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SF Sushi: Koriya or Anzu or ?

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Melanie Wong Aug 20, 2000 11:19 PM

A friend who's been exiled to Boston for the past three years will be in town this week and is hankering for sushi. We don't have time to wait in line. He's staying downtown and I'm wondering how the sushi bars in the Nikko or Sheraton Palace are? Other recommendations near Union Square?

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    Mateo RE: Melanie Wong Aug 21, 2000 03:45 PM

    I spent last New Year's Eve in Union Square (one of the 'H' hotels, Hilton or Hyatt, whichever one is between O'Farrell and Ellis), and we ate at Kantaro (124 Ellis St.). It was a small place, maybe about a 5-10 minute wait (not bad at all for NYE). The aroma of fish was very strong (notice I used 'aroma' and not 'smell', which indicates that I didn't find it objectionable). I stuck strictly to the sashimi and maki, and found it to be quite fresh and delicious. The variety was pretty impressive, especially for a smaller place, which, by the way, wasn't the easiest for me to find. I was especially a fan of the snapper (tai?), of which I don't really get a lot here on the East Coast. Also, I didn't find the prices to be too high. Overall, I was pretty impressed - it is still my benchmark as I try to find quality sushi on this side of the country.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Mateo
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      Melanie Wong RE: Mateo Aug 21, 2000 04:19 PM

      Thanks Mateo, that's exactly the neighborhood he'll be in.

      [I've corrected the spelling of the restaurant in the Sheraton Palace.]

      1. re: Mateo
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        Melanie Wong RE: Mateo Aug 26, 2000 01:44 AM

        This was a fantastic find - thank you! My friends had tried the sushi bar around the corner the night before, and were much, much happier at Kantaro. Like you, I was very impressed at the freshness and especially the variety for such a tiny place. Big thick slices of sashimi. The Spanish mackerel was awesome, likewise the fatty toro. Tried Japanese shad for the first time - loved it! Also had the grilled monkfish liver. Fluke turned out to be halibut flesh rather than the adipose tissue from the fins. The only thing that disappointed was the abalone nigiri sushi - hard to chew and almost brittle. Other places have scored it to tenderize but not here.

        1. re: Melanie Wong
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          Mateo RE: Melanie Wong Aug 28, 2000 01:20 PM

          I'm very glad that you liked it. I was hoping that you would have as good an experience there as I did. Anyway, I guess I was pretty lucky to have picked this place out during my brief stay in SF. Can't wait to go back, it's now in my top 2 favorite places to go.

          1. re: Mateo
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            Melanie Wong RE: Mateo Sep 1, 2000 09:46 PM

            Mateo, you must tell us the other of your top 2 favorite places to go!

            1. re: Melanie Wong
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              Mateo RE: Melanie Wong Sep 6, 2000 01:36 PM

              Well, in a very general sense, San Diego still ranks as a favorite of mine. Foodwise, I couldn't name a specific place down there for someone to go, but I am a big fan of the Mexican/Surf cuisine in the area.

              It remains a goal of mine to return to California on a permanent basis in the not-too-distant future.

              1. re: Mateo
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                Melanie Wong RE: Mateo Sep 12, 2000 03:13 AM

                On a business trip to SD a few months ago, my hosts asked me whether I liked sushi and we ended up at Benihana for lunch. We sat at the bar and I was surprised to find a blonde surfer dude as our sushi chef!

                1. re: Melanie Wong
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                  Mateo RE: Melanie Wong Oct 11, 2000 05:42 PM

                  Ah, but how good was he?

                  1. re: Mateo
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                    Melanie Wong RE: Mateo Oct 12, 2000 05:19 PM

                    He was very cute. (g)

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