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Best place in SF to buy raw fish for sushi, sashimi

I'm hankering for some fresh raw fish, various kinds.
I want to buy some from a good fish market that deals in high quality raw fish and shellfish and UNI. Where do sushi chefs in SF go for their raw fish every morning?

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  1. Yum Yum on Irving is one possibility.
    I used it once, but it was a while back.
    The fish was very good.
    I am not sure if they do shellfish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sixy

      yum yum gets my vote.

    2. if you are willing to travel, tokyo fish on san pablo in berkeley is excellent

      1. I agree that Tokyo Fish is really good and the prices are pretty excellent as well. My parents and grandparents will only eat sashimi from Tokyo Fish.

        1. Another vote for Tokyo Fish. Quality, selection, and price can't be beat.

          1. There are two markets in Japantown that sell sashimi. Go to Nijiya Market (1737 Post) first and take a look, then go to Uoki Sakai (1656 Post), you'll probably find it the better of the two.

            1. To answer the question of where bay area sushi chefs go...

              most rely on wholesaler sources of which two big players (could be more out there but these are the big guys) pretty much control the entire distribution system, based on various net sources and putting together bits and pieces of info. One of these wholesalers (and likely the other one as well) gets a lot of fish direct from Japan (e.g. Tsukiji Tokyo Fish Market), and only sell to customers with accounts (i.e restaurants) and some of the Japanese supermarkets have accounts as well.

              Some chefs might have other or unique/exclusive external contacts within Japan or other prefectures in Japan which is how they get addtional shipments/fish that the average place would not be able to get. Otherwise if there's some interesting seasonal exotic fish that's been spotted at sushi bar X in city A, chances are that an equivalently good sushi bar Y in city B, if they use the same wholesaler, would also offer the same fish (all things equal and A and B are in the Bay Area).

              As I understand it, the raw fish market & distribution system is also in a similar situation in Seattle (all chefs use the same wholesalers).

              4 Replies
              1. re: K K

                In LA when I was in the biz there were quite a few smaller vendors that actually called on the restos with a catch of the day shipment from Japan. I understood the same was true on a smaller scale up here.

                Nowadays the Rev. Moons companies have pretty much taken over the sushi industry from top to bottom (ie boat to plate). Leaves me a little conflicted about going out for sushi these days.

                1. re: Scrapironchef

                  If you're worried about the unification church, just ask the restaurant if they get their fish from Yamato Foods or Golden Gate Seafood in San Leandro. Those are the two seafood wholesalers listed as being associated with the church. The list is pretty old though and I'm not vouching for its accuracy.

                  Most restaurants in the bay area get their stuff from IMP Foods in San Mateo. I believe Nijiya, Mitsuwa, and Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley get their fish from them as well.

                  1. re: umetaro

                    Are restaurants actually going to give out that information?

                    1. re: Atomica

                      IMP is not really a secret, they have headquarters I believe in LA (or one of their biggest offices) if you search online you will find some info as to who are the customers. Then there's this website that's run by them that offers directory service to their clients aka the sushi bars, which if you put 2 and 2 together...

              2. Although I have not used them personally, my Japanese friend speaks very highly of these guys:

                http://www.atfishonline.com/shop/

                If anyone knows more about these guys, please post!

                1. I get mine at Nijiya in Japantown. 99Ranch in El Cerrito was recommended to me, but not by an expert. If anyone has an opinion about 99Ranch sashimi, please post as I've not tried it.

                  1. Thanks for all the suggestions. I shall report on what I find, and where I end up buying stuff. Yum Yum is far closer, but Tokyo Fish intrigues me. AtFishOnline seems good, but I'd rather check raw fish out first before I buy -- especially this time, it's for guests.