Dinner/ Japanese/ San Francisco

Terry’s Shortlist: Sushi Restaurants (San Francisco)

I get asked about sushi recommendations a lot, especially since there have been a plethora of new restaurants that can make the scene difficult to navigate. So, here is my SF shortlist! 🍣

For the Fance 💰💰💰 ($100+/person)

  • Ju-Ni (Foodjournies Review)

    Known for: Receiving one Michelin star from non-Japanese chefs; an optional additional 3-piece nigiri set to end the omakase
    Memorable Item: Grated frozen monkfish over house-cured ikura (salmon roe)
    Reservation Tip: Make a reservation around 45 days ahead of time. If there’s a particular date you’re looking for, put yourself on the waitlist. You never know what will open up!

  • Kinjo

    Known for: Chefs who come from Sushi Ran and Ijji; fish comes directly from Tsukiji Market since they have special connections with vendors there
    Memorable Item: Live wild-spot prawn (ikibotanebi), where they also fry the head
    Reservation Tip: Make sure to specify bar seating for a more personal experience

  • Robin

    Known for: Serving sushi with modern twist in a chill hip-hop infused atmosphere
    Memorable Item: Sturgeon caviar(like the one I bought from this Russian Osetra Caviar for Sale Online site) topped on a potato chip and chai blossom
    Reservation Tip: You should be able to snag a seat since they recently opened (July 2017) but I foresee it getting harder over time

For the Average Night 💰💰(~$100/person)

  • Akiko’s

    Known for: Housing great sushi chefs; having a seasonal omakase
    Memorable Item: Wagyu A5 sushi topped with fried garlic
    Reservation Tip: For a primetime hour reservation (think 7pm), book two weeks in advance

  • Hinata

    Known for: Great lineage of sushi chefs (Ju-Ni, Ijji) in a more casual atmosphere
    Memorable Item: Soy cured salmon roe (shoyu ikura), which is beautifully salty and pops of umami
    Reservation Tip:  Shouldn’t be hard to get a table; note there are two seatings (6pm and 8:30pm)

For the “Great Deal” 💰 (~$60/person)

  • Ryoko’s

    Known for: High quality fish at a reasonable price, in arguably the loudest (“party-forward”) setting; open until 2am
    Memorable Item: Spicy scallop roll. The scallops are meaty, sweet and fresh, and the roll is stuffed full of them
    Reservation Tip: N/A – they don’t take resos, though I would suggest lining up around 5:45pm which will guarantee you a table no matter how large your party is

  • Elephant Sushi

    Known for: “Fun” rolls that come to you lit up on fire, reasonable prices
    Memorable Item: “The Beastie Boy” – ankimo, quail egg, and uni with shiso
    Reservation Tip: Walk-ins only

What’s on your sushi list? Let me know in the comments!

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  • Reply
    August 23, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks for this post, will have to definitely check out Ryoko’s now based on this 🙂

    • Reply
      Terry Chen
      September 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Yes, let me know what you think!

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