Traditional Sushi recs - Union Square-ish
I'm coming into town from Los Angeles for the Game Developer's conference, and would like a few recommendations for exceptional Sushi spots. Not a big fan of the over-produced tricky rolls or "rockin'" scene - but would love to find a place that just does good quality sushi/sashimi. Neighborhood joint is fine, does not have to be fancy. We'll be in the Union Square area - but don't mind a cab ride to find what you experts suggest!
Walking distance from Union Square, my favorite is Mikaku on Grant, though I haven't been there in a while.
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I couldn't disagree more with the recommendation of Mikaku. Perhaps I hit this place on a severely off night; however, off all the sushi I've had in the Bay Area, this has been the only place that I've found the food to be completely inedible. Our party of 3 order a number of rolls - we ate a few bites, complained about the quality (we were told the fish was "very fresh," which it clearly wasn't), paid the check and left about 90% of the food untouched. Like I said, maybe it was an off night - though I'm not one to chance it again to find out.
As for other references (including the thread), Hamako would get a thumbs up. Kyo-Ya does "traditional" well. I thought Koo was pretty good, too. I've never quite understood the loyalty to Ebisu: I have always been completely underwhelmed when I've gone there. I haven't been to the other referenced SF suggestions.
Sushi is a tough one for LA'ers and NYC'ers - both places tend to do a better job.
Wow, sorry to hear that. Was your visit recent? I mentioned above that I haven't been in quite a while, so much could have changed since my last visit.
I should add that, if you're willing to get on transit and then spend some money, you might consider Sebo. Definitely not a scene, and definitely not "rockin," but excellent quality sushi at high prices in a simple neighborhood space that wouldn't be out of place in Tokyo's Ginza district. Particularly outstanding were ankimo (monkfish liver), hotate (scallop), and Japanese shad (I've forgotten the Japanese name). It's on Hayes between Octavia and Laguna in the Hayes Valley neighborhood.
Try Ten-ichi on Fillmore -- good steady traditional style Japanese restaurant - have been around for years and years - fresh sushi, some fancy rolls, and exceptional Karaage chicken - choice of white or dark meat.