Live Sushi blends tradition with innovation in the rice-wrapped fish arts at all three of its welcoming restaurants, including the newest Live Sushi outpost in the Mission. The neighborhood sushi bar at this popular location offers the same lunch, dinner, and drink menus as the other two locations, as well as an experienced waitstaff and sushi chefs, who demonstrate their skills at a sushi bar outfitted with seats for dining spectators. Here, the chefs carefully assemble nigiri and complex rolls such as the deep-fried california roll topped with bonito and the Romeo and Juliet roll that tells a love story in three acts of hamachi, shrimp tempura, and spicy unagi sauce. A live scallop entree showcases the mollusk’s culinary range by serving it nigiri style and tempura-fried, and horse mackerel comes lightly seared and dressed in a special sauce. Live Sushi’s drink menu lists 25 premium sakes, including junmai, ginjo, daigingo, and honjonzo varieties, to accompany the seafaring fare.
Asian food is a familiar part of California's culinary scene, but Nombe Restaurant’s Japanese-style tapas and brunch still manage to surprise. At dinner, parties can share small plates of deep-fried brussels sprouts with oranges and fish sauce, or they can indulge in a seven-course Kaiseki meal. The brunch menu hits sweeter notes; beignets with chocolate-orange sauce, and nori and wasabi hollandaise color a Japanese-style benedict.
Nombe actually translates to “someone who likes to drink heartily,” so of course the restaurant features a thoughtful selection of libations. In addition to 90 kinds of sake and 8 Japanese beers, patrons can sip on blood-orange mimosas and bloody marys spiced with shichimi togarashi. Onsite sake classes help diners avoid an embarrassing mix-up between rice wine and rice vinegar, and traditional Japanese sushi-making/team-building classes give them a turn inside the kitchen.
Over the last five years, the chefs at Barracuda Japanese Restaurant have continually tinkered with their sushi, teriyaki, and noodle dishes, customizing the menu to fit each Barracuda location’s neighborhood and clientele. Using fresh fish and fruit sourced locally and sustainably whenever possible, the team crafts more than a dozen specialty rolls, including the Japanese Cowboy Roll, which matches crabmeat with mango, avocado, and thinly sliced Kobe beef. Staples such as chicken teriyaki rest side by side with more intricately prepared eats including pan-seared rib eye with mashed potatoes. Lit from underneath, the dining room’s dim orange walls surround potted plants and wooden tables that can accommodate groups of all sizes.
The sushi chefs at Yoko’s Japanese Cuisine artistically roll arrangements of eel, spicy tuna, and thick-sliced salmon for diners to prod with discerning chopsticks. The menu reads like a voracious mariner's Christmas list with its plethora of ocean-fresh goodies, such as traditional california rolls ($3.75), tied together with delicate ribbons of seaweed. King Kong specialty rolls ($7.95) swat away hunger as if it were a pesky airplane, daring tongues to scale a towering combination of hamachi, salmon, and crab to reach a pinnacle of spicy squid. The deep-fried Dangerous roll ($7.95) lives life on the plate’s edge with a bold assortment of fish, avocado, and scallions, and the spicy scallop salad creeps down the slopes of the crab- and unagi-packed Volcano roll ($7.95). Diners need not scan the ocean’s vast horizon to find vegetarian or cooked options, as herbivore-friendly shiitake mushroom rolls ($2.95) and grilled chicken-teriyaki entrees ($8.95) placate taste buds of all persuasions in the restaurant’s low-key dining room.
After the sushi chefs at Yuubi Japanese Restaurant packed fresh scallops and salmon underneath a layer of tobiko and spicy mayo, they realized the seafood duo clung together not unlike star-crossed lovers and dubbed the roll Romeo & Juliet. The Shakespearean treat is one of nearly 30 fresh seafood rolls gracing the traditional Japanese eatery's menu. Aside from the fresh, quality seafood, Yuubi’s master chefs send tender beef short ribs, lamb chops, and asparagus-wrapped beef to the grill, and they deep-fry succulent chicken for the classic chicken katsu dish. Dessert offers up cross-cultural treats, such as mochi from Japan, crème brûlée from the French, and cheesecake from the moon.
At Sapoten Sushi Bar, chefs embrace traditional Japanese flavors, creating sushi and sashimi creations with net-fresh fish and filling plates with steaming rice and noodle meals. The extensive list of classic and contemporary sushi rolls can include maki with fillings of lightly toasted scallop, spicy albacore tuna, or asparagus. Each roll arrives in either six or eight pieces, much like a jigsaw puzzle of a hydrogen atom. At the stovetops, cooks forge yakisoba entrees by pan-frying egg noodles alongside mixed vegetables, chicken, and seafood, and their steamed-rice dishes can incorporate heaps of beef-steak teriyaki or curry chicken.
The chefs at Shabu Sushi & Little Sweet Cafe create Japanese-style hot-pot meals made with bold, flavor-packed meats from beef to lamb. All-you-can-eat Shabu meals for lunch and dinner merge the diner's choice of meats with assorted veggies, udon, rice, and ice cream for a brain-freezing finale. Shabu Sushi & Little Sweet Cafe also has space for large groups and private parties.