Last night, we walked down the street to Ozumo which was recommended to me as the best sushi in SF.  Emily pointed out the minute we walked in that what she had read (all over Gridskipper, Eater and other sites) and what she now sees, it reminds her a bit of Katusya in Los Angeles.  As usual, she was spot on. 

Sharing is the concept here.  From small appetizers to hot pots to main courses and then sushi.  We went with the instructions.  We started out with a few appetizers.  We began with the yellow tail that had been lightly seared ( wasn’t expecting that ) and layered around the plate on top of a ponzu sauce, thinly sliced daikon, avocado and hints of ginger.  It was okay not great.  Didn’t really like that the hamachi had been cooked through by the time we got it.  Raw would have been much better.  Next thing out was steamed spinach tossed with a peanut butter flavored sauce.  It was really different, creamy and delicious.  Never had that flavoring with spinach.  Small small portion.  Everyone could have had their own.  We also had Fred’s favorite, the deep fried tofu served in a light broth.  I am also a fan of this dish.  I like the ginger crispy outside of the tofu and the consistency of the tofu inside.  This wasn’t the best I have ever had and it was cold.  This dish is usually piping hot when it is brought to your table.  Next dish out we didn’t order.  The waitress seemed a tad confused.  Could be because the noise level is high and she speaks so softly it was almost impossible to hear her.  We sent it back since we didn’t order it and it was laden in garlic.

Three more dishes came out.  The Dohyo which is a spherical layered tuna dish.  The bottom is spicy tofu, the next layer is creamy avocado and the next is chunks of tuna tartare served with gyozo chips and endive.  Nobody thought very highly of this dish.  Looked beautiful but the tastes were bland at every level.  Our last two dishes came off the Agemono section.  Lightly deep fried large shrimp in a tempura batter.  This was quite good.  Not too heavy on the batter and a nice light sauce for dipping.  We had that with the tempura calamari that came with a spicy dipping sauce.  Where the shrimp was tasty the campari was just bad.  The flavor was just bad.  Rubbery and in a completely different batter than the shrimp was in.  A total thumbs down on that dish.

Next round, we all ordered sushi.  Josh went with the high powered rolls.  Poke roll was bland.  No depth of flavor.  Chunks of soy marinated tuna over round pieces of cut rolls.  Thumbs down.  Then he went big with the Dragon Roll.  Tempura shrimp wrapped in grilled unagi and avocado with a sweet soy sauce.  The roll was really beautiful on the plate.  The problem, he kept getting large pieces of bones stuck in his teeth. Not sure where they were coming from.  I finally gave him a piece of floss ( yes, the good mother carries floss in her bag) and he got it out.  He lost interest with the roll, no surprise there. 

The rest of us got sushi that was mostly off the special list of the day.  Scallops flown in from Japan, Kampachi, Black Sea Bass, White Tuna and Uni.  Everything was okay not great.  At this point, we started counting off the fantastic sushi spots in Los Angeles and New York which blow Ozumo away.   Alas.  As Fred put it, if this is the best sushi in San Francisco, I feel sorry for them. 

Ok, let’s not get carried away.  We have a few more days of good eating.  Let’s see what today brings.  The food snobs were on a roll last night.  Yes, you can count me as one of them.   

Comments (Archived):

  1. Ara

    Haven’t been myself, but heard from several chefs and sushi addicts, that Sushi Ran in Sausalito http://www.sushiran.com/ is the go-to stop for sushi in the Bay Area. Try it out next time. I can apparently be a pain to get a table though.

  2. Brian

    Whoever told you Ozumo is the best sushi in SF is insane. This is a trendy spot you take people who are easily impressed by the decor, which is nice. But the food is eh. Especially the sushi.

    SF has excellent sushi, much better than Ozumo!

    One of my favorite sushi spots in SF, though not at all upscale, is sadly gone – the hawaiian inspired sushi at Moki Sushi. RIP.

    Many people say Kabuto is the best SF has. Or Hamano.

    Try Sushi Zone at the corner of Pearl and Market.

    Ryoko’s on Tailor is fun – again, not the most upscale, but very good sushi and a great jukebox.

  3. Brian

    That’s “taylor” street. damn spellcheck

  4. Ilene

    OK! I made a mistake on Ozumo. So sorry.We lived down there for a year while our house was being renovated and we loved it. That was 3 years ago…I guess it went down hill. Trust me, I wasn’t trying to impress you with the decor. I also told you to go to Range & Zuni too. And yes,locals go to the enormous farmer’s market on Saturdays (not tourists) and we do frequent the ferry building.

  5. ChuckEats

    the dirty little SF secret is that most of the sushi sucks. Ozumo definitely would not qualify. Sebo is of decent quality but it’s certainly not close to the best in the US.