A rotating exhibit of the things I love most about living in San Francisco.

best sushi, Eiji and Minako

My favorite sushi restaurants, Eiji and Minako, are distinguished not only by the highest quality fish but also the intimate, authentic sincerity of the restaurant spaces themselves.  Both are family run neighborhood haunts and you will feel as if you’re a guest in the home of the chef when you dine at either one. Yes, you can find many more great sushi restaurants in San Francisco but in my opinion, the inviting character of these two set them apart from the rest. I’ve copied my reviews from Yelp.com below…

Eiji.

photo of sushi at Eiji Restaurant San Francisco

sushi at Eiji Restaurant San Francisco

317 Sanchez St
(between 16th St & 17th St)
San Francisco, CA 94114

“5 star experience, every time.  When you find a place that consistently serves up a great experience, it just keeps you coming back.  This is a staple whenever we have guests in from out-of-town.  You know the scenario, the guest wants to go ‘somewhere off the beaten path’, following that true ‘insider’s tip’.  This is that place . . .impossibly cute, very authentic and always, always good. And, very “OFF” the beaten path . . .

Yes the sushi melts in your mouth, yes you’ll find some stuff you don’t always find in other sushi restaurants (note the loving tribute to tofu on the first page of the menu, and a few very varied and good offerings of same). . .try the whitefish carpaccio, thinly sliced white fish on a drizzle of olive oil, with tomatoes. . . yum.

For the singles out there, it’s not just for guests, this would be a very special (and CUTE) first-date place.  (Impress him/her with your exquisite knowledge of the neighborhood dining scene, and unpretentious taste)

And the staff are just so nice.
Love that.”

Minako.

picture of sushi at Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant, San Francisco

picture of sushi at Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant, San Francisco

2154 Mission St

(between 18th St & Clarion Alley)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Neighborhood: Mission

“Last night my partner and I had dinner here for the first time and I have to say it was among the best meal experiences we’ve had all year. From the food to the joy of getting to know the vibe of this neighborhood haunt, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves from start to finish.

We wanted to try a new sushi place and given it was Earth Day, Organic seemed particularly appropriate.  We’d heard great things about Minako so our choice was made.  The food didn’t disappoint. Seafood salad was the best I’ve had. The sushi is exquisitely prepared (with brown rice. Interesting!) and every detail was right, down to the fresh, brightness of the pickled ginger and wasabi.  The care they take was evident in the attentiveness of the server who actually explained the servings are large (they are) and actually advised us to order LESS.  How often does that happen?  She cared about  our experience of the food.

The restaurant traffic was light so we also had the chance to talk to our server, about local food, even the music playing in the restaurant, and had the best time. We found ‘mom’ is the chef and owner and given this, and the familiarity the staff had with others in the restaurant (which is small) it was so evident this is a true neighborhood spot. They staff will remember you, and treat you as if you’re in their home. And I really appreciated that.”

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