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Restaurants & Bars 11

Report: Isa with Chef Sachio Kojima

foggy_town | Feb 13, 200811:21 PM

I have been a long time lurker on this board, and usually too shy to contribute. Someone mentioned that Chef Sachio Kojima (of Kabuto fame) is a guest chef at Isa, and I was surprised that I did not see any report. It gives me a chance write my experience.

I live in the peninsula, and visit the city often for work. Last night, I found myself in Marina at dinner time, an area I visit infrequently. I walked by Isa, and decided to give it a try. As I was by myself, I chose to sit at the bar. The waiter gave me 3 sheets of paper: 1 regular a la carte menu, 1 prix fix menu, and 1 temporary Sachio San menu. The first 2 can be found at their website.

I first encountered Sachio San's food about 10 years ago at Kabuto, when I was a graduate student in Bay Area with limited means. I recall enjoying the food, but could not afford to visit regularly. I am excited to be able to taste his food again. However Isa is not a sushi restaurant, and the bar is not set up for diner/chef interaction. The nigiri menu is not very exciting, compare to Sushi Sam in San Mateo (my current favorite). I decided to trust the chef and there is a tempting $18 "Sachio's sushi plate", but only 5 pieces. Instead I ordered "Sachio's sashimi plate", priced at $25. It came out with 2 piece each of tuna, salmon, hirame and sunazuri (yellowtail belly), plus generous amount of uni, beautifully presented. All I can say is that every piece is a winner.

I am happy, but still hungry. After all, it's sashimi, not sushi. So I ordered a dish of seared scallops from Isa's regular menu. It's good, but not great. The portion is generous for small plate: 4 large scallops with brussel sprout and potato puree.

Sachio Kojima is guest chef at Isa on weekday night (Mon to Thur), from Jan. 14 to Mar. 27. I will definitely take advantage of it, and focus on their nigiri sushi next time. I have read Sushi Monster's report, and tried Akane, Higuma, and Koma, but none of them can take me away from Sushi Sam's exotic selections. Now if Sachio San stages a come back, I will be back in the camp of traditional sushi.

I think it's a classy for act for Isa to host Sachio San. I only tried one dish this time, and will give them more chances in the future, perhaps after Mar. 27.


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