We Wanna Be Friends With: Erin + Tim of ICHI Sushi


Our city is chock-full of interesting people and wild personalities. Overwhelmed by the coolness? Every week we'll pick one standout local we'd love to be friends with to answer seven essential questions about their life in San Francisco.

A little insider info - when doing our We Wanna Be Friends With Q&A, we ask people to share a few fun facts about themselves to get a better sense of who they are. Usually these facts are pretty predictable, but reading Erin and Tim's made us actually laugh out loud. Here are some highlights:

Before opening ICHI Sushi, Erin was a semi-pro wrestler. Her persona? The wrestling Girl Scout, Peanut Butter Patty. She also worked on a Pirate Ship; in a Time Travel Mart; built dinosaur exhibits in The Museum of Unnatural History; and was on the team that started up 826 Valencia.

Tim has a pretty good story too - he's a metal and woodworker and personally welded the bar stools, chairs, tables and shelves in their new restaurant. And the two met when Tim was working at a karaoke sushi bar on Maui and Erin was blown away by his soulful rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart." AW!

Today the two run one of SF's most beloved sushi restaurants. Known for their chef inspired offerings and seasoning their nigiri rice especially for each fish it accompanies, the neighborhood spot is always packed. Luckily for the hungry hordes, they have a new project in the works. Within the month their current space will transition to an oyster bar, with a new spot opening up next door named ICHI Sushi + NI Bar serving their current menu.

Thanks Erin and Tim for answering our Q&A! 

1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?  

Bernal Heights. I think we’re here for life! We’ve got two restaurants within 500 yards of our home, and are grateful for our incredible neighbors. Owning ICHI has really integrated us even more deeply in our ‘hood. 

2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?

Erin: The Meatloaf at Blue Plate, Chefs Cory and Sean got me back to eating meat after a long stretch of veggies and fish only. 

Tim: The Baccala at Sotto Mare in North Beach or driving down south — for the Tantanmen Ramen at Himawari.

3. What's your perfect night on the town?

Drinks at Rock Bar and dinner in our ‘hood at La Ciccia or Incanto. We’re excited for the new La Ciccia project, La Nebbia. 

4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time?

Erin: Kabuki spa and restorative yoga at Bernal Yoga, or a movie at Kabuki Sundance with popcorn and wine.

Tim: Motorcycle ride to Alice’s Restaurant in Woodside.  

5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?

Hands-down Armstrong Woods in Guerneville. We’ll drive up that way and stop in Healdsburg, have lunch at Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar with a glass of Woodenhead’s French Colombard, and then drive back home down the Sonoma Coast, past where The Goonies was filmed, and ease back into the city once we’ve broken into Karl the Fog’s turf.

6. Quick-fire round:

Burrito or Burger? 

Erin: Can I say Tonayense taco truck?

Tim: Burger. Big Mouth’s Turkey Burger.

Presidio or Golden Gate Park?

Erin: Presidio — We were married there in the Main Post Chapel.

Tim: Golden Gate Park.

BiRite or Mitchell's?

Erin: I love the BiRite crew! But, we live across from Mitchell’s.

Tim: Mitchell’s.

Bike or MUNI?

Erin: MUNI — When I first moved to SF, I would ride each bus line from start to finish on my days off to learn the city and its neighborhoods. 

Tim: Bike.

Fort Mason or Dolores Park?

Erin: Our doggie prefers Fort Mason. She’s got a real thing for boats. 

Tim: Fort Mason.

The Independent or the Fillmore?

Erin: The Independent. Our pals work there!

Tim: The Independent.

Baker Beach or Ocean Beach?

Erin: Ocean Beach, I used to work at an assisted living community and we’d go here because it was so accessible. It was my first time really falling in love with California’s edge of the Pacific. Plus, sand dollars after the tide washes out!

Tim: Ocean Beach. It’s such a long beach.

8. Three words that describe your life in SF?

Erin: Dog walks, readings, supping.

Tim: Sushi, tacos, love.

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