Dangle a discount, and I’m there! For a limited time, Pokemon Go Level 10 or higher players get rewarded with a 15% discount at Wokano. That was a good enough incentive to get me inside the door, as I had no idea what a “Wokano” was.
I conjured up the thought it was a Hawaiian restaurant, or a Mongolian BBQ style place where you give them the food and they “wok” it for you. Wokano is a sit down restaurant which serves all sort of Asian cuisine, but primarily Chinese and Japanese. Think of it as a PF Chang’s upscale chinese restaurant with sushi.
The restaurant is located between Lucille’s and Applebee’s outside the Main Place Mall. I stopped by on a Tuesday night (even made reservations on OpenTable and scored 100 points) and we pretty much had the place to ourselves at 6:00 pm.
Trevor was our server, and he did a great job. He wasn’t pushy and when I was debating between some dishes, he helped us select the larger portioned ones, as Karen and I were sharing. I was disappointed to find out that Santa Ana does NOT have the juicy pork dumplings (Xi Long Bao). Yes, they have dumplings, but more like pot stickers, not the round, soup filled ones. So if Santa Ana tells you they have it, Trevor even confirmed that they do not, but the Tustin location does. That’s so wrong!
All dishes come with white or brown rice, and you can add a “complete” meal for $4 more to most of the entrees, which is a soup (valued at $4) and a house salad. Basically you’re getting a salad for free. Karen and I skipped on the sushi choices, and decided on splitting some entrees:
- Young Chow Fried Rice. Decent portion, enough for 3 or 4 to share (with other food items) with plenty of beef, chicken and 4 large shrimp.
- Mabo Tofu. Sauce was a bit thick but flavorful. Generous portion of the silky tofu. Enough for 2 to share, or 1 hungry person to eat with rice.
- Fish fillet in black bean sauce and asparagus. They said its “white fish” and based on the texture I think they used tilapia. I’m not a fan of that fish, which is probably why I think its tilapia. It was cooked well, and they gave us generous chunks of fish, sauteed in a light black bean sauce. They used big asparagus (I am more of a fan of the thin younger ones) but they were still tender.
We were quite satisfied with the food, and even took home leftovers, enough for lunch the next day. They seem to use a lot of corn starch in their cooking, as the “gravy” in the tofu and fish were a bit heavy. I can overlook that. The staff stopped by many times to refill our glasses and to check on us. Trevor forgot to give us the Pokemon discount, but quickly corrected it after we pointed it out.
Overall a decent dinner. Its like going to a PF Changs, but with sushi. If you wish to share and eat it family style, stick with the noodles and rice dishes. They also have Happy Hour, which are mostly sushi rolls and some appetizer foods.
Plenty of parking, and if you can’t find any on the top level, park below near Panini Cafe and take the escalator up.