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San Francisco Bay Area

hama ko on a whim a little legnthy

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Restaurants & Bars 9

hama ko on a whim a little legnthy

Rochelle | Oct 13, 2001 01:03 PM

it was so beautiful last night we set out the front doors sans sweaters at about 7:15 looking for something likely for dinner within walking distance of the house. as we crossed carl i said to steve,"let's go take a look in hama ko and see how busy they are."

as he isn't one to eat sushi very often at all i held no hope that we might actually go in, but he quite suprised me when we got to the door by nudging me inside and saying to mama-san, "two please".

we were seated at a four top against the wall near the kitchen. i was so delighted to be there i decided to press my luck a little further and asked steve if he thought we might just let the chef choose for us rather than choosing for ourselves off the menu.

he was definitely game, so we ordered our beverages and asked mama-san if we might just be fed. she smiled her lovely, big smile, giggled a little, said something in japanese then started rattling off what choices the chef might make. to each of these suggestions we nodded and said, "yes, yes".

when she went to tell the chef he leaned over the end of the counter, said something in japenese to us, smiled a lovely smile and got to work.

by now the populace of the restaurant had grown from a mere 2 tables of 2 to nearly full capacity.

we started with a bowl of beautiful miso soup. slivers of fresh shitake mushrooms, nearly paper thin floating on top with plenty of scallion and cubes of soft, white tofu. a healing bowl if ever there was one.

after a good bit of conversation and an emptying of many cups of tea the chef presented a monstrous round celadon plate heaping with sushi. he bowed and smiled and said something i wish i could've understood. soon mama-san came back to put the finishing touches on and bring it to our table. magnificent presentation!

i shall try to remember everything, but if i get it wrong, forgive me and please correct me. each type of sushi had 4 pieces, save the last which we only had room for one piece for each of us.

the sushi plate consisted of: toro (fatty, fatty underbelly-she said),
the most lovely smoked salmon i've ever had-tender with a definate smoked flavor, sea urchin with tobiko, japanese halibut flown in that morning, also from the underbelly-"the best part", monk fish liver-huge, beautiful portions definately the sea's counterpoint to foie gras, and fresh oysters nestled above a cylinder of rice and seaweed.

as a special treat we had alaskan prawns, flown in that day,"just for me, no one else got these." the flavor was crisp and clean with the lovely popping of the few eggs still attached. definitely the taste of the sea.

we ate until we were full-and that's saying a lot with steve as a dinner companion. both the chef and his wife kept saying to me, you've been here before and i had to confess i had, tho i had never eaten as well as we just had the pleasure to.

one funny thing that happened during the night, about 3 parties came in looking for take out sushi and were abruptly turned away which i thought wonderful. now i'll just have to visit often enough to be considered a regular so when i'm sick steve can bring me home miso!

two of us, chef's choice, two beverages $128 with tax and tip and happily worth every penny

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