Japanese Restaurants in San Rafael

Select Local Merchants

Roy Lui and Chanel Liu, expert fish purveyors and Tsukiji Sushi Bar & Restaurant's proprietors, place veteran chef Haruo Komatsu at the helm of a kitchen stocked with fresh fish and tender Koshihikari rice. Sourced from the enormous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, sushi staples including albacore tuna, salmon, and eel curl up in sleeping bags of salty rice and seaweed alongside more exotic offerings such as sea urchin, flying-fish roe, giant clam, and lightly grilled submarine. At the sushi bar, chef Komatsu awes onlookers in seven nearby seats as he deftly slices rolls and doles them out for immediate consumption.

24 Sunnyside Ave
Mill Valley,
CA
US

Taste the face-melting guitar solos a single sushi on Ace's menu can pull off with one grain of rice tied behind its back. Octopus nigiri ($3.50), scallop sashimi ($8.50), and chicken teriykai skewers ($7.80) crescendo appetites into the main course. Try Ace's signature mango lobster specialty roll with cilantro, spicy mayo, and macadamia nuts ($9). Creative rolls such as the Scorpion (crunchy rock shrimp, scallop, and caramelized pecans wrapped with mango and avocado, $11.50) and the Ozzy (tempura shrimp wrapped with crab, avocado, jalapenos, tobiko, and spicy mayo, $12.50) along with more traditional tastes such as a California roll ($5.25) and dragon roll ($13.50) satisfy any sushi ace.

3339 Steiner St
San Francisco,
CA
US

Live Sushi Bar and Bistro alike fill hungry tummies with an expansive selection of delectable Japanese fare in two hip and convenient locations. Diners can sharpen appetites to razor keenness with Live Sushi Bistro and Bar menu starters such as the tiger prawns teppanyaki, four seared prawns accompanied with Japanese cocktail sauce ($11.95), or the gomae, steamed spinach with crushed sesame crust, perfect for sprouting cartoon-sized muscles before an imminent street brawl ($4.95).

4808 Mission St
San Francisco,
CA
US

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.

2491 Mission St
San Francisco,
CA
US

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.

2251 Market St
San Francisco,
CA
US

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.

501 Balboa St
San Francisco,
CA
US