Following the personal that left Sushi Ran in Sausalito for new endeavours in San Francisco over the past few month, I set out to test them all against my benchmark experiences at Sushi Ran.
First, I managed to get a sushi bar seat at the not-yet-opened restaurant KUSAKABE, located in the financial district of downtown San Francisco. It is a very small place with roughly 30 seats, half of which are at the long sushi bar.
Apparently, it will officially open on Monday, June 16 2014, so I was happy to got squeezed in. It is owned and operated by sushi chef Nori Kusakabe, a former executive chef at Sushi Ran.
Nori Kusakabe is the CEO and Co-owner chef of KUSAKABE. He has been the executive chef at Sushi Ran in Sausalito until November, 2013 where Michelin stars was awarded in 2006 & 2007. He was the Grand Winner of World Sushi Award and All US Sushi Technical Skill Champion. His past experience includes executive chef at the famous NOBU restaurant in Miami Beach.
Source: “About the owner chef, nori Kusakabe”, June 6 2014
They offer a fixed omakase menu for 95 $ which takes you on a journey through the highlights of Japanese cuisine. It contains a mix of mostly nigiri, very few sashimi as well as some sushi rolls, miso soup and other warm dishes. After around 10 courses you can still choose from the à la carte menu, which has a limited offer of additional nigiri and some deserts. Here are some pictures I took during the evening.
The fish was delicious and very intense for it was served very traditionally without any fancy sauces or anything. So it really was kind of like Sushi Ran, but with a twist to it. There are some more people from Sushi Ran there in addition to the chef (1 additional chef, 2 waiters and sommeliers). Everybody was very nice and forthcoming and I even recognised some people from my visits to Sushi Ran.
more tuna … at Kusakabe
Chūtoro at Kusakabe