Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Food: "Japan" in SF

Japanese food is heavenly and the offerings in the Bay are nothing short of amazing.  Coming from the midwest, "Japanese food" meant grocery store sushi with really "fishy" tasting fish.  Out here, my entire family has embraced Japanese cuisine and eat it at least 1-2 times a week.

Notable Rolls:
Lemon Salmon @ Amakara
Meet its cousin Lime Scallop in a previous post.  Such a beautifully presented piece of food!  Didn't pack as big of a citrus punch as the Lime Scallop, but this was quite tasty.  This place is one of my East Bay faves (though I did have "meh" amaebi once) - the veggies in particular are always insanely fresh and give such nice dimensionality to their rolls.

Chili Spider Salmon @ Amakara
More beauty on a plate

Top: "Hot Dog" (I've forgotten what this is, but there's no actual hot dog, there was something fried in the middle and yummy though, lol), Negi Hama (scallion + yellowtail), "Chili Dog" (spicy tuna)
Bottom: Baby Lobster, Butter Fish, Amaebi (sweet shrimp)
@ Sushi Sam's w/ the lovely Ping & Karen 
(will need to take people pics next time! I blame the giant pimple in the middle of my forehead)
Very fresh fish and interesting combinations (loved the Baby Lobster nigiri with the creamy sauce plus almond slivers), wish they had also provided the shrimp heads though.  Those are my husband's favorite.

Amaebi + fried heads @ Nama Sushi
No offense to SS above, but this is the proper way to do Amaebi - heads and all.

Asparagus Beef Wrap @ Amakara
Wonderful grilled flavor & savory sauce with the perfect amount of zing.  The salad atop is a nice touch.

Hamachi Carpaccio @ Amakara
Cilantro + tomato + jalapeño + olive oil = wonderfully vibrant bite of food


Deep Fried Chicken Ramen @ Katana-ya
I loved this concept, but the chicken was a little soggy and I felt like the broth needed some more oomph.  Maybe a bad day?

Ramen in Spicy Garlic Pork Broth @ Ramen Dojo
I had a cold on this particular day which wiped out my taste buds (boo), but my husband loved it.  Has 4 stars and 1687 reviews on Yelp.  Will come back to try again!


Green Tea Tiramisu @ Sushi Sam's
SO tasty and creamy!  I originally saw Jess IG this and had to try it myself.  If you are a green tea fan, you'd like this :)

Green Tea Creme Brûlée @ Gochi Fusion Tapas
Delightfully crisp caramelized sugar layer with with yummy green tea goodness underneath

Gotta sneak in kiddo pics from time to time :)

Is it sad that I really love food displays?  So appetizing!  Will need to come back on a day when our bellies aren't stuffed full.

$1.50 Oil Blotting Paper (200 in pack) @ Daiso
By midday, I desperately need something to fix my oily forehead.  I used to use the $5 for 50 Clean & Clear sheets, but I am switching to these - great deal!

Daiso is a little like a Japanese version of Dollar Tree except that most everything is $1.50.  They have oodles and oodles of "stuff" - hair accessories / household items / stationary / snacks / etc.  Each store (we've been to 4 so far) seems to have a slightly different selection.  I think Daly City's is the largest in the area.  A great place to find some good bargains for cute items.

$14 Shiseido Shining Shampoo (pack of 2) @ Ichiban Kan
I had previously only heard of Shiseido cosmetics so was intrigued by their haircare line.  This shampoo seems to magically leave my hair soft & manageable without the use of conditioner.  Also smells great and leaves a little more shine.

Our "Japan" finds in SF are far from over as there's so much more to explore.  If you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!  :)


  1. My favorite types of posts! Never seen shrimp presented that way, which is a shame b/c i love the heads! Mentally filing this away for my future visit : )

  2. I love Japanese food. I have to have sushi at least once a week or else I go into withdrawal mode. It sounds like SF has wonderful offerings. There's a large selection of Japanese restaurants in Vancouver..but not all that many ramen places. And we most certainly could use a nabe restaurant!

    1. I had no idea that there were Japanese hot pot dishes until we moved here! Gochi does one for dinner and I'm excited to try it out one day. We went for lunch and were disappointed to hear that they only serve it for dinner.

  3. Try out the fresh mochi shop next time you're in SF Japantown. They're closed on Sundays.

    If you're down in SJ, the Mochi Cream shop in Mitsuwa supermarket is a fun stop

    I'm also super happy Uniqlo and Muji opened in SF. SJ should be getting a Muji this spring!

    1. Thanks for the recommendations! I've walked by Uniqlo when it first opened, but bypassed it because of the crowd. Need to go back during a less busy time to check it out!

  4. Omg, love Japanese food! I miss SF. I would love to live there. Im from the south, so good japanese food is a rare treat.

    1. I completely empathize! I lived in the midwest for 30 years and didn't have much to choose from save some fishy sushi

  5. So far my experience with Japanese food has been the beef/shrimp udon soup and the sushi. The food pics looks amazing and are making me hungry. I wish I could taste all that specially the tiramisu!

  6. this looks absolutely fantastic! so many wonderful looking dishes - i love that picture with your kids. too cute!

    xox P

  7. I love Daiso :) and the food looks delish :) Ramen and Green tea :)

  8. yay japantown!

    have you gone to the mission? there's a fabulous bakery called tartine near dolores park (it's close to the famous bi-rite market and ice cream!)

  9. My friend and her bf loved Dojo a lot! I wanted to try but never had chance. Great SF has a lot of Japanese food and you enjoy it. Glad to know as Japanese! Hope you have more fun there!!!

  10. Everything looked so good! I can't wait for a sushi date night with me and hubs after this baby! And that ramen. One of my favorites! Your kids are so cute! Chubby cheeks! And I loooove fake food displays. That's how it's done in Japan!

    1. Aw, thanks Lisa! Is it sad that my mouth actually waters when I look at a food display? My husband thinks I'm weird :D

  11. Now I want sushi for lunch.hehe. The food pictures looks amazing. It's has been a long time since I had sushi at Japan Town. I will need to remember to stop by this restaurant next time I visit San Francisco. BTW the picture of your kids are so adorable.

  12. I loved Daiso when I was in SF! Spent so long in that store. Have you tried Ramen Underground place? It's pretty small and dinky, but very good. It gets busy during the lunch hour so avoid peak times! I had dinner at Isobune in Jap Town and ice cream crepes at Sophie's - SO good.

    1. Will need to re-look at your SF post, I have it bookmarked still :)

  13. Oh wow, all these pics are making my mouth water! I love Japanese food - the sushi and ramen look so nom-worthy!

  14. OMGosh! They have a Daiso in San Fran! We lived in Japan for 3.5 yrs and Daiso was one of my fav haangouts. I would have to say, though, that the quality of stuff in Daiso (at least in Japan) was much higher than the quality of stuff in the Dollar Tree. :) BTW, your pics are awesome...they made me hungry! Oishisou!

    1. DEFINITELY higher quality and such cute items I wouldn't find otherwise! Should have mentioned that :)

  15. Love all the food pics as usual! You got a great shot of the green tea tiramisu!


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