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Friday, June 12, 2015

Splurgeville: 14-Seat Sushi Bar Omakase Now Open in Soma

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2015 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge OMAKASE
  • Omakase

San Francisco has its fair share of sushi options, but things can get sparse towards the high end. Bringing a gust of austerity to what is now a common American food is Omakase, Chef Jackson Yu’s 14-seat sushi bar that leans on the Edomae style, a variation from Tokyo (formerly Edo) from the centuries before refrigeration, when fish had a shelf life of less than one afternoon.

All 14 seats face the chefs at a single counter, and there is no set menu, although on some days you might find chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), steamed lobster served three ways, and house-made surimi fish cake with kampachi, kale, and French carrot. The drink list consists almost exclusively of high-end wine and sake. With three pricing tiers ($100, $150, and $200), diners give themselves over to the chefs, who source much of their ingredients from the massive Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, a frenzied bazaar (as seen in Jiro Dreams of Sushi) that’s so busy it frequently bans all tourists.

Omakase’s dishware is donabe, the world’s oldest pottery. Sourced from pottery masters in specific regions of Japan, it’s formed, glazed, fired, and painted by hand to maximize it thickness and its capacity for holding enough heat to enhance the smells and tastes of the food. On top of this, Chef Yu is renowned for his knife skills, so if you’re game for a splurge, Omakase could set a new standard for intimacy and aesthetic refinement.

Omakase, 665 Townsend, 415-865-0633.

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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