Monday, November 9, 2009

Sushi Koo, omakase

I've always thought the bay area dimmed in comparison to LA's ubiquitous array of sushi joints. It was so embedded in my mind that never once did having sushi cross my mind while I was in San Francisco.

After a bit of snooping around, I came up with Koo Sushi. I was ambivalent at first, afterall, how could a place called Koo yield authentic sushi? But then again, didn't I fall in love with Sushi Sushi? I guess you can never judge a book by its cover.

Koo features a non-traditional ambiance with lounge music playing in the background. We were seated at the sushi bar, directly in front of chef/owner Kiyoshi Hayakawa. I immediately took a liking to the amiable chef. He was not one of those sushi nazi, typical of sushi joints in LA.

My absolute favorite of the night, Spoons of Happiness. It came with two spoons; uni, quail egg, and ponzu. The other spoon held ankimo (monkfish liver) wrapped in yellowtail with truffle oil. This came with a shot of sake to wash it down. They should have called it Spoons of Bliss!

Sashimi Platter

                                        Stuffed Jalapeno, Homemade Miso and Eggplant

I was slightly dissapointed that okra would be on an omakase menu.

Yellow Tail Collar imported from Japan. This was a perfect collar, tender, flavorful with just the right amount of char. I licked the bones clean.

I wasn't able to decipher the name of the fish with the Japanese accent. But I do recall it being tender and buttery, perfection.

There's no way I could let this piece of chu-toro slip my mind. It was also imported from Japan, with no gristles and smooth and creamy as can be.

                                                                          Aji Suhi
I loved how Chef Kiyoshi paired the sushi with it's fried fish bone. Not only was the bone tasty, like briny chips, it was also aesthetically pleasing.

                                                                       Macha Flan

This meal was a feast for the stomach and the eyes. All the items were fresh and were more traditional than fushion. Being a fan of traditional sushi, I was pleased with this. Kiyoshi took the time to explain each dish and seemed passionate about his work. We chatted about how the bay area lacks in Japanese food, in comparison to LA. But I told him, with a hidden gem like Koo, there's no need for more. I will definitely go back and visit again. Kiyoshi's omakase isn't a set omakase like some of the ones in LA. I'm looking forward to my next meal there and the surprises he will conjure.


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