Along with the discussion of sardine preps on the General Topics board, I thought it worth mentioning the sardine sushi I enjoyed at Hama-ko last week. The sardines were lightly marinated, separated carefully from the feathery bones by hand into filets, and formed into nigiri sushi. Each filet was topped with a very fine grate of fresh young ginger and a twist of Meyer lemon zest.
We had hit the toro trifecta this time bluefin toro, hamachi toro, and shiro maguro toro were all available and enjoyed mightily. Yet, the one and only item that we reordered because we had to taste it again was the sardine nigiri. The balance of flavors was just exquisite.
Check it out while sardines are in season.
One tip: my friends arrived separately for their first visit to Hama-ko. Id told them the name of the place and that it was across the street from the Eos wine bar at Cole and Carl in SF. Being wine guys, I didnt think theyd have any trouble finding it. However, Eos is now obscured with scaffolding making it hard to identify, plus Hama-ko has no sign and can be hard to make out when the window shades are down. After each had wandered around trying to find it, the tip-off was the row of large empty green sake bottles in the window.