Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sushi Omakase at Sanraku (Sutter Street Location), San Francisco USA

At Sanraku, you can explore both Japanese small dishes and nigiri as well as their American styled sushi rolls. I was surprised by how much I loved their appetizers, which reminds me of the flavors I had in Japan. Besides their delicious nigiri sushi, I highly recommend their seafood Chawanmushi! 


Sanraku is a long-established restaurant founded in 1989, and currently has 3 locations in the SF Bay Area. The first time I visited Sanraku was actually at their Sanraku (Metreon location). For this meal, I visited their Sutter Street location, which is 3 blocks away from Union Square.


My favorite part of the meal is actually trying out their small dishes. We start off the meal with these beautiful appetizers.

Maguro Yamakake is an interesting dish that is perfect for exploring Japanese ingredients and tasting various textures in one dish. In the bottom, you will find tuna cubes. At Sanraku, they serve Japanese mountain yam in cubes instead of grated. You get both crunchy and sticky texture from the yam. It is delicious with scallion and soy sauce seasoning.

Ankimo (Monkfish Liver)

Daikon with Ikura is actually one of the my favorites. It was such a hot day when I visited San Francisco, and this dish is the perfect refreshing dish I need. Grated daikon radish always has a cooling effect. Combining with savory rich salmon roe, I scoop and eat it like a soup, which is unexpectedly nice!

Saikyo Yaki is broiled marinated black cod with aroma miso. From its name, you can pick up its Kyoto origin. It is buttery, delicate, and has a subtle miso aroma. I really need a bowl of rice to enjoy this dish!

Seafood Chawanmushi is an egg custard dish filled with crab, shrimp, fish & mushroom. It is traditionally steamed in a tea cup. The silky custard absorb all the delicious juice from the seafood. Ahhh, it's such a nice dish that I will never get tired of.

Hamo Somen is a cold noodle dish that you must try during summertime. Hamo eel is crunchy and provides the protein we need under the hot sun. The small batches of Somen noodle are served with Vinegar Dipping Sauce. Dip noodle in sauce and slurp the cold refreshing noodle!


Omakase is a Japanese phrase that means "I'll leave it up to you." When ordering Omakase, you should let chef knows if you have any allergies or restriction. Then your personal selected sushi set will be ready very soon!

Here, we have a beautiful spread of nigiri sushi. This is the "SAKURA" plate, which is Chef’s best selection of 8 pieces nigiri sushi, plus 6 pieces blue fin tuna roll.

For our 8 pieces, (from Top left to bottom right) we have:

  • Otoro (大トロ / Fattest part of tuna belly)
  • Aji (鯵 / Japanese horse mackerel)
  • Katsuo (鰹 / Bonito)
  • Hotate (帆立 / scallop) - love the soft texture of raw scallop!
  • Kasugodai (春子鯛 / Young Sea Bream)
  • Sakura Masu (桜鱒 / Cherry trout) 
  • Kamasu  (魳 / Barracuda) - the lightly burnt skin brings out the fat and savory flavor!  
  • Kinmedai (金目鯛 / Splendid alfonsino) 

Interesting enough, I've seen more and more American styled sushi roll over the years of living in California. They became very popular because they re-create flavors that fit with local palate.

Here, we have spicy trio roll and dragon roll.

spicy trio roll and dragon roll
If you want to read more about Japan vs. American sushi, check out this article "The Truth About American Sushi No One Wants to Hear" from Spoon University.


I really enjoyed this causal kaiseki meal that fits perfectly with the hot season. Their ingredients are fresh and in high quality. My favorite appetizers are the refreshing daikon with salmon roe and seafood chawanmushi. Sanraku at Sutter Street gives me a feeling of a local homely neighborhood restaurant that I will appreciate even if I am dining by myself.

Sanraku (Sutter Street Location)


  1. The restaurant is great !!
    I will bring my girlfriend here.
    She is from Japan, maybe she will love this.
    We know each other through the dating site Livejasmin
    Thanks for the post

  2. wow !! It was great.
    My girlfriend from Japan probably likes this place.
    We will go out to eat and somewhere to rest.
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    Thank you for recommending.

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