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Restaurants & Bars 5

Ino Sushi an Excellent Rec

Porthos | Sep 5, 200409:06 PM

Since moving to the bay area 2 months ago, I decided that one of my priorities was to quickly settle into the sushi scene. My favorites in New York were Sushi Yasuda and Sushi of Gari. If I were to rate those two restaurants as a 10 and a 9 (respectively) on my sushi scale, I would have to say that my LA sushi experience never surpassed a 7 (R-23).

I hoped desperately that I would fare better in SF. I scoured the board for the ideal sushi restaurant to kick off my bay area sushi experience. I pondered places like, Sawa, Kabuto, Hama-ko, etc, but finally took Melanie Wong’s advice and tried Ino. Of course we sat at the bar and ordered omakase. The quality of the fish at Ino was very good. Though the selection at Ino does not approach the 30+ types of imported Japanese fish at Sushi Yasuda, I was very happy with pretty much every piece of sushi that we were offered. I’m pretty sure the list below is complete and I’ve also included the number of pieces each person received per portion…

Toro (2)- delicious, creamy, and very flavorful. At least a grade 3/5 on the fatty toro scale.
Kanpachi (2)- excellent , clean, with a nice snap
Flounder, albacore (1,1)- hard to get excited about flounder but the albacore was top notch!
Hamachi (2)- yum
Pike fish (1)- Stellar! According to the chef, one of his Japanese fish available that night.
Anago (1)- excellent
Ikura (1)- very fresh, each individual egg was distinct and popped with that nice briny sweetness.
Ankimo (1)- By far the best ankimo I’ve had. The slab we were given was just like foie gras in thickness. Excellent.
Flounder fin (1)- blah. Nothing irritates me more than getting ebi, squid, or flounder fin during omakase. In fact, if I get 2 of the 3, that’s usually my cue that the chef is out of options and it’s time to stop.
Steamed abalone and Japanese crab (1,1)- Steamed abalone was very good. Might have been smoked a little too, I can’t be sure. The Japanese crab was very sweet and delicious.
Tako(1)- not bad for tako.
Mirugai(1)- I use mirugai as one of my guidelines for judging a sushi bar. The mirugai here was sweet and crisp…just the way I like it.

Overall, I’d say Ino is a pretty good restaurant. The small hot room does take away ever so slightly from the dining experience and warm, room temp sake definitely was a minus. I’d say overall, a solid 7/10 on the sushi scale.

With 2 glasses of $18/glass sake, the total bill was $140. Not bad at all.

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