The Best Sushi in San Francisco: Omakase
Have you ever taken a 2 hour trip to Japan without ever getting on an airplane? I have.
Walking through the doors of Omakase— a charming Michelin-starred 14-seat Japanese restaurant in San Francisco— you are immediately transported halfway around the world. Thick bamboo stalks line the windows, creating an oasis of quiet elegance. Soft instrumental spa-like music sets the mood. Waitresses in traditional kimonos pour sake into beautiful ornate glasses, which they explain are actually from Japan, as is the fish on the menu flown in fresh from the Tokyo Fish Market.
Yes, you read that right.
You don’t have to fly to Japan because Omakase flies Japan to you.
Omakase in Japanese translates to “Chef’s choice”, a fitting name for the experience here, where you are served up the very best sushi and fish directly from the chef in front of you. The menu has two Omakase options, for a price fix at either $150 or $200, as well as a Sake pairing option for $80. Our chef was Jackson, an incredibly talented chef who was a highlight of our night. He served us delicious fish after delicious fish, listening to which we liked best, even quizzing me on which fish was which! (I now know my aji from my maguro and my barracuda from my mackerel, everyone!). He was fantastic. Jackson even encouraged us to try the wasabi, which I normally stray away from, but since he made it fresh, making it so different from the powdered wasabi we are used to getting in restaurants, much more flavorful and not as intense. It was delicious!
Along with a heavy helping of nigiri, the waitresses also bring out beautiful small plates throughout the meal, from lobster salad, to the silkiest smooth miso soup you have ever tasted. The menu changes every day, and it is always “chef’s choice”, but trust me, you wouldn’t have it any other way.
I walked into Omakase thinking the best sushi I had ever had up until that night was in Japan, hands down. Japan sushi at the time tasted like nothing I had ever experienced before. It is worlds above anything we have in the states. But as I walked out of Omakase, savoring the incredible flavor and textures of each dish I had just devoured, it took me a minute to come to and realize that the best sushi of my life had just been surpassed, and I was not in Japan- but home in San Francisco. Now that is a meal.