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ICHI Sushi

BernalKC Dec 4, 2010 10:00 AM

Last night my wife and I dropped in on ICHI Sushi after a movie for a quick light meal. I've been walking past it occasionally and was intrigued to try it.

We loved it. But its one meal, and a very small sampling of their menu, so I'll put my notes below. Mostly I want to open up the floor to get others' impressions.

ICHI Sushi
3369 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

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  1. BernalKC RE: BernalKC Dec 4, 2010 10:02 AM

    Walking into this hole in the wall place on a chilly wintery night, the vibe was instantly intimate, warm, and friendly. The bar was full, so we grabbed a small table. I was struck by the simple elegance of the setting. Nothing at all unusual, but thoughtfully selected ceramics, presented nicely. Service was similarly deft. Well timed, helpful, and warm. We had already eaten, so we limited ourselves to just a few nigiri and a roll. We only ordered the roll and unagi off the menu. The other nigiri were selected from the specials. Some sort of baby hamachi? A Spanish mackerel, and some other local fish I'd never had as sushi. Sapporo on tap. Nice. Prices were quite reasonable.

    I am no sushi expert, but there is something subtly new about the style of these nigiri. The fish ruled, and the flavors were subtle. No heavy hit of wasabi lurking under the fish. Even the rice flavor was less forward. I can't put my finger on it. All the nigiri were noticeably fresh and clean tasting. No fishy pungency. The meat was firm. Even the unagi seemed fresher, flaky and less smothered with grilled soy flavors. And the mackerel... Hard for me to believe it was any sort of mackerel. Nothing like the saba I'm used to (and love). This was topped with a light brush of some ginger miso dressing and we ate it without dipping in soy or wasabi. Later that night while walking my dog I could still taste it. So yeah, it was mackerel. I just have no idea how it got to my mouth without any of the oily pungency that I thought was just part of eating mackerel.

    Definitely have to return to see if this was one lucky night, but we came away with a really nice impression.

    1. BernalKC RE: BernalKC Apr 10, 2011 11:09 PM

      Still hoping to hear what other hounds think of this place. Tablehopper certainly raved about it: http://www.tablehopper.com/biz/ichi-s...

      1. Windy RE: BernalKC May 25, 2011 07:55 PM

        Thanks for the nudge. As a long-time patron of Yo's, it was hard to walk into ICHI, which is why it took me this long. But then I felt that way when Yo moved into Cafe Abo...the neighborhood moves on.

        ICHI is a worthy successor, with very fresh, sustainable fish and delicate seasonings including grated yuzu. Tataki on Church has gotten a lot of attention for its sourcing, but the fish and care of preparation at ICHI impressed me far more.

        Portions are small: authentic Japanese cuts of fish. But prices are reasonable, from $4-8 for most pairs of nigiri and higher prices for more exotic fish. In addition to a full page of sake, they have a few wines by the glass.

        They are now open for lunch during the week, although I haven't been by yet. The bento boxes for $12 look like a great deal.

        ICHI Sushi
        3369 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

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