ICHI Sushi

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ICHI sushi reminds Sebo in Hayes Valley.  A sushi place specializing in omakase served up by non Japanese sushi chefs.  While sometimes order omakase at a sushi bar can seem a little daunting, the sushi chefs are friendly provide a lot of guidance and information on each piece of sushi and every plate along your omakase journey.  The omakase here has an option of mixing it with cooked dishes or straight sushi.  Of course, I have to eat everything, so the omakase I chose was a mix of the two.  I did notice that most of the cooked dishes can be ordered straight off the menu.  Some things to take note:  omakase here is served until you are full (so the 15 items I had cost around $60/person) and the sushi is served per piece and not in the usual by pairs.

The night started off with a chilled cucumber salad with a light tahini dressing and topped with sesame seeds.  It was crunchy and refreshing.

A shisho leaf under red snapper nigiri with yuzu and a dash of green tea salt.

Lightly cured fluke with shisho and ponzu.

The miragai aka geoduck clam was crunchy and topped with green tea salt.

The inside of the geoduck clam was lightly fried and served with a little ponzu dressing.  Delicious, chewy, and one of my favorite dishes of the night.

I've had seared tuna many times, but this Big Eye Hawaiian tuna had a dry, smokey taste and texture.

Ahi tuna mixed with avocado, ginger, and green onions.  Essentially its a poke.  While not the best poke I've ever had, I love avocado in my poke.

Gorgeously presented snapper sushi.

At first glance, it looks like a regular piece of tako (octopus), but its actually sous vide so the octopus is really tender.  Its good, but I love chewiness of tako.

I absolutely love the way they serve up the cooked dishes and sushi.  Its like I will never get bored of sitting there and thinking what will come next.  Fried snapper mixed with pickled peppers.

Hawaiian amberjack with yuzu zest.  Yuzu seems to be a popular flavoring here, whether as a zest or as a sauce.
Shiro maguro with garlic ponzu.
ICHI sushi has no kitchen in their restaurant so how well cooked the hot items come out is impressive.  Best dish of the night is this yuzu chicken wings.  They are sous vide and then fried.  The batter is light and crispy, but the flavor of the chicken is amazing.  One of the best Asian style fried chickens I've ever tasted and I've eaten a lot of fried chicken.

It looks like salmon, but its actually ocean trout with a touch of ume (plum) paste.

I am not a big fan of mackerel.  The oily fish is even too fishy for me.  At ICHI, they layer it with a sake reduction so it cuts most of the fishiness. 
    Uni is amazing when its fresh.  The Fort Bragg uni is custardy and fresh.  

ICHI sushi is not the best sushi I've ever had.  The sushi is above average, but I love how they present it in a very friendly setting and try to introduce omakase and other fish, besides the usual tuna, salmon, hamachi, to other sushi eaters.  While I do love a some sushi eaten with specific chef made sauces, its a little overkill here.  Every fish is hit with either a green tea sea salt, yuzu, or ponzu flavor.  It would be nice if they let some of the fish flavor just shine on its own.

Address:                  ICHI Sushi
                                 3369 Mission St.
                                 San Francisco, CA
Type:                       Japanese

Popular chomps:     omakase
                                chicken wings

Chomp worthy:       omakase
                                chicken wings

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