Visit Sasa in Japantown for a quality and affordable omakase experience, watch the Oscars over great food and cocktails at a gala event, get a sneak peek of Noosh at a pre-opening dinner and through delivery, and snag a seat at La Cocina’s Week of Women in Food.
A Rare Find: an Affordable and Quality Omakase Experience in San Francisco
Usually, being a lover of sushi requires a flush bank account, especially if you’re a connoisseur of the good stuff, with many omakase experiences starting at $125 at most sushi counters in San Francisco. But what if I told you that tucked away in Japantown is a sushi place that has a chef tasting menu for $60, and it features some small dishes, plus quality nigiri selections (eight in all!), like umi masu (ocean trout from Tasmania) with shiso, and kinmedai (golden eye snapper) that is cherrywood cold smoked and served with yuzu kosho (spicy Japanese citrus paste). Each nigiri presentation has its own flavorful additions, from dabs of pickled plum paste to lime zest. The rice is also well-prepared and seasoned.
Just one clunker for me was the bafun uni from Hokkaido ($12 each) that I ordered as an addition — the quality of the nori wasn’t very notable and was soft. But the huge glasses of sake they pour here help make up for it.
Chef-owner Weida (David) Chen is also behind SF's Hinata, which he opened in 2016. He was such a lover of Japanese food that he dropped out of college and decided to learn to make sushi. He was trained for six years by a Michelin-rated sushi chef in the Bay Area and assisted his master chef Takatoshi Toshi (Sushi Ran) at the Global Sushi Challenge in Tokyo, Japan in 2015 (they placed third).
The menu offers all kinds of options — you could just come in for a 10-piece nigiri tasting for $45, but then you’d miss the fun opening hassun and closing courses with the $60 chef omakase tasting, like corn tofu and akadashi (red miso) soup. There are also à la carte appetizers and larger plate options. They additionally offer lunch service, in case you’re looking for a special lunch treat, including a nine-piece chirashi bowl.
It’s a handsome restaurant, with natural wood accents and tables, and contemporary black chairs. There’s a small sushi bar in the front corner, with room for four, but everyone is primarily sitting at tables. Also unusual: they have a table for large groups.
Get Your Ticket for the Most Over-the-Top Oscars Party in Town
What are your plans for Oscars night? If grazing your way through 18 tables from some of SF’s top restaurants, with cocktails, entertainment, and a beautiful view from Metreon’s City View venue sounds like your kind of night, then you’ll want to get your ticket to the 39th annual Academy of Friends Gala. It’s a huge fundraiser for six Bay Area HIV/AIDS service organizations, and a popular event for the gay community (wait until you see the men in Speedos who are spray-painted gold to look like Oscars statuettes—just be careful not to hug them or you’ll get gold all over you).