I came across Eiji, a Japanese restaurant on Sanchez Street in the Castro the other day quite by accident. It’s easy to miss: hidden behind trees, in a residential neighborhood, why would one expect to find good soup noodles and sushi here of all places? But I was impressed. For lunch I had the kitsune soba noddle soup with tofu puffs — the soup was not salty at all and it felt so purifying. I also ordered the cold tofu with tamari, spring onions and grated ginger, very delicious indeed.
Lunch here is inexpensive. I paid $7.50 for the large bowl of kitsune soup noodles; for the sushi and sashimi lunch plates which include miso soup, you pay $12.50. For dinner you must reserve because the restaurant is tiny but they have a good selection of fish and of course, those excellent tofu dishes. I don’t know why this restaurant is so unknown but it deserves a place in my pantheon of favorite ethnic dives. The one thing I do appreciate about Japanese ethnic dives is that they are very clean and their decor is sparse but comforting.
- Vibe: relaxed Japanese restaurant, minimalist decor, very clean, quiet
- Pros: excellent tofu dishes, inexpensive delicious noodle soups for lunch, wide selection of fish for sushi, sashimi, chirashi; excellent service
- Cons: difficult to find parking in the neighborhood, but luckily, two Muni stops (Church Street, Castro) are only minutes away
317 Sanchez Street
San Francisco, CA
+1 415 558 8149
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