Bento boxes beware - San Francisco Japanese restaurants import not only outstanding cuts of fish, but also chefs from the other side of the Pacific pond. As usual, the best Japanese cuisine for miles is not only limited to Japantown.
The best Japanese food and ambience combination in the city goes to subterranean Ryoko's. Next to a downtown alley, descend into the blue abyss and be greeted warmly by the chefs and servers and the DJ's lounge beats spinning on the piano. Check out the white board specials, no matter if you go for rolls or sashimi, the fish tastes fresh and the portions are generous. They've got some great vegetarian options as well.
When the line at Ryoko's puts you off, just stroll to the next block and take a seat at mellower Sakana, another superb choice. Across town, Blowfish Sushi competes with Ryoko's for best rock 'n roll atmosphere accompanied by excellent sushi. Ask anyone, every local has their favorite sushi joint in San Francisco.
Had enough raw fish? Kappou Gomi creates innovative Japanese tapas using ingredients like pork belly and black cod. Dinner here will always be an adventure.
Kiss is currently the toughest seat to get in town. The tiny restaurant gives an unmatched, intimate dining experience. Kappa is another tough seat to come by, but patience is rewarded with a unique meal based on what's fresh and what's in season.
619 Taylor Street
Between Cosmo Place and Post Street
1700 Laguna St
(between Bush St & Sutter St)
Feels like a high-quality Tokyo sushi bar... read more
2170 Bryant Street
1700 Post St
(between Buchanan St & Webster St)
605 Post Street
(between Taylor and Jones streets)
1910 Lombard St
Traditional fresh sushi fused with art... read more
408 Irving St
(cross street: 5th & 6th Ave)