dish, unless they are family or very close friends, turn the chopsticks around to grab the food; it is considered more sanitary. Better, have a separate set of chopsticks for the communal dish.
If sharing with someone else, move it directly from one plate to another. Never pass food from one pair of chopsticks to another, as this recalls passing bones during a funeral.
Eat what is given
It is customary to eat rice to the last grain. Being a picky eater is frowned upon, and it is not customary to ask for special requests or substitutions at restaurants. It is considered ungrateful to make these requests especially in circumstances where you are being hosted, as in a business dinner environment. Good manners dictate that you respect the selections of the host.
Even in informal situations, drinking alcohol starts with a toast (kanpai, ??) when everyone is ready. It is not customary to pour oneself a drink; but rather, people are expected to keep each other's drinks topped up. When someone moves to pour your drink you should hold your glass with both hands and thank them.

Dishes for special occasions

In Japanese tradition some dishes are strongly tied to a festival or event. These dishes include:

In some regions every 1st and 15th day of the month people eat a mixture of rice and azuki (azuki meshi (???), see Sekihan).

Sake and sho-chu-

Sake is a rice wine that typically contains 12~20% alcohol and is made by multiple fermentation of rice. At traditional meals, it is considered an equivalent to rice and is not simultaneously taken with other rice-based dishes. Side dishes for sake are particularly called sakana or otsumami. Sho-chu- is a distilled spirit, most commonly distilled from barley, sweet potato, or rice.

Foreign food

A McDonald's in Narita, Japan. The sign reads: "MacDonald Hamburger".

Foods from other countries vary in their authenticity. Many Italian dishes are changed, however Japanese chefs have preserved many Italian seafood oriented dishes that are forgotten in other countries. These include pasta with prawns, lobster (an Italian specialty known in Italy as pasta all'aragosta), crab (another Italian specialty, in Japan is served with a different species of crab) and pasta with sea urchin sauce (the sea urchin pasta being a specialty of the Puglia region of Italy). Japanese rice is usually used instead of indigenous rice (in dishes from Thailand, India, Italy, etc.) or including it in dishes when originally it would not be eaten with it (in dishes like hamburger, steak, omelettes, etc.).

In Tokyo, it is quite easy to find restaurants serving authentic foreign cuisine. However, in most of the country, in many ways, the variety of imported food is limited; for example, it is rare to find pasta that is not of the spaghetti or macaroni varieties in supermarkets or restaurants; bread is very rarely of any variety but white; and varieties of imported cereal are also very limited, usually either frosted or chocolate flavored. "Italian restaurants" also tend to only have pizza and pasta on their menus. Interestingly for Italian visitors, the cheaper Italian places in Japan tend to serve more Americanized versions of Italian foods, which often vary wildly from the versions found in Italy or in other countries. For pizza delivery, Pizza Hut and Domino's can easily be found in major cities, although the menus differ from in America. Corn, mayonnaise, and various seafood toppings are popular. In sit-down restaurants, the vast majority of pizzas have crusts that are thinner and crispier, and have far less cheese and other toppings than in the U.S.

Hamburger chains include locations such as McDonald's, First Kitchen, Lotteria and MOS Burger. Many chains developed uniquely Japanese versions of American fast food such as teriyaki burger, kinpira rice burger, green-tea milkshakes and fried shrimp burgers.

Curry, which was originally imported from India into Japan by the British in the Meiji era was first adopted by the Imperial Japanese Army, eventually leading to its presence in Japanese cuisine. Japanese curry is very much unlike Indian or any other forms of curry. Unique Japanese ingredients include apples and honey. Even Japanese curry branded as Indian curry is quite different. For instance, some Japanese "Indian-style" curries contain both beef and pork, making them unacceptable to most Hindus, Jains, and Muslims. Japanese versions of Curry powder and sauces can be found in many foods, among them curry udon, curry bread, and curry tonkatsu.

Cuisine outside of Japan

Cold soba noodles with dipping sauce.

Many countries have imported portions of Japanese cuisine. Some may adhere to the traditional preparations of the cuisines, but in some cultures the dishes have been adapted to fit the palate of the local populace.

In Canada, Japanese cuisine has become quite popular in the major cities, particularly in Vancouver. There are abundant Japanese restaurants, take-out shops. Izakaya restaurants have gained a surge of popularity.

Japanese cuisine is an integral part of food culture in Hawaii as well as in other parts of the United States. Popular items are sushi, sashimi and teriyaki. Kamaboko, known locally as fish cake, is a staple of saimin, a noodle soup invented in and extremely popular in the state. Sushi, long regarded as quite exotic in the west until the 1970s, has become a popular health food in parts of North America, Western Europe and Asia.

In Mexico, certain Japanese restaurants have created what is known as "Sushi Mexicano", in which spicy sauces and ingredients accompany the dish, or are integrated in Sushi rolls. The habanero and serrano chiles have become nearly standard and are referred to as chiles toreados, as they are fried, diced and tossed over a dish upon request.

Kamaboko is popular street food in South Korea, where it is known as eomuk (??) or odeng (??). It is usually boiled on a skewer in broth and often sold in street restaurant carts where they can be eaten with alcoholic beverage, especially soju.

Taiwan has adapted many Japanese food items. Taiwanese versions of tempura, only barely resembling the original, is known as ??? or ??? (tianbula) and is a famous staple in night markets in northern Taiwan. Taiwanese versions of oden is known locally as Oren (??) or ??? Kwantung stew, after the Kansai name for the dish. Skewered versions of oden is also a common convenience store item in Shanghai where it is known as adia(n (??).

Ramen, of Chinese origin, has been exported back to China in recent years where it is known as ri shi la mian (????, "Japanese lamian"). Popular Japanese ramen chains serve ramen alongside distinctly Japanese dishes such as tempura and yakitori, something which would be seen as odd in Japan. Ramen has also gained popularity elsewhere in part due to the success of the Wagamama chain, although they are quite different from Japanese ramen. Instant ramen, invented in 1958, has now spread throughout the world.

In Australia, sushi is considered a very popular lunch/snack option with one or two sushi bars in every shopping center. It would be hard to find a metropolitan area in which it is not available, with some major supermarkets even stocking pre-packaged options. There are also many casual 'food court' restaurants that cook fast food such as soft shell crab udon, tempuras and many other dishes. Also found are a great variety of 'sushi train' restaurants for a fun dining experience. In the city and surrounding suburbs there are many Japanese restaurants for formal dining.



City of Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach Pier
Nickname(s): Surf City USA
Location of Huntington Beach within Orange County, California.
Country United States United States
State California California
County Orange
Incorporated February 17, 1909
 - Type Council-Manager
 - City Council Cathy Green, Mayor
Keith Bohr
Joe Carchio
Gil Coerper
Don Hansen
Jill Hardy
Devin Dwyer
 - City Treasurer Shari L. Freidenrich, CCMT, CPFA, CPFIM
 - City Clerk Joan L. Flynn
 - Total 81.7 km2 (31.6 sq mi)
 - Land 68.3 km2 (26.4 sq mi)
 - Water 13.4 km2 (5.2 sq mi)
Elevation 12 m (39 ft)
Population (2000)
 - Total 189,594
 - Density 2,773.9/km2 (7,184.4/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92605, 92615, 92646-92649
Area code(s) 714
FIPS code 06-36000
GNIS feature ID 1652724
Website surfcity-hb.org

Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in southern California, United States. According to the 2000 census, the city population was 189,594. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the southwest, by Seal Beach on the northwest, by Costa Mesa on the east, by Newport Beach on the southeast, by Westminster on the north, and by Fountain Valley on the northeast.

It is known for its long 8.5-mile (13.7 km) beach, mild climate, and excellent surfing. The waves are a unique natural effect caused by edge-diffraction of ocean swells by the island of Catalina, and waves from distant hurricanes.


Huntington Beach, pre-incorporation, 1904.

The area was originally occupied by the Tongva people. European settlement can be traced to a Spanish soldier, Manuel Nieto, who in 1784 received a Spanish land grant of 300,000 acres (1,200 km2), Rancho Los Nietos, as a reward for his military service and to encourage settlement in Alta California. Nieto's western area was reduced in 1790 because of a dispute with the Mission San Gabriel, but he retained thousands of acres stretching from the hills north of Whittier, Fullerton and Brea, south to the Pacific Ocean, and from today's Los Angeles River on the west, to the Santa Ana River on the east.

The main thoroughfare of Huntington Beach, Beach Boulevard, was originally a cattle route for the main industry of the Rancho. Since its time as a parcel of the enormous Spanish land grant, Huntington Beach has undergone many incarnations. One time it was known Shell Beach, the town of Smeltzer, and then Gospel Swamp for the revival meetings that were held in the marshland where the community college Golden West College can currently be found. Later it became known as Fairview and then Pacific City as it developed into a tourist destination. In order to secure access to the Red Car lines that used to criss-cross Los Angeles and ended in Long Beach, Pacific City ceded enormous power to railroad magnate Henry Huntington, and thus became a city whose name has been written into corporate sponsorship, and like much of the history of Southern California, boosterism.

Huntington Beach incorporated on February 17, 1909 under its first mayor, Ed Manning. Its original developer was the Huntington Beach Company (formerly the West Coast Land and Water Company), a real-estate development firm owned by Henry Huntington. The Huntington Beach Company is still a major land-owner in the city, and still owns most of the local mineral rights.

An interesting hiccup in the settlement of the district occurred when an encyclopedia company gave away free parcels of land, with the purchase of a whole set for $126, in the Huntington Beach area that it had acquired cheaply. The lucky buyers got more than they had bargained for when oil was discovered in the area, and enormous development of the oil reserves followed. Though many of the old wells are empty, and the price of land for housing has pushed many of the rigs off the landscape, oil pumps can still be found to dot the city.

Huntington Beach was primarily agricultural in its early years with crops such as celery and sugar beets. Holly Sugar was a major employer with a large processing plant in the city that was later converted to an oil refinery.

The city's first high school, Huntington Beach High School was built in 1906. The school's team, the Oilers, is named after the city's original natural resource.

Meadowlark Airport, a small general aviation airport, existed in Huntington Beach from the 1950s until 1989.


Huntington Beach at Sunset

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 81.7 square kilometres (31.5 sq mi). 68.3 km2 (26.4 sq mi) of it is land and 13.4 km2 (5.2 sq mi) of it (16.38%) is water.

The entire city of Huntington Beach lies in area codes 657 and 714, except for small parts of Huntington Harbour (along with Sunset Beach, the unincorporated community adjacent to Huntington Harbour), which is in the 562 Area Code.


Huntington Beach has a Mediterranean climate (Kppen climate classification Csb). The climate is generally sunny, dry and cool, although evenings can be excessively damp. In the morning and evening, there are often strong breezes, 15 mph (24 km/h). Ocean water temperatures average 55 F (13 C) to 65 F (18 C). In the summer, temperatures rarely exceed 85 F (29 C). In the winter, temperatures rarely fall below 40 F (4 C), even on clear nights. There are about 14 inches (360 mm) of rain, almost all in mid-winter. Frost occurs only rarely on the coldest winter nights. The area is annually affected by a marine layer caused by the cool air of the Pacific Ocean meeting the warm air over the land. This results in overcast and foggy conditions in May and June.

Weather data for Huntington Beach
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high F (C) 64
Average low F (C) 48
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.60
Source: Weather Channel 2009-03-29

Natural resources

Bolsa Chica Wildlife Refuge

Construction of any kind on the beach is prohibited without a vote of the people, allowing Huntington Beach to retain its natural tie to the ocean rather than having the view obscured by residential and commercial developments.

Between Downtown Huntington Beach and Huntington Harbour lies a large marshy wetland, much of which is protected within the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. A $110 million restoration of the wetlands was completed in 2006. The Reserve is popular with bird watchers and photographers.

South of Downtown, the Talbert and Magnolia Marshes lie on a strip of undeveloped land parallel to Huntington State Beach and are in the process of restoration, as well.

The northern and southern beaches (Bolsa Chica State Beach and Huntington State Beach, respectively) are state parks. Only the central beach (Huntington City Beach) is maintained by the city. Camping and RVs are permitted here, and popular campsites for the Fourth of July and the Surfing Championships must be reserved many months in advance. Bolsa Chica State Beach is actually a sand bar fronting the Bolsa Bay and Bolsa Chica State Ecological Reserve.

Huntington Harbour from the air

The Orange County run Sunset Marina Park next to Huntington Harbour is part of Anaheim Bay. It is suitable for light craft, and includes a marina, launching ramp, basic services, a picnic area and a few restaurants. The park is in Seal Beach, but is only reachable from Huntington Harbour. The Sunset/Huntington Harbour area is patrolled by the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol.

The harbor entrance for Anaheim Bay is sometimes restricted by the United States Navy, which loads ships with munitions at the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station to the north of the main channel.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %
1910 815
1920 1,687 107.0%
1930 3,690 118.7%
1940 3,738 1.3%
1950 5,237 40.1%
1960 11,492 119.4%
1970 115,960 909.0%
1980 170,505 47.0%
1990 181,519 6.5%
2000 189,594 4.4%

As of the census of 2000, there were 189,594 people, 73,657 households, and 47,729 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,773.9/km (7,183.6/mi). There were 75,662 housing units at an average density of 1,107.0/km (2,866.8/mi). The racial makeup of the city was 79.22% White, 0.81% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 9.34% Asian, 0.24% Pacific Islander, 5.81% from other races, and 3.94% from two or more races. 14.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 73,657 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 24.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 34.9% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.6 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $81,112, and the median income for a family was $101,023. Adult males had a median income of $52,018 versus $38,046 for adult females. The per capita income for the city was $36,964. About 4.3% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 4.4% of those age 65 or over.

The 2009 population estimated by the California Department of Finance was 202,480.

The unemployment rate in Huntington Beach is one of the lowest among large (over 100,000) cities in the United States at 1.9%.


According to Huntington Beach's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Boeing 4,352
2 Quiksilver 1,337
3 Cambro Manufacturing 909
4 Verizon 723
5 Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach 670
6 C & D Aerospace 600
7 Huntington Beach Hospital 503
8 Fisher & Paykel 441
9 Rainbow Disposal 408
10 Home Depot (including Expo) 386

Huntington Beach sits above a large natural fault structure containing oil. Although the oil is mostly depleted, extraction continues at a slow rate, and still provides significant local income. There are only two off-shore extraction facilities left, however, and the day is not far off when oil production in the city will cease and tourism will replace it as the primary revenue source for resident industry.

The city is discussing closing off Main Street to cars from PCH through the retail shopping and restaurant areas, making it a pedestrian zone only. Other shopping centers include Bella Terra, built on the former Huntington Center site, and Old World Village, a German-themed center.

Huntington Beach has an off-shore oil terminus for the tankers that support the Alaska Pipeline. The terminus pipes run inland to a refinery in Santa Fe Springs. Huntington Beach also has the Gothard-Talbert terminus for the Orange County portion of the pipeline running from the Chevron El Segundo refinery.

Several hotels have been constructed on the inland side of Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1) within view of the beach, just southeast of the pier.

Huntington Beach contains a major installation of Boeing, formerly McDonnell-Douglas. A number of installations on the Boeing campus were originally constructed to service the Apollo Program, most notably the production of the S-IVB upper stage for the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets, and some nearby telephone poles are still marked "Apollo Dedicated Mission Control Line."

Huntington Beach contains the administrative headquarters of Sea Launch, a commercial space vehicle launch enterprise whose largest stockholder is Boeing.

Huntington Beach contains a small industrial district in its northwest corner, near the borders with Westminster and Seal Beach.

Surf City USA trademarks

While Huntington Beach retains its 15-year trademark of Surf City Huntington Beach, the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau filed four applications to register the Surf City USA trademark in November 2004. The idea was to market the city by creating an authentic brand based on Southern California's beach culture and active outdoor lifestyle while at the same time creating a family of product licensees who operate like a franchise family producing a revenue stream that could also be dedicated to promoting the brand and city. A ruling by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released on May 12, 2006 awarded three trademark registrations to the Bureau; nine additional trademark registrations have been granted since this time and ten other Surf City USA trademarks are now under consideration. One of the first products the Bureau developed to promote its brand was the Surf City USA Beach Cruiser by Felt Bicycles in 2006. The product has sold out every year in markets worldwide and created demand for a second rental bicycle model that will be marketed to resort locations across the globe starting in 2009. The Bureau now has dozens of other licensed products on the market from Surf City USA soft drinks to clothing to glassware. As of April 2008, the Bureau had more than 20 licensing partners with over 50 different products being prepared to enter the market over the next 18 months. Four of the Bureau's registrations of the trademark are now on the principal register and the remaining ten trademark applications are expected to follow. The Bureau is actively considering registration of the Surf City USA trademark in several different countries and anticipates a growing market for its branded products overseas in coming years.

An ongoing dispute between Huntington Beach and Santa Cruz, California over the trademark garnered negative national publicity in 2007 when a law firm representing Huntington Beach sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Santa Cruz t-shirt vendor. A settlement was reached in January, 2008, which allows the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau to retain the trademark.


Huntington Beach CA USA.jpg

The downtown district includes an active art center, a colorful shopping district, and the International Surfing Museum. This district was also once the home of the famous restaurant and music club "The Golden Bear." In the late 1960s and 1970s it hosted many famous bands and acts. The Huntington Beach Pier stretches from Main Street into the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the pier is a Ruby's Diner. The Surf Theatre, which was located one block north of the pier, gained fame in the 1960s and 1970s for showing independent surf films such as The Endless Summer and Five Summer Stories. The Surf Theatre was owned and operated by Hugh Larry Thomas from 1961 until it was demolished in 1989. A newer version of The Surf Theatre is now closed, but the International Surf Museum has preserved its memory with a permanent exhibit featuring vintage seats and screening of surfing movies once shown at a Huntington Beach theater.

Arts and culture

Special events

Many of the events at Huntington Beach are focused around the beach during the summer. The U.S. Open of Surfing and Beach Games are featured on the south side of the pier. Huntington Beach is a stop on the AVP beach volleyball tour. A biathlon (swim/run) hosted by the Bolsa Chica & Huntington State Beach Lifeguards takes place in July, early at dawn. The race begins at the Santa Ana River Jetties and ends at Warner Avenue, Bolsa Chica State Beach. Huntington Beach Junior Lifeguard day camps are held which teaches preadolescents and adolescents ocean swimming, running, and first-aid medical knowledge.

In addition to the beach-focused events, the Fourth of July parade has been held since 1904. The SoCal Independent Film Festival takes place every September.

During the winter the annual Cruise of Lights Boat Tour is held in the Huntington Harbour neighborhood. This is a parade of colorful lighted boats as well as boat tours to view the decorated homes. The annual Kite Festival is held just north of the pier in late February.

Huntington Beach hosts car shows such as the Beachcruiser Meet and a Concours d'Elegance. The Beachcruiser Meet is held in March, attracting over 250 classic cars displayed along Main Street and the Pier parking lot. A Concours d'Elegance is held at Central Park in June and benefits the public library.

Surf City Nights is held during the entire year. The community-spirited event features a farmer's market, unique entertainment, food, kiddie rides and a carnival atmosphere, each Tuesday evening. Surf City Nights is presented by the Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District (HBDBID) and the City of Huntington Beach. The event takes place in the first three blocks of Main Street from Pacific Coast Highway to Orange Avenue.


Surfers abound near Huntington City Pier
Huntington Beach during the day.
Bolsa Chica Surf

Huntington Beach is the site of the world surfing championships, held in the summer every year. The city is often referred to as "Surf City" because of this high profile event, its history and culture of surfing. It is often called the "Surfing Capital of the World", not for the height of the waves, but rather for the consistent quality of surf. Gordon Duane established the city's first surf shop, Gordie's Surfboards, in 1955.

Surf and beaches

Apart from sponsored surf events, Huntington Beach has some of the best surf breaks in the State of California and that of the United States. Huntington Beach has four different facing beaches: Northwest, West, Southwest, and South. Northwest consists of Bolsa Chica State Beach with a length of 3.3 miles (5.3 km), the West consist of "The Cliffs" or "Dog Beach", Southwest is considered everything north of the pier which is operated by the City of Huntington Beach. South consists in everything south of the pier which primarily focuses on Huntington State Beach (2.2 Miles), which almost faces true South.

Bolsa Chica State Beach is operated by the State of California, Dept. Parks & Recreation, and the Bolsa Chica State Beach Lifeguards. The beach is very narrow and the sand is very coarse. Bolsa Chica tends to have better surf with NW/W swells during the winter season. During the summer months the beach picks up south/southwest swells at a very steep angle. Due to the bottom of the beach, surf at Bolsa Chica tends to be slowed down and refined to soft shoulders. Longboards are the best option for surfing in the Bolsa Chica area.

"The Cliffs" or "Dog Beach" is also another popular surf spot. This segment of Huntington Beach obtains these names because dogs are allowed around the cliff area. Beach is very restricted and often is submerged with high tides. Surf at this location tends to be even bigger than Bolsa Chica during the winter and often better. During the summer most of the South/Southwest swells slide right by and often break poorly. The best option is to take out a longboard, but shortboards will do at times. Dolphins have also been sighted in this area.

Just north and south of the Huntington Beach Pier are some well defined sandbars that shift throughout the year with the different swells. Southside of the Pier is often a popular destination during the summer for good surf, but the Northside can be just as well during the winter. Around the Pier it all depends on the swell and the sandbars. Shortboard is your best option for surfing around the Pier.

South Huntington Beach, also known as Huntington State Beach, is where all the south swells impact the coastline. Huntington State Beach is operated by the State of California, Department of Parks & Recreation, and Huntington State Beach Lifeguards. This beach is very wide with plenty of sand. Sandbars dramatically shift during the spring, summer and fall seasons, thus creating excellent surf conditions with a combination South/West/Northwest swell. Due to the Santa Ana River jetties located at the southern most end of the beach, large sandbars extend across and upcoast, forcing swells to break extremely fast and hollow. Best seasons for surfing at this beach is the summer and fall. The best option for surfing in this area is a shortboard.

Huntington Beach is also a popular destination for kite surfing, and this sport can be viewed on the beach northwest of the pier.

Huntington Beach is the host city of the National Professional Paintball League Super 7 Paintball Championships. The NPPL holds its first event of the year traditionally between the dates of March 23 through March 26.

Huntington Beach also hosts the annual Surf City USA Marathon and Half-Marathon, which is usually held on the first Sunday of February.

Parks and recreation

Huntington Beach has a very large Central Park, located between Gothard and Edwards Streets to the east and west, and Slater and Ellis Avenues to the north and south. The park is vegetated with xeric (low water use) plants, and inhabited by native wildlife. Thick forests encircling the park are supplemented with Australian trees, particularly eucalyptus, a high water use plant.

Huntington Central Park

The Huntington Beach Public Library is located in Central Park in a notable building designed by Richard Neutra and Dion Neutra. It houses almost a half-million volumes, as well as a theater, gift shop and fountains. The library was founded as a Carnegie library in 1914, and has been continuously supported by the city and local activists, with new buildings and active branches at Banning, Oak View, Main Street, and Graham. The library has significant local historical materials and has a special genealogical reference collection. It is independent of the state and county library systems.

The park is also home of Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center, a top class boarding facility that also offers horse rentals to the public, with guided trail rides through the park. There is also a "mud park" available for kids. The world's second oldest disc golf course is available in the park, as are two small dining areas, a sports complex for adult use, and the Shipley Nature Center.

The Bolsa Chica Wetlands, which are diminishing rapidly due to development, contains numerous trails and scenic routes. The wetlands themselves have recently been connected with the ocean again, in effort to maintain its previous, unaltered conditions.


Local Government

According to the citys most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the citys various funds had $295.6 million in Revenues, $287.7 million in expenditures, $1,046.6 million in total assets, $202.8 million in total liabilities, and $87.1 million in cash and investments.

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:

City Department Director
City Manager Fred Wilson
Deputy City Administrator Paul Emery
Deputy City Administrator Robert Hall
Community Relations Officer Laurie E. Payne
Director of Library Services Stephanie Beverage
Director of Human Resources Michele Carr
Director of Building and Safety Ross D. Cranmer
Director of Community Services Jim B. Engle
Director of Planning Scott Hess
Director of Public Works Travis Hopkins
Director of Information Services Jack Marshall
Fire Chief Duane S. Olson
Police Chief Kenneth W. Small
Director of Economic Development Stanley Smalewitz
Director of Finance Dan T. Vilella


In the state legislature Huntington Beach is located in the 35th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Harman, and in the 67th Assembly District, represented by Republican Jim Silva. Federally, Huntington Beach is located in California's 46th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +6 and is represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher.


Huntington Beach is the home of Golden West College, which offers two-year associates of arts degrees and transfer programs to four year universities.

Huntington Beach is in the Huntington Beach Union High School District, which includes Edison High School, Huntington Beach High School, Marina High School, and Ocean View High School in the city of Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley High School in the city of Fountain Valley, and Westminster High School in the city of Westminster.

The district also has an alternative school, Valley Vista High School, and an independent study school, Coast High School.

Huntington Beach High School, which is the district's flagship school, celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2006.

The city has two elementary school districts: Huntington Beach City with 9 schools and Ocean View with 15. A small part of the city is served by the Fountain Valley School District.


Huntington Beach was selected for the 24th season of MTV's Real World Series.

The city was featured in the TruTV series Ocean Force: Huntington Beach. Also, the city is mentioned in the Beach Boys song Surfin' Safari and in Surfer Joe by The Surfaris.

A live camera is set up at the Huntington Beach Pier and shown on screens at the California-themed Hollister apparel stores.

The public television station KOCE-TV operates from the Golden West College campus, in conjunction with the Golden West College Media Arts program.

Two weekly newspapers cover Huntington Beach: The Huntington Beach Independent and The Wave Section of The Orange County Register.

Ashlee Simpson's music video for La La was filmed in Huntington Beach.

Notable natives and residents


Sandy West, the drummer for the 70s band The Runaways, grew up and went to school in Huntington Beach. She attended Edison High School.




Huntington Beach Police Department MD520N helicopter

Fire protection in Huntington Beach is provided by the Huntington Beach Fire Department. Law enforcement is provided by the Huntington Beach Police Department. Huntington Beach Marine Safety Officers and its seasonal lifeguards are recognized as some of the best in the world with a top notch safety record. It has an active Community Emergency Response Team training program, that trains citizens as Disaster Service Workers certified by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a part of a free program run by the fire department's Office of Emergency Services.

Emergency services are also provided at State Beach locations. Peace Officers and lifeguards can be found at Bolsa Chica and Huntington State Beach. Such services consist of: aquatic rescues, boat rescues, first aid and law enforcement. All services are provided by the State of California, Dept. Parks & Recreation.

In 1926, the Santa Ana River dam failed, and flash-flooded its entire delta. The southern oceanic terminus of this delta is now a settled area of Huntington Beach. The distant dam is still functional, but silting up, which is expected to reduce its storage volume, and therefore its effectiveness at flood-prevention. The flood and dam-endangered areas are protected by a levee, but lenders require expensive flood insurance in the delta. There have been serious discussions to eliminate the need for flood insurance and this requirement has already been waived in some areas and may one day no longer be considered a credible threat.

Since it is a seaside city, Huntington Beach has had tsunami warnings, storm surge (its pier has been rebuilt three times), sewage spills, tornadoes and waterspouts. The cold offshore current prevents hurricanes. The Pier that was rebuilt in the 1990s was engineered to withstand severe storms or earthquakes.

Large fractions of the settled delta are in earthquake liquefaction zones above known active faults. Most of the local faults are named after city streets.

Many residents (and even city hall) live within sight and sound of active oil extraction and drilling operations. These occasionally spew oil, causing expensive clean-ups. Large parts of the developed land have been contaminated by heavy metals from the water separated from oil.

The local oil has such extreme mercury contamination that metallic mercury is regularly drained from oil pipelines and equipment. Oil operations increase when the price of oil rises. Some oil fields have been approved for development. The worst-polluted areas have been reclaimed as parks. At least one Superfund site, too contaminated to be a park, is at the junction of Magnolia and Hamilton streets, near Edison High School.

Sister cities

Huntington Beach has the following sister city relationships, according to the Huntington Beach Sister City Association:

Huntington Beach also has youth exchange programs with both cities, sending four teenagers on an exchange student basis for two weeks in order to gather different cultural experiences.



City of Fountain Valley, California

Motto: "A Nice Place to Live"
Location of Fountain Valley within Orange County, California.
Country United States
State California
County Orange
 - Mayor John Edward Collins
 - Total 8.9 sq mi (23.1 km2)
 - Land 8.9 sq mi (23.1 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 33 ft (10 m)
Population (2009)
 - Total 58,309
 - Density 7,406.1/sq mi (2,859.5/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92708, 92728
Area code(s) 714
FIPS code 06-25380
GNIS feature ID 1652712
Website fountainvalley.org

Fountain Valley is a city in Orange County, California, United States. The population was 58,309 according to the 2009 estimate by the California Department of Finance. A classic bedroom community, Fountain Valley is a middle-class residential area.


The area encompassing Fountain Valley was originally inhabited by the Tongva people. European settlement of the area began when Manuel Nieto was granted the land for Rancho Los Nietos, which encompassed over 300,000 acres (1,200 km2), including present-day Fountain Valley. Control of the land was subsequently transferred to Mexico upon independence from Spain, and then to the United States as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The city was incorporated in 1957, before which it was known as Talbert (also as Gospel Swamps by residents). The name of Fountain Valley refers to the very high water table in the area at the time the name was chosen, and the many corresponding artesian wells in the area. Early settlers constructed drainage canals to make the land usable for agriculture, which remained the dominant use of land until the 1960s, when construction of large housing tracts accelerated.


Fountain Valley is located at (33.708618, -117.956295). The elevation of the city is approximately twenty feet above sea level, slightly lower than surrounding areas. This is especially noticeable in the southwest area of the city, where several streets have a steep grade as they cross into Huntington Beach.

The city is located southwest and northeast of the San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405), which diagonally bisects the city, and is surrounded by Huntington Beach on the south and west, Westminster and Garden Grove on the north, Santa Ana on the northeast, and Costa Mesa on the southeast. Its eastern border is the Santa Ana River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.1 km2 (8.9 sq mi) 0.11% of which is water.


According to the census of 2009, there were 58,309 people, 18,162 households, and 14,220 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,382.4/km (6,167.8/mi). There were 18,473 housing units at an average density of 800.5/km (2,072.4/mi). The racial makeup of the city was 64.02% White, 1.11% Black or African American, 0.46% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 25.76% Asian, 0.40% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 3.95% from other races, and 4.30% from two or more races. 10.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 18,162 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.4% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.7% were non-families. 16.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.35. More than 1/3 of all the housing units in the city are those other than single-family homes, such as condominiums or apartments.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 27.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $78,729, and the median income for a family was $90,335. Males had a median income of $60,399 versus $43,089 for females. The per capita income for the city was $48,521. About 1.6% of families and 2.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.


In the state legislature Fountain Valley is located in the 35th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Harman, and in the 68th Assembly District, represented by Republican Van Tran. Federally, Fountain Valley is located in California's 46th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +6 and is represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher.

Community amenities

Fountain Valley is home to Mile Square Regional Park, a 640 acres (2.6 km2) park containing two lakes, three 18-hole golf courses, playing fields, picnic shelters, and a 20-acre (81,000 m2) urban nature area planted with California native plants, a 55-acre (220,000 m2) recreation center with tennis courts, basketball courts, racquetball courts, a gymnasium, and the Kingston Boys & Girls Club; also a community center and a new senior center that opened in June, 2005. A major redevelopment of the recreation center and city-administered sports fields was completed in early 2009.

Fire protection and emergency medical services are provided by two stations of the Fountain Valley Fire Department. Law enforcement is provided by the Fountain Valley Police Department. Ambulance service is provided by Care Ambulance Service.

The Orange County Sanitation District's primary plant is located in Fountain Valley next to the Santa Ana River. The agency is the third-largest sanitation district in the western United States. This location is also home to the agency's administrative offices, as well as the offices of the Municipal Water District of Orange County, a member of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Fountain Valley has two fully accredited major medical centers: the Fountain Valley Regional Hospital with 400 beds available, and Orange Coast Memorial Hospital with 230 beds and a medical clinic. Orange Coast Memorial recently announced plans for a six-story outpatient center to be added. The project was initially met by some opposition due to its height and location next to residences, but was eventually approved unanimously by the city council.

The city also has 18 churches, one Reform synagogue, a mosque and a public library.

Fountain Valley has its own newspaper, the Fountain Valley View, operated by the Orange County Register.


There are three high schools, three middle schools, nine elementary schools, one K-12 school, and two K-8 schools. However, some students who live in the city of Fountain Valley actually attend schools in other cities.

Fountain Valley is also home to Coastline Community College and a campus of the University of Phoenix. Community colleges in the area include Orange Coast College or Golden West College, located nearby in the cities of Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach, respectively.

High schools in Huntington Beach Union High School District

High schools in Garden Grove Unified School District

Middle schools in Fountain Valley School District

Middle schools in Ocean View Middle School District

  • Vista View Middle School

Elementary schools in Garden Grove Unified School District

  • Allen Elementary School
  • Monroe Elementary School
  • Northcutt Elementary School

Elementary schools in Fountain Valley School District

  • Courreges Elementary School
  • Cox Elementary School
  • Gisler Elementary School
  • Moiola Elementary School (K-8)
  • Plavan Elementary School
  • Tamura Elementary School
  • Newland Elementary School

Private schools

  • Carden School of Fountain Valley (K-8)
  • First Southern Baptist Christian School (K-12)


As a suburban city, most of Fountain Valley's residents commute to work in other urban centers. However in recent years, the city has seen an increase in commercial jobs in the city, with the growth of a commercial center near the Santa Ana River known as the "Southpark" district.

Although the economy of the area was once based mainly on agriculture, the remaining production consists of several fields of strawberries or other small crops, which are gradually being replaced by new office development.

Fountain Valley is home to the national headquarters of Hyundai Motor Company and D-Link Corporation, the global headquarters of memory chip manufacturer Kingston Technologies, and the corporate headquarters of Surefire, LLC, maker of military and commercial flashlights. The Southpark commercial area is also home to offices for companies such as D-Link, Starbucks, Satura and the Orange County Register. There are also a limited number of light industrial companies in this area. In addition, Fountain Valley is the location for Noritz, a tankless water heater manufacturer.

The increasing commercial growth can be evidenced by the frequent rush-hour traffic bottlenecks on the San Diego (405) Freeway through Fountain Valley.


In addition to the San Diego Freeway, which bisects the city, Fountain Valley is served by several bus lines operated by the Orange County Transportation Authority. Bus routes 33, 35, 37, 70, 72, 74, and 172 cover the city's major streets.

Most of the major roads are equipped with bicycle lanes, especially around Mile Square Park, which offers wide bike paths along the major streets that mark its boundary. Dedicated bike paths along the Santa Ana River run from the city of Corona to the Pacific Ocean.



Westminster, California
Motto: "The City of Progress Built on Pride."
Location of Westminster within Orange County, California.
Country United States
State California
County Orange
 - City Council Mayor Margie L. Rice
Tri Ta
Frank G. Fry
Andy Quach
Truong Diep
City Manager

Donald D. Lamm
City Treasurer / Finance Director

Paul Espinoza
 - Total 10.1 sq mi (26.2 km2)
 - Land 10.1 sq mi (26.2 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 39 ft (12 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 88,207
 - Density 8,724.6/sq mi (3,368.6/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92683-92685
Area code(s) 714
FIPS code 06-84550
GNIS feature ID 1652811
Website http://www.ci.westminster.ca.us/

Westminster is a city in Orange County, California, United States. It was founded in 1870 by Rev. Lemuel Webber as a Presbyterian temperance colony. Its name is taken from the Westminster Assembly of 1643, which laid out the basic tenets of the Presbyterian faith. For several years of its early history, its farmers refused to grow grapes because they associated grapes with alcohol.

Westminster was incorporated in 1957, at which time it had 10,755 residents. Originally, the city was named Tri-City because it was the amalgamation of three cities: Westminster, Barber City, and Midway City. Midway City ultimately turned down incorporation, leaving Barber City to be absorbed into the newly incorporated Westminster. The former Barber City was located in the western portion of the current City of Westminster.

Westminster is landlocked and bordered by Seal Beach on the west, by Garden Grove on the north and east, and by Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley on the south.

Westminster surrounds the unincorporated area of Midway City, except for a small portion where Midway City meets Huntington Beach to the south.

A large number of Vietnamese refugees came to the city in the 1970s, settling largely in an area now officially named Little Saigon. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 88,207. Westminster won the All-America City Award in 1996.


As of the census of 2000, there were 88,207 people, 26,406 households, and 20,411 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,368.6/km (8,724.2/mi). There were 26,940 housing units at an average density of 1,028.8/km (2,664.5/mi). The racial makeup of the city was 45.79% White, 0.99% African American, 0.61% Native American, 38.13% Asian, 0.46% Pacific Islander, 10.19% from other races, and 3.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.70% of the population.

There were 26,406 households out of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.4% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.7% were non-families. 16.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.32 and the average family size was 3.71.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 99.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $49,450, and the median income for a family was $54,399. Males had a median income of $37,157 versus $28,392 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,218. About 10.7% of families and 13.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.0% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.


Westminster is located at (33.752418, -117.993938). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.2 km (10.1 mi), all land.


In the state legislature Westminster is located in the 34th, Senate District, represented by Democrat Lou Correa and Republican Tom Harman respectively, and in the 67th and 68th Assembly District, represented by Republicans Jim Silva and Van Tran respectively. Federally, Westminster is located in California's 40th and 46th congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of R +8 and R +6 respectively and are represented by Republicans Ed Royce and Dana Rohrabacher respectively.


Four different school districts have boundaries that overlap parts or more of the City of Westminster:

Notable natives and residents


  • A memorial and final resting place for the victims of the Pan Am plane involved in the Tenerife Disaster March 27 1977 is located in Westminster.
  • The Vietnam War Memorial is located Sid Goldstein Freedom Park, next to the Westminster Civic Center. The project was initiated by Westminster City Councilman Frank G. Fry in 1997 and completed in 2003.


The city's major shopping mall is Westminster Mall, which contains more than 180 stores.



City of Newport Beach, California

Location of Newport Beach within Orange County, California.
Country United States
State California
County Orange
Incorporated September 1, 1906
 - Type Mayor-Council
 - Mayor Edward D. Selich
 - Governing body City of Newport Beach City Council
 - Total 39.8 sq mi (103.2 km2)
 - Land 14.8 sq mi (38.3 km2)
 - Water 25.1 sq mi (64.9 km2)
Elevation 10 ft (3 m)
Population (January 1, 2009)
 - Total 86,252
 - Density 5,832.7/sq mi (2,252/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92657-92663
Area code(s) 949
FIPS code 06-51182
GNIS feature ID 1661104
Website City of Newport Beach
Misc. Information
City tree Coral tree
City flower Bougainvillea

Newport Beach, incorporated in 1906, is a city in Orange County, California, United States 10 miles (16 km) south of downtown Santa Ana. As of January 1, 2009, the population was 86,252. The current OMB metropolitan designation for Newport Beach lies within the Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine area. The city is currently one of the wealthiest communities in California and consistently places high in United States rankings.


In 1870 a steamer named "The Vaquero" made its first trip to a marshy lagoon for trading. Ranch owners in the Lower Bay decided from then on that the area should be called "Newport."

In 1905 city development increased when Pacific Electric Railroad established a southern terminus in Newport connecting the beach with downtown Los Angeles. In 1906 with a population of 206 citizens, the scattered settlements were incorporated as the City of Newport Beach.

Settlements filled in on the Peninsula, West Newport, Balboa Island and Lido Isle. In 1923 Corona del Mar was annexed and in 2002 Newport Coast was annexed.



Newport Beach extends in elevation from sea level to the 1161 ft (354 m.) summit of Signal Peak in the San Joaquin Hills, but the official elevation is 25 feet (8 m) above sea level at a location of (33.616671, -117.897604).

The city is bordered to the west by Huntington Beach at the Santa Ana River, on the north side by Costa Mesa, John Wayne Airport, and Irvine (including UC Irvine), and on the east side by Crystal Cove State Park.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 103.2 km (39.8 mi). 38.3 km (14.8 mi) of it is land and 64.9 km (25.1 mi) of it (62.91%) is water.

Areas of Newport Beach include Corona del Mar, Balboa Island, Newport Coast, San Joaquin Hills, and Balboa Peninsula (also known as Balboa).


The Upper Newport Bay was carved out by the prehistoric flow of the Santa Ana River. It feeds the delta that is the Back Bay, and eventually joins Lower Newport Bay, commonly referred to as Newport Harbor. The Lower Bay includes Balboa Island, Bay Island, Harbor Island, Lido Isle and Linda Isle.


Newport Beach has a Mediterranean climate (Kppen climate classification Csb). Like many coastal cities in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, Newport Beach exhibits weak temperature variation, both diurnally and seasonally, compared to inland cities even a few miles from the ocean. The Pacific Ocean greatly moderates Newport Beach's climate by warming winter temperatures and cooling summer temperatures.

Weather data for Newport Beach
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high F (C) 64
Average low F (C) 48
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.60
Source: Weather Channel March 29, 2009


Balboa Pavilion on Main Street
Historical populations
Census Pop.  %
1910 445
1920 895 101.1%
1930 2,203 146.1%
1940 4,438 101.5%
1950 12,120 173.1%
1960 26,564 119.2%
1970 49,582 86.7%
1980 62,556 26.2%
1990 66,643 6.5%
2000 70,032 5.1%

As of the census of 2000, there were 70,032 people, 33,071 households, and 16,965 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,829.5/km (4,738.8/mi). There were 37,288 housing units at an average density of 974.1/km (2,523.1/mi). The racial makeup of the city was 92.22% White, 0.53% African American, 0.26% Native American, 4.00% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 1.13% from other races, and 1.74% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.71% of the population.

There were 33,071 households out of which 18.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.7% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.71.

In the city the population was spread out with 15.7% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 27.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males.

According to a 2008 US Census estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $110,511, while the median family income was $162,976. Males had a median income of $73,425 versus $45,409 for females. The per capita income for the city was $63,015. About 2.1% of families and 4.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.

Housing prices in Newport Beach ranked eighth highest in the United States in a 2009 survey.


As of October 2008, there were 35,870 registered Republicans and 13,850 registered Democrats.

In the state legislature Newport Beach is located in the 35th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Harman, and in the 68th and 70th Assembly District, represented by Republicans Van Tran and Chuck DeVore respectively. Federally, Newport Beach is located in California's 48th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +8 and is represented by Republican John Campbell.


North Newport Beach from the air

Before its dissolution Air California was headquartered in Newport Beach.

The city is also the home of the Pacific Investment Management Company, which runs the world's largest bond fund.

Several semiconductor companies, including Jazz Semiconductor, have their operations in Newport Beach.


Balboa beach one of the popular beaches of Newport.

Points of interest


Attractions include beaches on the Balboa Peninsula (featuring body-boarding hot-spot The Wedge), Corona del Mar State Beach and Crystal Cove State Park, to the south.

The Catalina Flyer, a giant 500 passenger catamaran, provides daily transportation from the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach to Avalon, California located on Santa Catalina Island. The historic Balboa Pavilion, established in 1906, is Newport Beach's most famous landmark.

The Orange County Museum of Art is a museum that exhibits modern and contemporary art, with emphasis on the work of California artists.[citation needed].

Balboa Island is an artificial island in Newport Harbor that was dredged and filled right before World War I. The Balboa Fun Zone is home to the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum.

The Pelican Hill area has two golf courses, both of which were recently reopened after extensive remodeling and the construction of a new hotel and clubhouse.

Popular culture

The city has figured into several television shows and movies.

Notable natives and/or residents

Balboa Street
Orange Coast College sailing school

External links



City of Costa Mesa, California

Location of Costa Mesa within Orange County, California
Country United States United States
State California California
County Orange
 - Type Council-Manager
 - City Council Mayor Allan Mansoor
Wendy Leece
Eric Bever
Katrina Foley
Gary Monahan
City Manager

Allan Roeder
City Treasurer / Finance Director

Marc Puckett, CCMT
 - Total 40.6 km2 (15.7 sq mi)
 - Land 40.5 km2 (15.61 sq mi)
 - Water 0.2 km2 (0.1 sq mi)
Elevation 30 m (98 ft)
Population (January 1, 2009)
 - Total 116,479
 - Density 2,876/km2 (7,448.8/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 92626-92628
Area code(s) 714/949
FIPS code 06-16532
GNIS feature ID 1652692
Website http://ci.costa-mesa.ca.us

Costa Mesa is a suburban city in Orange County, California, United States. The population was 116,479 as of January 1, 2009 . Since its incorporation in 1953, the city has grown from a semi-rural farming community of 16,840 to a suburban city with an economy based on retail, commerce and light manufacturing.


Members of the Gabrieleo/Tongva and Juaneo/Luiseo nations long inhabited the area. After the 1769 expedition of Gaspar de Portol, a Spanish expedition led by Father Junpero Serra named the area Vallejo de Santa Ana (Valley of Saint Anne). On November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano became the area's first permanent European settlement in Alta California, New Spain.

In 1801, the Spanish Empire granted 62,500 acres (253 km2) to Jose Antonio Yorba, which he named Rancho San Antonio. Yorba's great rancho included the lands where the cities of Olive, Orange, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach stand today.

After the Mexican-American war, California became part of the United States and American settlers arrived in this area and formed the town of Fairview in the 1880s near the modern intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Adams Avenue. An 1889 flood wiped out the railroad serving the community, however, and it shriveled.

To the south, meanwhile, the community of Harper had arisen on a siding of the Santa Ana and Newport Railroad, named after a local rancher. This town prospered on its agricultural goods. On May 11, 1920, Harper changed its name to Costa Mesa, which literally means "coastal table" in Spanish. This is a reference to the city's geography as being a plateau by the coast.

Costa Mesa surged in population during and after World War II, as many thousands trained at Santa Ana Army Air Base and returned after the war with their families. Within three decades of incorporation, the city's population had nearly quintupled.

Commerce and culture

Costa Mesa's local economy relies heavily on retail and services. The single largest center of commercial activity is South Coast Plaza, a shopping center noted for its architecture and size. The volume of sales generated by South Coast Plaza, on the strength of 322 stores, places it among the highest volume regional shopping centers in the nation. It generates more than one billion dollars per year. Some manufacturing activity also takes place in the city, mostly in the industrial, southwestern quarter, which is home to a number of electronics, pharmaceuticals and plastics firms.

The commercial district surrounding South Coast Plaza, which contains parts of northern Costa Mesa and southern Santa Ana, is sometimes called South Coast Metro.

The Orange County Performing Arts Center and South Coast Repertory Theater are based in the city. A local newspaper, the Daily Pilot, is owned, operated, and printed by the Los Angeles Times.

The commercial district within the triangle that is formed by Highways 405, 55 & 73 is sometimes called SoBeCa, which stands for "South On Bristol, Entertainment, Culture & Arts".

Costa Mesa offers 26 parks, a municipal golf course, 26 public schools and 2 libraries. It is also home to the Orange County Fairgrounds, which hosts one of the largest fairs in California, the Orange County Fair, each July. The Fair receives more than one million visitors each year. Adjacent to the Fairgrounds is the Pacific Amphitheater, which has hosted acts such as Madonna, Bill Cosby, Jessica Simpson, Steppenwolf, Kelly Clarkson and many more.



A general law city, Costa Mesa has a council-manager form of government. Voters elect a five-member City Council, all at-large seats, who in turn select a mayor who acts as its chairperson and head of the government. Day to day, the city is run by a professional city manager and staff of approximately 600 full-time employees.

Management of the city and coordination of city services are provided by:

Office Officeholder
City Manager Allan L. Roeder
Assistant City Manager Thomas R. Hatch
City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow
Director of Administrative Services Steven N. Mandoki
Director of Development Services Donald D. Lamm
Director of Finance Vacant
Director of Public Works Peter Naghavi
Fire Chief Michael F. Morgan
Police Chief Christopher Shawkey

The 9.5 acre (38,000 m) Costa Mesa Civic Center is located at 77 Fair Drive. City Hall is a five-story building where the primary administrative functions of the City are conducted. Also contained in the Civic Center complex are Council Chambers, the Police facility, Communications building and Fire Station No. 5.

Emergency services

Fire protection is provided by the Costa Mesa Fire Department. Law enforcement is the responsibility of the Costa Mesa Police Department. Emergency Medical Services are provided by the Costa Mesa Fire Department and Care Ambulance Service.

State and federal

In the state legislature Costa Mesa is located in the 35th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Harman, and in the 68th Assembly District, represented by Republican Van Tran. Federally, Costa Mesa is located in California's 46th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +6 and is represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher.


Costa Mesa is served by several bus lines of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), but most transportation is by automobile. Two freeways terminate here, State Route 73 and State Route 55 (also known as the Costa Mesa Freeway). The San Diego Freeway, Interstate 405, also runs through the city.


Costa Mesa is located at (33.664969, -117.912289). Located 37 miles (60 km) southeast of Los Angeles, 88 miles (142 km) north of San Diego and 425 miles (684 km) south of San Francisco, Costa Mesa encompasses a total of 16 square miles (41 km2) with its southernmost border only 1-mile (1.6 km) from the Pacific Ocean. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.6 km (15.7 mi). 40.5 km (15.6 mi) of it is land and 0.2 km (0.1 mi) of it (0.38%) is water.


Costa Mesa has a Mediterranean climate (Kppen climate classification Csb).

Weather data for Costa Mesa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high F (C) 64
Average low F (C) 48
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.60
Source: Weather Channel 2009-03-29


As of the census of 2000, there were 108,724 people, 39,206 households, and 22,778 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,685.8/km (6,956.3/mi). There were 40,406 housing units at an average density of 998.1/km (2,585.2/mi). The racial makeup of the city was 69.48% White, 1.40% Black or African American, 0.78% Native American, 6.90% Asian, 0.60% Pacific Islander, 16.57% from other races, and 4.27% from two or more races. 31.75% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 39,206 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.34.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 39.0% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 105.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $50,732, and the median income for a family was $55,456. Males had a median income of $38,670 versus $32,365 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,342. About 8.2% of families and 12.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.0% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.


Institutions of higher learning located in Costa Mesa include Orange Coast College, Vanguard University (affiliated with the Assemblies of God), Whittier Law School (a satellite of Whittier College) and National University (a private university based in La Jolla, California).

Costa Mesa has two high schools, Costa Mesa High School and Estancia High School. Costa Mesa has two public middle schools; Tewinkle Middle School, which was named after Costa Mesa's first mayor, and Costa Mesa Middle School which shares the same campus as Costa Mesa High School. Costa Mesa also has two alternative high schools that share the same campus, Back Bay High School and Monte Vista High School. Costa Mesa High School's sports programs have been very successful, and Costa Mesa graduates include 2008 Olympic high jumper Sharon Day.

Notable natives and residents

External links



City of Seal Beach, California

Location of Seal Beach within Orange County, California.
Country United States
State California
County Orange
 - Mayor Gordon Shanks
 - Total 13.2 sq mi (34.2 km2)
 - Land 11.5 sq mi (29.8 km2)
 - Water 1.7 sq mi (4.5 km2)
Elevation 13 ft (4 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 24,157
 - Density 2,098.7/sq mi (810.3/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 90740
Area code(s) 562
FIPS code 06-70686
GNIS feature ID 1661416
Website http://ci.seal-beach.ca.us/

Seal Beach is a city in Orange County, California. As of 2000, its population was 24,157. The city was incorporated on October 25, 1915.

Seal Beach is located in the westernmost corner of Orange County. To the northwest, just across the border with Los Angeles County, lies the city of Long Beach and the adjacent San Pedro Bay. To the southeast are Huntington Harbour, a neighborhood of Huntington Beach, and the unincorporated community of Sunset Beach. To the east lie the city of Westminster and the neighborhood of West Garden Grove, part of the city of Garden Grove. To the north lie the unincorporated community of Rossmoor and the city of Los Alamitos.


Early on, the area that is now Seal Beach was known as "Anaheim Landing", as the boat landing and seaside recreation area named after the nearby town of Anaheim.

By the 20th century, it was known as Bay City, but there was already a Bay City located in Northern California. When the time came to incorporate on 25 October 1915, the town was named Seal Beach. The town became a popular recreation destination in the area, and featured a beach-side amusement park long before Disneyland was founded inland.

The United States Navy's Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach was originally constructed during World War II for loading, unloading, and storing of ammunition for the Pacific Fleet, and especially those US Navy warships home-ported in Long Beach and San Diego, California. With closure of the Concord Naval Weapons Station in Northern California, it has become the primary source of munitions for a majority of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.


Seal Beach is located at (33.759283, -118.082396).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.2 km (13.2 mi). 29.8 km (11.5 mi) of it is land and 4.5 km (1.7 mi) of it (13.01%) is water.


Seal Beach has a Mediterranean climate

Weather data for Seal Beach
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high F (C) 68
Average low F (C) 46
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.95
Source: Weather Channel 2009-03-29


Seal Beach encompasses the Leisure World retirement gated community with roughly 9,000 residents. This was the first major planned retirement community of its type in the U.S. The small gated community of Surfside Colony southwest of the Weapons Station is also part of Seal Beach.

The main body of Seal Beach consists of many neighborhoods.

-Old Town is the area on the ocean side of California State Route 1(PCH).

-"The Hill" is the neighborhood on the north side of PCH thats borders end at Gum Grove Park.

-College Park West is a small neighborhood bordering Long Beach. Its streets are named after colleges.

-College Park East is another small neighborhood bordering Garden Grove. Its streets are named after plants.


Seal Beach amusement park, 1920.

As of the census of 2000, there were 24,157 people, 13,048 households, and 5,884 families residing in the city. The population density was 810.3/km (2,099.5/mi). There were 14,267 housing units at an average density of 478.6/km (1,240.0/mi). The racial makeup of the city was 88.91% White, 1.44% African American, 0.30% Native American, 5.74% Asian, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 1.28% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.43% of the population.

There were 13,048 households, out of which 13.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.2% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.9% were non-families. 48.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 34.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.83 and the average family size was 2.65.

In the city the population was spread out with 13.3% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 37.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54 years. For every 100 females there were 78.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,079, and the median income for a family was $72,071. Males had a median income of $61,654 versus $41,615 for females. The per capita income for the city was $34,589. About 3.2% of families and 5.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.2% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.


The major employer in Seal Beach is the Boeing Company, employing roughly 2,000 people. Their facility was originally built to manufacture the second stage of the Saturn V rocket for NASA's Apollo manned space flight missions to the Moon and for the Skylab program. Boeing Homeland Security & Services (airport security, etc.) is based in Seal Beach and Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems (satellite systems and classified programs) is headquartered in Seal Beach. Boeing is the world's largest satellite manufacturer.

Arts and culture

"Anaheim Landing" on an 1875 map.
Anaheim Landing (now Seal Beach), 1891.

Annual cultural events

The Lions Club Pancake Breakfast in April, and their Fish Fry (started in 1943) in July are two of the biggest events in Seal Beach. There has been a Rough Water Swim the same weekend as the Fish Fry since the 1960s. The Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce sponsors many events, including: a Classic Car Show in April, a Summer Concert series in July & August, the Christmas Parade in December along with Santa & the Reindeer. Also in the fall is the Kite Festival in September.

Other points of interest

On Electric Avenue where the railroad tracks used to run, there is the Red Car Museum [1] which features a restored Pacific Electric Railway Red Car. The Red Car trolley tracks once passed through Seal Beach going south to the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. Going north into Long Beach you could then take the Red Cars through much of Los Angeles County.

Seal Beach is also home to the Bay Theatre, a popular venue for independent film and revival screenings.

The Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge is located on part of the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach. Much of the refuge's 911 acres (3.69 km2) is the remnant of the saltwater marsh in the Anaheim Bay estuary (the rest of the marsh became the bayside community of Huntington Harbour, which is part of Huntington Beach). Three endangered species, the light-footed Clapper Rail, the California Least Tern, and the Belding's Savannah Sparrow, can be found nesting in the refuge. With the loss and degradation of coastal wetlands in California, the remaining habitat, including the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach and Upper Newport Bay in Newport Beach, has become much more important for migrating and wintering shorebirds, waterfowl, and seabirds. Although the refuge is a great place for birdwatching, because it is part of the weapons station, access is limited and usually restricted to once-a-month tours.


Seal Beach on a crowded summer afternoon

The second longest wooden pier in California (the longest is in Oceanside) is located in Seal Beach and is used for fishing and sightseeing. There is also a restaurant (Ruby's) at the end of the pier. The pier has periodically suffered severe damage due to storms and other mishaps, requiring extensive reconstruction. A plaque at the pier's entrance memorializes Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, 1938, Project No. Calif. 1723-F, a rebuilding necessitated by storms in 1935. Another plaque honors the individuals, businesses, and groups who helped rebuild the pier after a storm on March 2, 1983, tore away several sections. Most prominent was a "Save the Pier" group formed in response to an initial vote by the City Council not to repair the pier. The ensuing outcry of dismay among residents caused the City Council to reverse its stance while claiming the city lacked the necessary funds. Residents mobilized and eventually raised $2.3 million from private and public donors to rebuild the pier.

Surfing locations in Seal Beach include the Seal Beach pier and "Stingray Bay" (or Ray Baythe surfer's nickname for the mouth of the San Gabriel Riverthe stingrays are attracted by the heated water from several upstream powerplants). Classic longboard builders in the area include Harbour Surfboards established in 1959 in Seal Beach and Bruce Jones Surfboards in Sunset Beach. The classic surf trunks of Kanvas by Katin in nearby Sunset Beach are world famous.

The USA Water Polo National Aquatic Center, where the men's and women's US Olympic water polo teams train, is located on the US Military Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos, adjacent to Seal Beach. The facility is also used for major water polo tournaments, swim classes, and swim teams.

A marina for recreational craft operated by the City of Long Beach is adjacent to Seal Beach.


Seal Beach, City Hall.(National Registered Historic Place)

The city is administered under a council-manager form of government, and is governed by a five-member city council serving four-year alternating terms.

In the state legislature Seal Beach is located in the 35th Senate District, represented by Republican Tom Harman, and in the 67th Assembly District, represented by Republican Jim Silva. Federally, Seal Beach is located in California's 46th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +6 and is represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher.


Seal Beach is currently under the Los Alamitos School District. Younger students (K-5) go to McGaugh Elementary School or Hopkinson Elementary School. Students in grades 6-8 attend either Oak Middle School or McAuliffe Middle School. High school students go to Los Alamitos High School. Until 2000, the Orange County High School of the Arts was part of Los Alamitos High School. In 2000, the school district suffered a major blow when the community lost the Orange County High School of the Arts to Santa Ana, where it is now located.


In the 2001 film American Pie 2, the beach town the gang drives through is Main Street in Seal Beach. The same street was used for the 1967 motorcycle-gang film The Born Losers which introduced the Billy Jack character.

The short-lived afternoon television soap opera, "Sunset Beach", was named after the unincorporated community of Sunset Beach just south of Seal Beach. All the still house shots were of houses in Seal Beach. They also filmed almost all of the beach scenes in Seal Beach.

Moses parted the "Red Sea" for Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 version of The Ten Commandments on the flat seashore of Seal Beach. (Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 epic color version with Charlton Heston as Moses has no connection to Seal Beach.)

The TV show "Greek" filmed its 2nd season finale at this beach, renaming it "Myrtle Beach".

The episode "Summer Song" from the popular television series "The Wonder Years" used Seal Beach and the Seal Beach Pier for the scenes on the sand and under the pier.

Local news and events coverage is provided by the weekly Seal Beach Sun newspaper.

Famous natives and residents

External links



Orange County is a county in Southern California, United States. Its county seat is Santa Ana. According to the 2000 Census, its population was 2,846,289, making it the second most populous county in the state of California, and the fifth most populous in the United States. The state of California estimates its population as of 2007 to be 3,098,121 people, dropping its rank to third, behind San Diego County. Thirty-four incorporated cities are located in Orange County; the newest is Aliso Viejo.

Unlike many other large centers of population in the United States, Orange County uses its county name as its source of identification whereas other places in the country are identified by the large city that is closest to them. This is because there is no defined center to Orange County like there is in other areas which have one distinct large city. Five Orange County cities have populations exceeding 170,000 while no cities in the county have populations surpassing 360,000. Seven of these cities are among the 200 largest cities in the United States.

Orange County is also famous as a tourist destination, as the county is home to such attractions as Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, as well as sandy beaches for swimming and surfing, yacht harbors for sailing and pleasure boating, and extensive area devoted to parks and open space for golf, tennis, hiking, kayaking, cycling, skateboarding, and other outdoor recreation. It is at the center of Southern California's Tech Coast, with Irvine being the primary business hub.

The average price of a home in Orange County is $541,000. Orange County is the home of a vast number of major industries and service organizations. As an integral part of the second largest market in America, this highly diversified region has become a Mecca for talented individuals in virtually every field imaginable. Indeed the colorful pageant of human history continues to unfold here; for perhaps in no other place on earth is there an environment more conducive to innovative thinking, creativity and growth than this exciting, sun bathed valley stretching between the mountains and the sea in Orange County.

Orange County was Created March 11 1889, from part of Los Angeles County, and, according to tradition, so named because of the flourishing orange culture. Orange, however, was and is a commonplace name in the United States, used originally in honor of the Prince of Orange, son-in-law of King George II of England.

Incorporated: March 11, 1889
Legislative Districts:
* Congressional: 38th-40th, 42nd & 43
* California Senate: 31st-33rd, 35th & 37
* California Assembly: 58th, 64th, 67th, 69th, 72nd & 74

County Seat: Santa Ana
County Information:
Robert E. Thomas Hall of Administration
10 Civic Center Plaza, 3rd Floor, Santa Ana 92701
Telephone: (714)834-2345 Fax: (714)834-3098
County Government Website: http://www.oc.ca.gov


City of Aliso Viejo, 92653, 92656, 92698
City of Anaheim, 92801, 92802, 92803, 92804, 92805, 92806, 92807, 92808, 92809, 92812, 92814, 92815, 92816, 92817, 92825, 92850, 92899
City of Brea, 92821, 92822, 92823
City of Buena Park, 90620, 90621, 90622, 90623, 90624
City of Costa Mesa, 92626, 92627, 92628
City of Cypress, 90630
City of Dana Point, 92624, 92629
City of Fountain Valley, 92708, 92728
City of Fullerton, 92831, 92832, 92833, 92834, 92835, 92836, 92837, 92838
City of Garden Grove, 92840, 92841, 92842, 92843, 92844, 92845, 92846
City of Huntington Beach, 92605, 92615, 92646, 92647, 92648, 92649
City of Irvine, 92602, 92603, 92604, 92606, 92612, 92614, 92616, 92618, 92619, 92620, 92623, 92650, 92697, 92709, 92710
City of La Habra, 90631, 90632, 90633
City of La Palma, 90623
City of Laguna Beach, 92607, 92637, 92651, 92652, 92653, 92654, 92656, 92677, 92698
City of Laguna Hills, 92637, 92653, 92654, 92656
City of Laguna Niguel
, 92607, 92677
City of Laguna Woods, 92653, 92654
City of Lake Forest, 92609, 92630, 92610
City of Los Alamitos, 90720, 90721
City of Mission Viejo, 92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92694
City of Newport Beach, 92657, 92658, 92659, 92660, 92661, 92662, 92663
City of Orange, 92856, 92857, 92859, 92861, 92862, 92863, 92864, 92865, 92866, 92867, 92868, 92869
City of Placentia, 92870, 92871
City of Rancho Santa Margarita, 92688, 92679
City of San Clemente, 92672, 92673, 92674
City of San Juan Capistrano, 92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92693, 92694
City of Santa Ana, 92701, 92702, 92703, 92704, 92705, 92706, 92707, 92708, 92711, 92712, 92725, 92728, 92735, 92799
City of Seal Beach, 90740
City of Stanton, 90680
City of Tustin, 92780, 92781, 92782
City of Villa Park, 92861, 92867
City of Westminster, 92683, 92684, 92685
City of Yorba Linda, 92885, 92886, 92887

Noteworthy communities Some of the communities that exist within city limits are listed below: * Anaheim Hills, Anaheim * Balboa Island, Newport Beach * Corona del Mar, Newport Beach * Crystal Cove / Pelican Hill, Newport Beach * Capistrano Beach, Dana Point * El Modena, Orange * French Park, Santa Ana * Floral Park, Santa Ana * Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest * Monarch Beach, Dana Point * Nellie Gail, Laguna Hills * Northwood, Irvine * Woodbridge, Irvine * Newport Coast, Newport Beach * Olive, Orange * Portola Hills, Lake Forest * San Joaquin Hills, Laguna Niguel * San Joaquin Hills, Newport Beach * Santa Ana Heights, Newport Beach * Tustin Ranch, Tustin * Talega, San Clemente * West Garden Grove, Garden Grove * Yorba Hills, Yorba Linda * Mesa Verde, Costa Mesa

Unincorporated communities These communities are outside of the city limits in unincorporated county territory: * Coto de Caza * El Modena * Ladera Ranch * Las Flores * Midway City * Orange Park Acres * Rossmoor * Silverado Canyon * Sunset Beach * Surfside * Trabuco Canyon * Tustin Foothills

Adjacent counties to Orange County Are: * Los Angeles County, California - north, west * San Bernardino County, California - northeast * Riverside County, California - east * San Diego County, California - southeast


Japanese Restaurants Huntington Beach, Seafood Restaurant Huntington Beach, Fish

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Aliso Viejo 92656, 92698,
Anaheim 92801, 92802, 92803, 92804, 92805, 92806, 92807, 92808, 92809, 92812, 92814, 92815, 92816, 92817, 92825, 92850, 92899,
Atwood, 92811,
Brea, 92821, 92822,92823,
Buena Park, 90620 ,90621,90622, 90624, Capistrano Beach, 92624,
Corona del Mar, 92625,
Costa Mesa, 92626, 92627, 92628,
Cypress, 90630,
Dana Point, 92629,
East Irvine, 92650,
El Toro, 92609,
Foothill Ranch, 92610,
Fountain Valley, 92708, 92728,
Fullerton, 92831, 92832, 92833, 92834, 92835, 92836, 92837, 92838,
Garden Grove, 92840, 92841, 92842, 92843 ,92844, 92845, 92846,
Huntington Beach , 92605, 92615, 92646, 92647, 92648, 92649,
Irvine, 92602, 92603, 92604, 92606, 92612, 92614, 92616, 92617, 92618, 92619, 92620, 92623, 92697,
La Habra, 90631, 90632, 90633,
La Palma, 90623,
Ladera Ranch, 92694,
Laguna Beach , 92651, 92652,
Laguna Hills ,92653, 92654,92607,92677,
Laguna Woods, 92637,
Lake Forest, 92630,
Los Alamitos, 90720, 90721,
Midway City, 92655,
Mission Viejo, 92690, 92691, 92692,
Newport Beach , 92658, 92659, 92660, 92661, 92662, 92663, 92657,
Orange, 92856, 92857, 92859, 92862, 92863, 92864, 92865, 92866, 92867, 92868, 92869, Placentia, 92870, 92871,
Rancho Santa Margarita 92688,
San Clemente, 92672, 92673, 92674,
San Juan Capistrano, 92675, 92693,
Santa Ana , 92701, 92702, 92703, 92704, 92705 ,92706, 92707, 92711, 92712, 92725.92735, 92799,
Seal Beach , 90740,
Silverado 92676,
Stanton, 90680,
Sunset Beach 90742,
Surfside 90743,
Trabuco Canyon, 92678, 92679,
Tustin ,92780, 92781,92782,
Villa Park, 92861,
Westminster, 92683, 92684, 92685,
Yorba Linda, 92885, 92886, 92887

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