(Photography by Sarah Chorey)

First Taste: Izakaya Sushi Ran​ does Japanese pub grub at its best

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Sushi Ran is a name that rings familiar for most San Franciscans—Sausalito's sushi spot has been beloved for years, worthy of the drive across the bridge.

Now we need only to hop off Muni near the Castro for a taste of this favorite restaurant as its spin-off, Izakaya Sushi Ran, has opened in the former home of Nomica.


Sarah Chorey

What would a Sushi Ran restaurant be without at least some sushi and sashimi options? Go all in with mouthwatering pieces of tuna, yellowtail, or salmon.

Chef/owner Yoshi Tome has transitioned the space yet again upon the departure of his Nomica chef. The space still feels familiar though, with most of Nomica's decor and design touches left in place. A fresh coat of paint and new lighting, however, lend the new restaurant at 2223 Market Street a more traditional Japanese pub feel. Cozy up at one of the tables or find a place at the sexy red bar for shared food and good conversation.

While a few sushi rolls, sashimi, and appetizer options have migrated over to the Izakaya Sushi Ran menu from its Sausalito sister spot, you'll find a spectrum of new small plates, both hot and cold. Tome has also orchestrated the addition of some items from his home, the Okinawa prefecture in Japan, with the help of Seiji Wakabayashi, Sushi Ran's executive chef who'll manage the izakaya's kitchen.

One thing we're really pumped about? A whole section dedicated to tempura—we're talking tempura shrimp, tori (chicken breast), and kakiage, a distinct combination of scallop, sweet onion, and cordycep mushrooms, fried into one large rich pancake and dusted with sesame seeds and Japanese spices for a rich umami flavor.

Grab your drinking and snacking hats, we're going to the Japanese pub.

// Izakaya Sushi Ran, 2223 Market St. (Upper Market), izakayasushiran.com

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