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Sushi in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco?

Can I get some recommendations on your favorite sushi places in Berkeley, Oakland and/or SF? I don't see any threads about this, and there must be hundred of places in the East Bay and the city. i live in Oakland but bounce around all over to eat. Thanks all.

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  1. Are you looking for places that do combination type of rolls and cooked food, or old school style nigiri sushi (fish on top of a pad of rice)?

    1 Reply
    1. re: K K

      Old school- sashimi, nigiri and maki are my thing.

      1. Kirala in Berkeley (Ward & Shattuck) is extremely popular with locals. Fresh fish at a reasonable price, and at least at one time they were one of the few places that served blowfish (never tried it myself).


        Folks usually start lining up around 5:00-5:15 for when the doors open at 5:30.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Civil Bear

          Kirala's good but there's no reason to wait in line for their sushi. They are the only place I know in the East Bay with a robata bar.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Tachibana also has a robata bar and decent sushi, with shorter lines.

            5812 College Ave
            Oakland, CA 94618
            (510) 654-3668

            I got to Kirala mostly because it's a block from my house, and fresh. The wait can be ridiculous.

        2. I like Mijori it's right down the street from Grand Lake Theatre.

          Mijori Japanese Restaurant
          3260 Grand Avenue
          Oakland, CA 94610

          Be prepared to wait on the weekends.


          1 Reply
          1. re: PateBriseej

            I checked out Mijori with a group for the first time during lunch on Saturday. When we arrived, the place was completely empty (this was close to 1pm), which surprised me given previous comments on this board about wait times. Since it was our first time, we decided to steer mostly away from nigiri (what I usually order at places I frequent). We ordered the bento combos (one w/ saba & tempura, one with tonkatsu and CA roll), a soft shell crab, an Ichiban roll, and one order of amaebi. Their saba was perfect... now I've found a spot close to my place for saba fixes. Tempura was alright, but nothing to write home about. The same could be said for most of the other items, with the exception of the amaebi heads. I guess I am so used to minimal batter in amaebi heads as well as freshness from the deep fryer, but these heads were completely encased in thick, greasy batter. Moreover, the heads were only lukewarm and slightly chewy... what happened? Although their soft shell crab wasn't amazing, it at least came out crisp and HOT!

            I've noticed the old reviews in news media talked mostly about nigiri, so I plan to head back again to sample them -- and maybe even give another try with the amaebi heads. No matter what, its inevitable that I will go back (if only for saba) since its so close to where I live.

          2. Go to Sushi Sho on Solano if you want old school, no frills, psycho sushi chef who tells you what you want to eat, unpredictable hours, surly service and the best sushi and sashimi in the East Bay.

            1. For good solid nigiri and sashimi I've never been disappointed at Grandeho's Kemekyo on Cole Street in SF. The chefs and servers are very gracious and the food is exactly what I want when I'm in the mood for sushi - clean and simple with minimal fuss.

              1. Robert thanks for the links. I don't know how my search for "sushi" + "east bay" turned up nothing, but I see you all have had this conversation before. Thanks all for the East Bay recommedations- any more SF tips??

                1. SF:

                  Ino Sushi in SF J-town (search for Ino Sushi on this board there will be numerous reviews) I recommend trying this place first.
                  Shimo #1 (Clement) and maybe #2 (Taraval)
                  Sebo (a few reviews, apparently all pretty good. If you do a google blog search there's a review with pictures by a fellow hound)
                  Koo on Irving

                  1. East Bay - I second Sushi Sho, and I also like Uzen on College.

                    SF- Ozumo is one of my favorites, slow service but I've had good quality sushi there and the pretty view is always a plus

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: The Dive

                        Uzen is a nice little spot, and probably more manageable for what the OP is looking for than Kirala. One word of caution: try to show up earlier rather than later. There aren't many seats, so sometimes the itamae runs out of the best fish later in the evening.

                        5415 College Avenue (near Manila Ave.)
                        Oakland, CA 94618

                    1. Sushi Sho on Solano in Berkeley is the best. If you are up for a drive, Sakae in Burlingame is also top notch. Also good, Kamakura and Yume in Alameda. Kirala in Berkeley is not worth the horrendous wait and your clothes end up smelling of the food from the robata bar.

                      1. Drunken Fish on Piedmont at Broadway. Wonderful rolls. Creative and classic sushi. Much better than other places in my opinion.

                        1. Okina on Arguello at McAllister in San Francisco serves up "no frill" real sushi. It's an inconspicuous little place with no sign in the front -both the fa├žade and the interior are very much like a traditional sushi joint you would see in Japan. (and the place is immaculate...they must spend hours cleaning everyday) According to an acquaintance who works for a Japanese food distributor, chef Okina is known to refuse the fish he does not approve, so the distributors save the best fish for the chef. If you want the real Japanese sushi experience at a moderate price, and don't care to have tempura, teriyaki and spider rolls, I highly recommend Okina.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Aya Cuzner

                            Okina is a very nice little spot for a quiet dinner, fresh fish, and absolutely no scene. The one thing to keep in mind is that it has very limited hours. I haven't made it in awhile since there were rumors it was going to be closed for a few months, but the old times were just a few hours a night on Thurs, Fri, Sat only. Something to factor in when scheduling. Perhaps another hound has more recent information on the hours?

                            On one or two visits, I was disappointed with the precut fish, but this has been rare in my experiences there.

                          2. Kyo-ya in the Sheraton palace or rather part of the same building as.
                            Awesome sushi. Steve Jobs' favorite sushi joint, for the record...

                            1. A bit north, but Yusan on San Pablo in El Cerrito is old school good sushi. Across from Home Depot next to Yokohama Restaurant.

                              Top quality fish well prepared. Fresh wasabi.

                              On the plus side, not owned by Rev. Moon.