Finding sushi in San Francisco is like finding a prostitute in Singapore. Easy (so I'm told). Finding good sushi is another story...
After some internet magic, I came upon Sushi on North Beach. Word was they had a very good tuna and foie gras nigiri offering. Having had a few very nice examples of how sushi and foie gras can work together beautifully, I wanted to give this restaurant a shot.
The place was small, sort of hole-in-the-wally, and the servers were pleasant. I went a little buck wild ordering, because when I was provided the specials for the day they had a number of real winners.
The Good: 1. Hotate (Scallop) nigiri. The scallops were large and fresh, and it was above average. 2. The special nigiri, a Hawaiian butterfish (escolar or walu), was also outstanding. Two other real winners were the yari ika (calamari) and house special foie gras (with tuna). 3. The calamari actually stole the show, it was delicious, soft, clear white and obviously fresh, soft, not chewy, with a shiso leaf hidden underneath. I love shiso, and this addition was a welcome surprise. 4. The foie gras nigiri were two little pieces of decadence. Since the combination is so delicious, and works well together, I have no idea why it isn't everywhere fine sushi is sold. I'm surprised that in a location that was also featuring otoro (tuna belly), they didn't double up on their luxurious components for a killer special.
|Tuna with Foie Gras|
|Inside Ultimate Roll, Foie Gras is barely visible|
|Inside, where you can clearly see the color difference between top and bottom - Not Fresh!|
To the server's credit, she took it off the bill. To her discredit, she tried to tell me that's how otoro was. Little did she know that I'd had it three times in the past week. Would she have removed it (after telling me it should be fishy) had I not spent $50? I can't be sure, but it did come off my bill.
The final verdict. They lost a half to a full star because of the otoro incident, and the discrepancies between nigiri and maki quality. Unlike most solid three star establishments, I'm inclined to give them another chance... maybe...
Sushi on North Beach
Neighborhood: North Beach
745 Columbus Ave
(between Filbert St & Greenwich St)
San Francisco, CA 94133
3 of 5
|For readers who might not have had real otoro before, here are two shots of real stuff. Notice the difference.|
|Real Otoro (Type 1), Kuala Lumpur|
|Real Otoro (Type 2), Singapore|