Sushi & Sake Lounge
465 Grove @ Gough
Lunch 11:30-2:30 Tues Fri
Dinner 6:00-10:00 Tues Sat
We have a friend that lives in Boston but comes to San Francisco once a month for business. So once a month, Michael & I try to take him someplace new and interesting for dinner. It can be a dive, fancy, trendy or low-key, but we generally aim for places with tasty food that has a noise level thats not so high as to preclude conversation (since we have a months worth of news to catch up on).
Last week, we tried Midori Mushi. Even though there are technically better (or more classic) sushi places in the Bay Area, we loved it because it reminded me that there are still pockets of funk in San Francisco that it hasnt been completely paved over.
Midori Mushi is in the Days Inn on Grove Street. Its extremely tiny there are only five two tops (although I think they have a private dining area and a lounge upstairs). Even though it was recently reviewed by the Examiner, we were able to get a table at 7:30 on a Thursday night without any problem. The space is a semi-circle with all the tables are against the windows and the kitchen on the back wall. The guys that run Midori Mushi are young, enthusiastic and friendly. The sushi chef has brightly colored, spikey hair and looks like hes somewhere between 20-25 years old.
There was techno music playing, our waiter (who was very bouncy & welcoming) let us know about some cool events going on in the city later that evening and sold us one of their lovely Midori Mushi t-shirts that has their slogan Your fish smells like pussy emblazoned on the front. At one point, our waiter let us know that what we had ordered looked so good, that the chef had made a second order and they were going to join us for that round. They also insisted that we come back and become regulars. For me, the experience was beyond the pretentious hip of certain places that come to mind - it was a group of guys doing what they love, loving the customers who appreciate what they are doing and not caring if some people dont get it.
Oh yea, the food the fish was extremely fresh. The classics were well executed but it was their special rolls that really shined. Our friend, Paul, really enjoyed the food and the only in San Francisco feel of the place. Michael said that he thought Hama-kos sushi was more flavorful and more precisely presented but that Midori Mushi was still quite good. I left with happy - - really, really happy that I have found such a gem and its within walking distance of my house. As they say back home "yeehaw, giddyup Mother Fucker!"
FYI the bill came to $145 (cash only), which we thought was pretty decent considering Michael & Paul are big eaters and we had a lot of sake. One could definitely get out of there for a lot less.
Sorry I cant be more specific about what we ordered, I was in such a happy place that I didnt take notes.