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.

Powermat Wireless Charging at Starbucks in Palo Alto

I recently went to Starbucks in Downtown Palo Alto for some Frappuccino to kill some time. While waiting for the hours to pass, surfing the web on my iPhone, I ran out of power quickly. This is when I noticed the Powermat wireless charging stations they offered in the store. This is how it works:

“Powermat lets you power your phone without wires or cords or worries. Simply visit one of our Powermat locations. They’re easy to find using our app. Plug in your Ring and place on a Powermat Spot to start charging.

When plugged into your phone and placed on a Powermat Spot, the Powermat Ring wirelessly recharges your battery. Powermat charges your devices just as fast as a cord, while being conveniently within reach (no more crawling around looking for outlets). The Powermat Ring comes in multiple colors and fits all Android and iPhone mobile devices.”

Well, I appreciate the effort and can say after some issues with the loading mechanism stopping when the iPhone goes to sleep, I was able to recharge my iPhone 6 Plus. There were only a few tables equipped with the Powermat Spots, so I also had to wait until a ring became available. Apparently many people are still using the old 30-pin iPod connector since they had far more of those rings than for lightning connectors. For some reason they also had usb connectors for Android user, but I didn’t see any at this particular Starbucks. Anyway, the charger worked well enough.

The main issue with this type of charging station is that I can’t really use my iPhone while charging. If the iPhone moves just a little, charging gets interrupted. So even when using the iPhone lying on the table, it hardly possible to keep charging. I suppose preinstalled cable based charging outlets would provide a better service for Starbucks’ customers and would work better. But that’s not very innovative and that’s what Palo Alto is all about, right?

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.