It’s hard to find a place as hipster as Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, a loud sushi bar located in the Mission. You can see all these young crowds, a loud place with a huge mural on the wall on how to eat sushi. Being used to going to elegant and serene sushi places that are on the more quiet side with attentive services, it was hard for me to take this place seriously on the first glance. How wrong I was. The sushi at Ichi Sushi was great!
If there is one word that would describe sushi here, it is “playful.” There seems to be no structural or stylistic boundary with the sushi pieces here. You’ll see a variety of fish, with different dressings from yuzu to plum. Unlike the high-end sushi places I had been to where chefs tend to be more disciplined in their attitude toward the craft of sushi-making, the chefs at the counter are all on the younger side, and are more open and seem less constrained by the rigor of the craft. Yet, I really loved the free-flowing approach, and there were really outstanding pieces that had remarkable texture.
Various pieces like three line grunt (which came with plum sauce on top), tuna, Japanese mackerel, amberjack (with yuzu dressing on top), fluke fin muscle, toro and uni were all literally melting in my mouth. I went with the omakase option where the chef brings about 12 pieces. I should’ve kept ordering more pieces, but instead I also tried a couple of hot dishes. Unfortunately, they were somewhat underwhelming compared to the awesome sushi pieces. Both pork belly and ocean trout karage in dashi broth were more or less ordinary.
The restaurant has that perfect hipster vibe that will make it an ideal place to grab dinner before a night out at Mission. There is a diverse selection of sake and a somewhat more concise list of wine. Getting a reservation wouldn’t too hard as long as you book a couple of weeks in advance, but the place was absolutely packed on a Friday night. Given that the flow of traffic tends to be on the faster side, I think you can probably try walk-in too. Ichi Sushi was a pleasant surprise that shows sushi at San Francisco is no slouch.
- KenScale: 8.5/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
Address: 3282 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Telephone: (415) 525-4750