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chowhoundX | Feb 11, 200201:08 AM     7

Following Hiko Ikeda's post about Hatcho, I found a link to a Japanese page of the 100 best restaurants in SF. A user commented that Sushi Man (rhymes with Khan) was the first place she found good sushi in SF. I headed over.

The oyakata (owner/chef) said he's been at that location for 23 years. He said every other sushi chef in San Francisco is an amateur.

Sushi Man offers the best of both worlds regarding two sushi characteristics we've debated on these boards: Good size pieces of fish, that also blend well with the rice. Sushi-wise, I had maguro, saba, shiro maguro, anago, uni, hamachi, tamago. Everything was melt-in-the-mouth fresh and tasty.

Sushi Man also has some great non-sushi items, which are on a board called appetizers (everything is in English and Japanese). I tried the salt-grilled cod collar (gindara kama no shioyaki), the sauteed eggplant (yakinasu), and sauteed shiitake. The shiitake had absorbed a lot of salt in the coooking, but still good. The cod was fantastic -- salty but also fatty and crispy.

Excellent sake selection also. The sake bottles along the top of the wall include items not listed on the menu. I chose the Suigei (Drunken Whale) cold, which came in a martini glass. Only a little flowery, nice and dry.

At the end, I asked diplomatically if he'd ever heard of Hama-ko. He said he fired the Hama-ko chef a long time ago because the guy couldn't cut it. But I'm not really sure if he knew who I was talking about.

Anyway, I'd say Sushi Man definitely belongs up there among the best sushi places in SF. Reasonable too -- $40 per person including tip when I went.

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