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Maruya is a very needed sushi restaurant in San Francisco.  I can probably only name a handful of restaurants that does what Maruya does (Kappa is one of them) - omakase with both cooked dishes and fresh sushi.  Each dish is simple and seasonal.  While you can order just sushi, its a restaurant where the omakase should be ordered.  They offer two omakases - Masa's Course ($85) and Hide's Course ( A.Q).  Not knowing what to expect, I went with Masa's Course. 

I've had shishito peppers many times before, but this is one of the few times where it wasn't heavily grilled.  Without the smokiness, the taste of the shishito peppers are very subtle.  Along with bonito flakes and dashi, its a very lightly balanced dish.

Left to right: ankimo (monkfish liver); chestnut, ginko nuts, and mountain berry; tofu topped with uni.  The presentation is beautiful here and they really do try to use ingredients that celebrate the season.  Its rare to have good ankimo in the Bay Area, but this one was rich and creamy.  Its not my first mountain berry so I was well aware of the tiny seed inside the red spiky fruit, but without a warning from the server I can see that being a possible surprise.  At first, the berry seems too sweet and oddly placed, but after the taste seeps in, you can see that it pairs well with the subtle sweetness of the ankimo as well as the tofu and uni.

First glance this white mount looked like a potato, but its actually a tomato.  A gentle scraping the tomato and a spoonful of broth releases an unexpected spoonful of sweetness from the "tomato soup".

Along with the gorgeous presentation the appearance of a grilled course made this omakase almost like a casual kaiseki.  The lightly grilled and salted arctic char gave way to a well cooked fish that flaked off in perfect pieces.

While omakase seems to be the most obvious choice in a restaurant like this, a lot of people still came here just for the sashimi and sushi.  The sashimi course of the omakase made this a well noted sashimi option when getting my otherwise expensive sashimi fix in the city.  Top; clockwise;  ahi tuna (maguro), hamachi, halibut (hirame).  Each slice of fish was firm and fresh.

Left to right:  amberjack and blue nose.  While most of the nigiri courses were better than what you can normally find in the city, I found the sashimi course much more satisfying and tasty.

Fatty and flavorful, both the chu toro (left) and salmon (right) checked both boxes.

Left to right:  saba, aji. 

Left to right: ika (squid), uni.  While the uni was fresh and smooth, I wasn't too impressed with the ika (squid).  Usually, I love a good ika, but this one was much too chewy and hard to eat.

Its fall so its no surprise that nameko mushrooms are making a strong appearance in at least one dish of this omakase.  The small mushrooms really bring out the earthiness of the otherwise simple miso soup.

The yuzu lemonade ended the night with a bright, fresh flavor.

Address:                  Maruya
                                 2931 16th St.
                                 San Francisco, CA
Type:                        Japanese

Popular chomps:      omakase

Chomp worthy:         omakase

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