Akiko, San Francisco

I was in San Francisco on business, and having arrived early, decided to check out a decent lunch prior to my first meeting. I decided that if I was in SF, I needed to go fish, ideally Asian.

So, as one does, I checked on the Urbanspoon mobile app for highly rated sushi restaurants near to my hotel in the financial district. Up comes Akiko, a couple of blocks away, with >85% approval and great reviews. Walking down Bush Street looking for the restaurant, I walked past it twice before I checked on the precise address and found a wooden paneled entrance with no outdoor signing. Going inside, there is a group of small tables then the sushi bar and seating for about 10, and another small room at the back with further seating.

Given, I was on my own, I decided to sit at the counter and watch the sushi chef in action.

I asked one of the restaurant staff why there was no outside signage – his explanation being that it was only a small restaurant and they always full with regulars, so they are not looking for passing traffic. And true enough, pretty much everyone who came into the restaurant while I was there was evidently a regular and knew the staff by name. Friendly bunch too, so I was able to have a nice chat with a number of folks during lunch, rather than staring at my phone.

I went for the Nigiri 6-piece sampler plus the sunomono to start. I had the scallop version, and it came with English cucumber and an incredibly delicate but tasty vinaigrette. Absolutely delicious.

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Next up the Nigiri, with a collection of amazingly fresh fish, including Hamachi, salmon, tuna and an incredibly tender butterfish. The chef obviously buys what is good and fresh that day, as there was some discussion with another of the diners whether he fancied trying some monkfish which they had just got in.

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The lunch was delicious, as expensive as you would expect for the quality of the fish, and a very relaxed atmosphere. I would definitely go back.

Akiko's Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

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