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looking for great sushi!

f
FattyDumplin Mar 17, 2011 05:40 AM

I am staying one night at the 4 seasons SF and would love to get japanese for dinner. Preferably, close to the hotel, but willing to cab it. i tried searching the board, but didn't find much agreement on a top notch place. Would love to find a place with a great selection of fish / other creatures from the sea and also enjoy prepared dishes. Not as concerned about fusion-y stuff or rolls.

Thanks in advance!

  1. CarrieWas218 Mar 17, 2011 11:41 AM

    It would help to know what hotel you are referring to regarding proximity...

    That said, Sushi Aka Tombo quickly rose to the top for me on authentic and exceptional. Report here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/704406

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    Sushi Aka Tombo
    1737 Buchanan St, San Francisco, CA 94115

    4 Replies
    1. re: CarrieWas218
      Windy Mar 17, 2011 12:52 PM

      Yes, I couldn't agree more. Sushi AKA Tombo is superb.

      You can get to Japantown easily by bus (38 Geary) or taxi; it's not far from downtown.

      And it will cost you a fraction of Kyo-Ya, which has always been priced for Japanese businessmen on expense accounts. Kappout Gomi isn't a sushi bar, nor is Ame.

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      Kyo-Ya Restaurant
      2 New Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA 94105

      1. re: Windy
        CarrieWas218 Mar 17, 2011 08:34 PM

        Thanks for that reminder, Windy. Kappa Gomi even has a hand-written sign on their window that says, "No Sushi - No Bento Boxes." And Ame is a fusion, Japanese-inspired upscale restaurant whose raw fish is in the crudo style.

        1. re: CarrieWas218
          f
          FattyDumplin Mar 17, 2011 09:33 PM

          I took the board rec and went to AKA Tombo. Great call. The comment about "value for money" versus the business expense account restaurants swayed me...

          Coming from New York, I wouldn't place this in the top tier of what I've had there, but it was really really good and when you factor in the cost is 2/3 or less of what it would cost me in NY, this was a real San Francisco Treat. The boss man was at the sushi bar and he's awesome - super friendly, takes time to answer questions, and generally a happy go lucky dude who's fun to sit at the bar and chat with.

          So what did I have:

          Sashimi -
          Abalone - meh, but i think i just don't like raw abalone. I like texture but this is almost too crunchy for me
          Otoro - this is the japanese farmed bluefin. A little sinewy, but really unctuous and quite enjoyable.
          Aji - yum. i love the texture (kind of chewy almost) and the taste of mackeral, although the Aji is pretty mild
          Aoebi - live blue prawns. like the "crunch" of this. But wish it were sweeter like amaebi. the tempura heads were ok... a little thick on the batter.
          Live Scallop - loved it. Fresh, firm and sweet

          Sushi:
          Ama Ebi - great. big and sweet. very fresh and none of the sliminess you get sometimes.
          Wild Salmon - eh. not a huge salmon fan, but wanted to try it.
          Anago - i should have gotten unagi. This was kind of mealy, but i haven't had anago enough to know if that is the norm. I much prefer unagi.
          Ikura - very fresh. crisp balls of brine that burst with light pressure.

          Also had the fried quail (can't go wrong with it. nothing special, but love crunching the bones, skin, etc) and the lamb chop (These were sublime. perfectly grilled. huge portion for the price).

          The owner also served me a small cup of cod milt, that he refused to identify until i tried it. It was good enough.

          Finally, the japanese guy next to me got an offmenu item of stirfried geoduckw ith scallion and hot pepper that looked awesome.

          My original plan was to eat some and then go across to Tampopo for Ramen, but I had such a great time, that i just filled up here. All in, $115 with a glass of sake...

          THanks again for introducing me to this. For anyone who comes to New York and enjoys AKA Tambo, I highly recommend Ushi Wakamaru, which is a similar "value for money" proposition but with excellent quality.

          FD

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          Otoro
          205 Oak St, San Francisco, CA

          1. re: FattyDumplin
            CarrieWas218 Mar 18, 2011 06:41 AM

            Thanks for reporting back, FD! So gratifying that our recs are appreciated!

    2. f
      FattyDumplin Mar 17, 2011 09:09 AM

      Refining my request a bit, since I realize it was a bit ambiguous. After some research, I think i've narrowed it down to Kyo-ya or Ame. Kyo-ya seems more focused on the fish, although it seems Ame has a sushi bar as well that is nice? If anyone has been recently to either or both, would love to hear what you prefer and why... Again, really trying to focus on the quality of the sashimi... and as always, open to other suggestions.

      FD

      1 Reply
      1. re: FattyDumplin
        wolfe Mar 17, 2011 11:33 AM

        Do you want sushi or sashimi? My suggestion does serve sashimi but no sushi.
        Will the present situation in Japan cause a problem in the supply of fresh product?
        Kappou Gomi
        Sample bill courtesy of Melanie Wong.
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

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        Kappou Gomi
        5524 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

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