Kusakabe

Kusakabe
584 Washington St.
San Francisco, CA  94111
Yelp

As you’ve noticed, I eat a lot of sushi.  It’s mainly because I know it makes The Annoyer very happy to have his “tasty fish.”  Kusakabe is definitely one of the fancier sushi restaurants in the city.    Omakase can be for $95 or $150.  It should be no surprise that there are sushi places that are even more expensive!  As we were celebrating The Annoyer’s birthday, I thought it would be nice to splurge a little and go for the more indulgent option.  I’ll follow suit and keep the commentary short, as some other bloggers do with sushi.  Sometimes there’s only so much one can say about a piece of raw fish.

Ichiban Dashi dried konbu, katsuo-bushi
A lovely and warm startdsc03022

I’ve noticed more and more that sushi chefs, especially the younger ones, tend not to be Japanese.  Our chef was very friendly, talented, and Chinese.dsc03032

Zuke Chutoro bluefin medium fatty tuna cured in soy 
A really strong start with delicious fattiness.   dsc03034

Hirame konbu cured halibut with own liver, shiso
An interesting pairing of a very light fish with the stronger flavors of liver and shiso. dsc03036

Bonito smoked with cherry wood, daikon, chives
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Hokkaido Scallop santa barbara uni
Scallop and uni are two of my favorite sushi.  The pairing was exciting but I would prefer to eat each separately.  It’s hard to appreciate the flavors when they are combined.  Still, a very delicious bite.dsc03040

Sayuri egg yolk powder
It’s not too often I have sayuri.  The last time was probably Japan.  Egg yolk powder is definitely a new flavoring I haven’t experienced before with sushi.
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Sashimi snapper wrapped ankimo on ponzu gelee, bluefin tuna, kamasu lightly grilled, octopus on charcoal bamboo
The sashimi was outstanding.  It was served with 2 dipping sauces, fresh wasabi & yuzu onion and soy sauce ,  I particularly enjoyed the snapper wrapped ankimo.  Monkfish liver isn’t usually something I like too much.  dsc03047

Hassun
I enjoyed the varied assortment of small bites, but nothing here came close to any of the sushi.dsc03048

 japanese oyster with french daurenki caviar, abalone with seasoned vegetables
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lobster with tomatoes
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Tamago Tofu Soup
A delicious interlude.
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Yellowtail Belly
One of the best pieces of the night.  So rich.
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Arctic Char sea salt and citrus
The hint of char was the highlight of this piece.  It went well with the light touch of citrus.
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Aji
Aji is just one of those fish that are kinda average about 50% of the time, even at really nice sushi places.  I’m glad it was spot on here. dsc03060

Hokkaido Uni
Santa Barbara uni is still my favorite.
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Shirayaki BBQ White Eel
Warm with crispy skin and that delectable eel sauce.  YUMS!
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Toro
The finale sushi came with your choice of toro or A5 Wagyu.  YUMS!
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A5 Miyazaki Wagyu
Quite possibly more fat than meat going on here! Double YUMS!
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Yuzu and Shiso Leaf Sorbet
Refreshing. dsc03072

Hoji-Cha Ice Cream mirin syrup, roasted green tea cookie
I could have done without the syrup.  The ice cream was good on its own.dsc03075

Kusakabe was a better experience than what I was expecting.  I’ve paid far more for a less enjoyable meal.  I would classify the style as mostly traditional, with some more unique and innovative bites interspersed throughout like the halibut with its own liver, the scallop and uni nigiri, snapper wrapped ankimo, etc.  I really appreciated that balance of expected and unexpected.  On top of that, all the fish was fresh and very tasty.  I would definitely put Kusakabe in the top 3 sushi restaurants of this price range.  I think The Annoyer had a very happy birthday here.

10 – You NEED to eat here (if you’re a sushi lover with deep pockets)
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here

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