Back at Sushi Ran

During my last trip to San Francisco in early 2017, I once again enjoyed an amazingly awesome omakase style dinner at the sushi bar at Sushi Ran. I have been there a few times and still enjoyed it as much as every time I went there.

Sushi Ran - table setup
Sushi Ran – table setup

First, I started with a moriawase 1o piece sashimi platter with aaa grade big eye tuna, yellowtail, ocean trout, bonito and barracuda at two pieces each. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures.


Omakase Sashimi

I opted for an 11 piece omakase sashimi plate after that and once again I was blown away. It came with uni (deep sea urchin), katsuo (cherrywood smoked bonito tuna), kamasu (barracuda), tennen hamachi (wild yellowtail), aji (horse mackerel), kusshi oyster, hotaru ika (baby firefly squid), kinmedai (golden eye snapper) and buri toro (wild yellowtail belly). This time I took some photos.


Omakase Nigiri

Since there was time for more, I switched to nigiri and tried some more of the sushi bar exclusives. I was served chu toro (medium fatty blue fin tuna belly), toro (fatty blue fin tuna belly), kasugodai (baby red snapper), kinmedia (golden eye snapper), kamasu (barracuda), mahatma (black grouper), buri toro (wild yellowtail belly), wagyu a5 beef striploin, shirayaki and unagi (two types of freshwater eel).

I never had black grouper before and liked it very much. The bluefin was also awesome, as was the barracuda. All in all it was as amazing as always.


I will surely be back next time I am in San Francisco.

For some reason I had more issues than usual with Japanese sushi terms and had to ask more than once about the variety of fish I could choose from. A few times I even had to take out my iPhone and look stuff up. That felt rather weird, considering I have been a rather frequent sushi eater. Also, it took far to long to find what I was looking for.

This is why I think I will come up with a chat bot to help me out next time. Wouldn’t you like that?

Amazing Sushi Bar Exclusives at Sushi Ran

On my trip to San Francisco in October 2015, I had to make my mandatory visit to Sushi Ran, my all time favourite Sushi Restaurant in Sausalito. According to Michael Bauer, it os one of the only 3 places to go for great sushi in the San Francisco Bay Area, leading the list for nearly 3 decades. This time I went twice, this being about the second visit… the most impressive sushi experience so far.

Sushi Ran - menu


 

 

Executive Chef Takatoshi Toshi

We went there a few days before and wanted to build on it, so we decided to go on a Friday night, the last night of our trip. As a group of 3 we were seated at the sushi bar and enjoyed the service of Sushi Ran’s executive chef, Mr. Takatoshi Toshi, their master chef since 2013. He recently won the US national championship title at the Global Sushi Challenge held in Chicago on May 17th 2015 and will represent the US in Tokyo, Japan on November 25th for the World Championship. A short video of Takatoshi Toshi at a Gala Evening in Israel is posted below.


 

Sashimi Platter

Anyway, on this day we decided to go with an omakase style sashimi menu and basically went from one gourmet explosion to the next. We went with sashimi because a) we don’t like rice that much and b) rice fills you up to quickly. Since we don’t have the change to be there often, we decided we would get the most out of taking everything as sashimi. We started out with a small sashimi platter with 2 pieces of king sake (king salmon), 2 pieces of hamachi (yellowtail), 2 pieces of hon maguro (kindai-tenku blue fin tuna), 2 pieces of ara (red spotted grouper with sea grapes) and 2 kusshi oysters with yuzu jelly. It’s basically the chef choices from seasonal items. It’s safe to say that king salmon, hon maguro and hamachi is most likely to be on the platter, but the chef adds on it with some specialties. We expecially enjoyed the oyster, which seemed a refreshing and not so common addition to the mix.


 

Sushi Bar Exclusives and more

After that we went to single dish menu style, watching every dish being prepared by Takatoshi Toshi. We kicked it of with kasugodai (baby red snapper cured with bamboo leaf), iwashi (sardine), sagoshi (smoked young Spanish mackerel), kamasu (seared barracuda), kuruma ebi (live Japanese tiger shrimp) and zuke chu toro (red wine cured medium fatty kindai-tenku blue fin tuna). I never had sardine sashimi before and I liked it. Also I really enjoyed the mackerel (for some reason I love mackerel). The tiger shrimp was cooked and peeled just before serving it. Although it was cooled down on ice water it was still warm inside, which made it a very nice dish. I am not too much into shrimp as far as sashimi and nigiri go, but I really enjoyed this one.


 

Afterwards we tried kaisui uni (deep sea ocean packed sea urchin). It was prepared on a spoon and was incredibly fresh and sweet. Just recently, I had uni enrolled in chu toro tuna at Akiko’s Restaurant, but this uni was even better. If only it was served with toro 😉 … but wait.

After that we hat the most delicious toro (kindai-tenku blue fin fatty tuna), kohada (gizzard shad), fresh sujiko (salmon roe) and shirayaki (fresh water grilled eel with sansho). The fatty tuna almost fell apart when I picked it up and dissolved lovely on the tongue. I never had shad before, it was also very elegant and acute at the same time. The eel was also very nice although I must admit I really love unagi.


 

We continued with some amazing tarabagani (king crab with crab butter aioli) served on a spoon. The aioli was delicious and provided a mediterranean twist to the crab. One could easily ask for seconds, but we went on with bincho toro (fresh white fatty tuna), zuke sake (white soy sauce cured fatty salmon) and meso anago (braised young sea eel).


 

For the last order we chose the tokachi wagyu beef as nigiri (grade A5 Japanese beef spriploin), as we did the last time we were there. It is so delicious and well worth the money and effort put into it.


 

It truly was a dinner long to be remembered. The fish was so fresh and tasty, it just blew us away. Since this was our second sitting at Sushi Ran during our trip, it is safe to say that the experience was even better than before. We really enjoyed to talk with Takatoshi Toshi and letting him chose one delicious dish after another. It is hard to believe that there are differences on such a high level of gourmet cuisine, but there sure are.

So whenever you have the chance to go to Sushi Ran, make sure you are sitting at the Sushi bar and take a look at the Sushi Bar Exclusives and hope the Executive Chef is waiting for your order.

Omakase menu at Sushi Ran

During my recent trip to the San Francisco Bay Area in October 2015, I had to make my mandatory visit to Sushi Ran, my all time favourite Sushi Restaurant in Sausalito. I have been there quite often over the past 12 years and have written about it many times. My last visit to Sushi Ran was during the WWDC 2014. If you are interested, check it out.

This time around I went twice, this being a short post about the first visit. As a group of 3, we were lucky to get seats at the packed sushi bar at 8 pm on a Sunday.

Sushi Ran Restaurant Logo


 

Sashimi Platter

We started the dinner with some sake based cocktails and a moriawase sashimi platter, made of 10 pieces: 2 pieces of king sake (kings salmon), 2 pieces of Aji (horse mackarel), 2 pieces of hon maguro (kindai-tenku blue fin tuna), 2 pieces of bincho maguro (fresh white tuna) and 2 pieces of hamachi (yellowtail).


 

Omakase Sushi

I hope I got it right, since I was focussed more on the taste of the insanely great fish than taking notes. Afterwards we opted for the omakase nigiri menu and kicked it off with young barracuda, toro & caviar (sustainable blue fin fatty tuna with California white sturgeon roe), umi masu (ocean trout with shiso leaf), katsuo (lightly cherrywood smoked bonito), zuke chu toro (red wine cured medium fatty kindai-tenku bue tin tuna) and kusshi oyster with yuzu jelly.

For desert we chose the grade A5 tokachi wagyu beef nigiri (Japanese beef striploin) and a shirayaki nigiri (fresh water grilled eel with sansho).


 

Since we mostly had nigiri, we couldn’t take any more although it was truly awesome. This is why we decided to come back for more on our last day. So I’ll be posting more about my Sushi Ran experiences soon.

Prelude to Spectra at Art Silicon Valley

Recently I went to Art Silicon Valley San Francisco (9-11 October 2015) at the San Mateo Event Center, an international contemporary and modern art fair. Art SV/SF is Art Miami’s fair on the West Coast between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

art silicon valley san francisco 2015 entrance

The art sv/sf 2015 prospectus provides with a glimpse of what was on display.

“The second edition will run October 8-11, 2015 at the San Mateo Event Center and will showcase important artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries in collaboration with some of the world’s most respected galleries and art institutions.

In keeping with Art Miami’s high standards of quality, the Fair will offer a sophisticated, curated setting that showcases blue-chip Post-War and Modern works as well art by top Contemporary, Emerging and New Media artists.”

I especially enjoyed “Prelude to Spectra”, a large-scale practice performance piece, inviting visitors to engage with the facade of the San Mateo Event center by shooting paintball bullets onto the entrance of the fair. It is a project by Walter & Zoniel, who plan to perform something similar in the UK in 2016 on a face of a historical building with biodegradable paint. So I gave it a “shot” and did my part to make it a memorable piece.

Following The Trails Of Sushi Ran: Trying Akiko’s Restaurant again

During my last trip to San Francisco in October 2015, I went to Akiko’s Restaurant again. It is one of my favourite sushi restaurants and is located at 431 Bush St near the Dragon’s Gate to Chinatown in San Francisco. I have been there in 2014, and to make it short, it’s still great.

Akiko's Restaurant
Akiko’s Restaurant

Image Source: Akiko’s Restaurant

It is still supposed to be of the very few restaurant that can at all be compared to my all time favourite Sushi Ran in Sausalito, which has been the best for more than 30 years according to Michael Bauer… and I agree. Akiko’s is always well booked, so just as last time we went there despite no seats being available and got squeezed in just after opening at 5 pm with some awesome seats at the sushi bar.


 

Sashimi Platter

This time I went there with a friend from Germany and we shared an amazing omakase experience, starting off with a great sashimi platter. It was made of 12 pieces: 2 pieces of ji-kinmedai (“cold smoked” golden eye snapper), 2 pieces of unimasu (ocean trout), 2 pieces of isaki (grunt fish), 1 piece of hotate (scallop),  1 piece of mirugai (giant clam), 2 pieces of hamachi suna zuri (yellowtail belly cut) and 2 pieces of mebachi maguro (big-eye tuna).

Akiko's Restaurant - ji-kinmedai, unimasu, isaki, hotate,mirugai, suna zuri, mebachi maguro sashimi
ji-kinmedai (“cold smoked” golden eye snapper), unimasu (ocean trout), isaki (grunt fish), hotate (scallop), mirugai (giant clam), suna zuri (yellowtail belly cut), mebachi maguro (big-eye tuna) sashimi

 

Omakase Menu

After that we we had some awesome Uni (sea urchin) enrolled in chu toro (medium fatty blue fin tuna). The uni was incredibly fresh and sweet, but the tuna was even better. It melted on the tongue and made this dish a absolute delight long to be remembered. Although we almost passed out after this delicious dish, we had even more according to the check. One should never stop short off bursting, since you don’t come by often, I suppose. Anyway, we continued with Shima Aji (stripped jack, white trevally) sashimi.

After that we switched to nigiri for some reason. Although nigiri is also great it really fills you up with rice, so pretty soon there will be no room for more. But not yet. We tried some awesome Ayu (river trout “sweet fish”) and Kamasu (young barracuda). Since we don’t have sweet fish and barracuda at any restaurant I know at home, it’s always nice to try something different.

For the grand finale we had the most terrific grade A5 Miyazaki Magyu (Japanese Black Cattle) nigiri. It was amazing and was prepared in front of us since we had seats at the sushi bar.


 

What a great dinner and definitely among the best sushi experiences I ever had. But wait for my posts on my 2 visits to Sushi Ran during this trip.

Haunting Photographs Of San Francisco’s Underground Tunnels

San Francisco - underground- tunnels - 1

San Francisco - underground- tunnels - 2

photojojo:

Almost every major city has a network of underground tunnels used for official city purposes, or as a staging ground for an upcoming zombie invasion, depending on who you ask.

Photographer Evan Thompson ventured below the city streets of San Francisco and captured these haunting images of its rarely seen tunnels.

Haunting Photographs Of San Francisco’s Underground Tunnels

via This Isn’t Happiness

City Layouts

City Layouts - 1

City Layouts - 2

City Layouts - 3

City Layouts - 4

gashetka:

2015 | City Layouts | Design by Luis Dilger

Topography, architecture and traffic routes give every city a unique structure.
These conditions create the typical and individual inner structure of a city.
I didn’t only want to show these structures in the conventional way from above, but also including the exact three-dimensionality of topography and buildings – a real world visualisation.
The OpenStreetMap data enabled me to visualize the satellite-based information using DEM Earth in Cinema 4D. The results are some extraordinary views of large capitals and small towns.

Eric Fischer’s visual representation of pictures taken in San Francisco by tourists and locals

Eric Fischer - locals and tourists - San Francisco

datarep:

A visual representation of where pictures are taken in San Francisco as tourists and locals.

Source: Eric Fischer (flickr)

Looks nice, doesn’t it? Data artist Eric Fischer also build a worldwide map of local allegiances with MapBox and Twitter.

Some of his visualisations are exhibited at the MoMa, utilising the Flickr and Picasa API (like the image of San Francisco above), showing locals and tourists in metropolitan areas around the world. Berlin is among them as well.

Where have you cried in San Francisco?

Where have you cried in San Francisco? - 1

Where have you cried in San Francisco? - 2

Where have you cried in San Francisco? - 3

Where have you cried in San Francisco? - 4

hocio:

San-FranciscoWhen you tell your story to others you provide also the wisdom of your life to our human community. This digital storytelling collection by IDEO team member Ann-Marie Alcantaratakes place in San Francisco/ Bay Area. “Where have you cried in San Francisco?”.

Actually, real deep.

PS: The last story will kill you.

(1m notes = megadeath)

Kusakabe review: a true omakase menu

Kusakabe review: a true omakase menu