It’s hard to differentiate between all the mediocre food in Japantown in SF. Some are above average, but for the most part each fall short. One would also think that you could find great sushi in Japantown, and for the most part you would be wrong, except for Ino Sushi. Ino Sushi is a tiny place that consistently serve great sushi. It is a tiny place that usually requires a reservation, especially if you want to sit at the bar. The bar is also interesting since you don’t get the usual wooden plate which the chef serves the sushi, instead the whole bar is the plate and you get served the sushi on the bar itself.

Last night the sushi was average, and at Ino that is what you want. Average is much better than most of the sushi places in the bay area. The saba and amber jack were especially really great. Everything was consistant.

Now I really want to like this place but it is hard to. Firstly it is expensive. It is not overly expensive, but you get what you pay for. Secondly, it is tiny, so it is hard to get a seat sometimes, but since it is tucked away, and most people don’t know about it, it is not always busy. Thirdly, and finally, the chef is a bit of a curmudgeon. Last night he was especially in a bad mood. He was bickering with his (I assume) his wife/server. He is very particular about his sushi. Courtney got scolded once for dipping her ginger in the soy sauce, then a second time for dipping the rice side of the sushi in the soy sauce instead of the fish side. I always end a meal with a hand rool and my hand roll was a little sloppy. Instead of the usual conical shape it was more a conical maki made very quickly and not very cared for.

That being said the sushi was delicious, but a great part of eating sushi is the environment and the interaction with the chef, and if that isn’t there, then the sushi experience isn’t there.