Last night I went to the newly opened Tsunami in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, a district that has been lacking in culinary delights. This neighborhood’s proximity to the ball park means its residents can choose from variety of establishments serving “ball park area cuisine” (burger joints, soggy pizza, sub-standard sushi, lousy ice cream, Panera’s inedible rolls and equally abysmal coffee). They have to walk all the way to Townsend Street to get to South Food and Wine Bar. So when Tsunami opened their third Japanese place in San Francisco right in Mission Bay, I wanted to try it out immediately.
The sushi rolls are very good, much better than sushi rolls in most Japanese restaurants around town (with the possible exception of Ozumo). The fish is fresh and the flavors are well-balanced. The vegetarian rolls are also wonderful which is unusual because vegetarian rolls are an after-thought in most sushi places. Tsunami has an extensive sake list, although not quite as varied and deep as at Ozumo. They also have good Japanese beers, which are hard to find in SF. The restaurant is modern and glamorous; there’s a large bar area. It has the same look as Grand Pu Bah and Heaven’s Dog. The clientele are mostly young Asians (for now) but expect this to change when there’s a ball game.
The Dajani Group, which owns Tsunami Mission Bay, also owns Tsunami in the Panhandle (Divisadero at Fulton) and Nihon Whiskey Lounge (sushi plus whiskey). Tsunami Mission Bay says they will open for lunch in a few weeks, which is good news for those of us who live in this part of the city. We’ve got more choices now beyond ball park chow.
- Vibe: chic, modern interiors; clientele are young Asians (and professionals) who live in the Mission Bay neighborhood.
- Pros: quality of the sushi rolls much better than most SF sushi places; big selection of sakes and Japanese beers; spacious, airy seating areas. A block from the Muni station so no need to drive and mess with the SF parking nightmare.
- Cons: quite expensive for these recessionary times – a glass of sake costs $10, the rolls are $14 – $17, beer is $8.50.
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