Porthos has finally enjoyed Takahashi-san’s omakase at Anzu. He enjoyed the best sushi he’s had in San Francisco, ranking a respectable fourth in his personal all-time sushi rankings, behind such luminaries as New York’s Sushi Yasuda and Los Angeles’ Mori Sushi. The rice is good, though not the transcendent rice of Yasuda. Anzu’s strength, though, is in its wide variety of high-quality fish. yamada3 likes Anzu even better than Sakae. Anzu’s sushi is delicate and feminine, compared to Sakae’s more masculine sushi, which can sometimes be more about the fattiness and oiliness of the fish than its delicate sweetness. “Sakae was like sushi that grows hair on your chest,” he says.

Very important for your Anzu visit: sit at the sushi bar. Only at the sushi bar will you get fresh-grated wasabi.

Omakase is very, very strong. You’ll start with a sashimi plate. On Porthos’ visit, the sashimi plate included beautifully pink chu-toro (fattier than the alleged o-toro at Kitsho), buttery kingfish, flavorful copper river salmon, and firm, clean tasting mejini. Then, a comforting little bit of sukiyaki as a meaty palate-cleanser.

Then came nigiri. Porthos’ omakase included creamy, buttery kanpachi; fresh high-grade hamachi; and gorgeous and sweet bluefin tuna. Santa Barbara uni was sweet and fresh, the architecture of the uni well preserved. Ayoyagi and mirugai were both sweet, crispy, and refreshing. Tairagai was firmer and sweeter than regular scallops. And their o-toro was light pink, but with big fat streaks of white–very rich and fatty. Dessert was a refreshing handroll with ume, tobiko, sharkfin, and shiso.

Weak links: pre-packaged anago and unagi. And fishy aji. And their kohada.

Now for the important data. Takahashi-san has revealed that he gets his fish on Tuesdays and Fridays, with the big shipment coming in on Tuesdays. On Tuesday, he has up to forty types of fish. So the best time to go is Tuesday through Friday. Caveat: if it’s a holiday in Japan, the fish shipments come a day later.

Anzu Restaurant [Union Square]
222 Mason St., San Francisco

Sakae Restaurant [Peninsula]
240 Park Rd., Burlingame

Kitsho [South Bay]
19541 Richwood Dr., Cupertino

Board Links: Sushi At Anzu (finally)

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