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Kusakabe is a gourmet sushi experience in San Francisco that offers diners a delicious way to taste a style of sushi they may not be familiar with. The chef at Kusakabe serves a prix fixe meal every night that features the Kaiseki style of sushi. After the meal has been served, diners may order additional fare from the a la carte menu.
During their meal, guests at Kusakabe will enjoy freshly made seasonal sushi, including a medium fatty tuna cured in soy sauce, sashimi served with fresh wasabi and onion sauce, Japanese oysters served with caviar and a soup of snap pea and white bean paste. More sushi, including the chef�s choice of the day, completes the meal.
San Francisco, CA 94111
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm and 10:00pm
The last seating for dinner is at 8:30pm
$50 and over
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Valet parking not available. Street parking or parking lots nearby. (Closest one at Hilton Hotel)
Walking distance from Embarcadero and Montgomery BART stations.
Mitsunori "Nori" Kusakabe
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Easily one of the best omakase menus in San Francisco. The staff is extremely warm and kind and the food is always amazing. It is pricey (2 menu choices of $95 or $150), and with drinks and any add ons, it can get expensive. But it compares very favorably to places we have been in Tokyo - so it is well worth it for a special occasion.
We couldn't be more pleased with the "Sushi in Kaiseki Style" selection. It was our first visit and we wanted to have the full experience and it was a joy.
The quality of the product was amazing ... we're still delighting in our post sushi-glow ... the toro, the uni (from Japan not Santa Barbara), the Wagyu beef, all of it left our mouths, minds and foodie hearts fully satisfied and impressed.
Ken, our chef at the sushi bar, was incredible! His elucidations about so aspects of the food were wonderful and impressive. But it was his passion, his passion that made the experience. And passion about not only sushi but also about the joy of dining ... no rushing, taking one's time, appreciating and savoring ... what a joy to have had him be our guide through this culinary adventure.
If you enjoyed Ju Ni, you won't be disappointed here. But note, it's a slightly different experience, but in this case different was great!
Kusakabe has wonderful sushi chefs who take delight in explaining each creation. But in this price range the expectations are very high, and unfortunately the quality of fish does not quite make the grade. We ordered the Grande Omikase to get the full experience. IMO this was a mistake as the few extra pieces do not really justify paying 50% more. In fact I felt overstuffed at the end, so much so that it was difficult to enjoy the Grande Finale of Wagyu beef and Toro sushi. Speaking of Toro, I was pretty disappointed to see a major vein running up the center of the fish (I saw this was true for the Toro that everyone else received, too). I'm sorry, but you would never see that in a high end sushi restaurant in Japan. The whole point of dining in these places is to enjoy a quality of fish that you cannot find in your average neighborhood joint. Now to be fair the atmosphere is nice, the staff is attentive, and the menu features many price points for sake. The food itself is beautiful (though the tourist taking photos of every piece are a bit annoying). Some of the sushi is really, really good, and the all important rice is top quality. But I could do without the Hassan middle course in a box which just seemed like filler. For half the price this would be a steal, but at this price point you quite a expect a bit more.
We flew in from Seattle to eat here, and we weren't disappointed at all. Our chef Brian was very engaging and made the dining experience great. All of the food was delicious and after the omakase he suggested great items off of the a la carte. We had a really great time and will definitely ask for Brian if we are ever back in town and find ourselves back at Kusakabe. Definitely recommend brian for your chef! This place is for sure worth the $$$.
This was my second time here. Everything was beautifully presented and delicious again. Service was a little, hmm, I'll say relaxed. It's nice not to feel hurried, but at the same time, sometimes you want to order a drink or add on. We had 8:15pm reservations, I believe there are two seatings each evening. We had to wait a little bit to be seated and since the restaurant is so small, we waited outside, there was another larger party waiting just inside the door and spilling out into the doorway. My friend and I aren't large eaters so the portions were perfect for us, but I've heard from larger eaters that the $95 omakase menu is not filling. At the end of the meal if you would like to order more, you can add more ala carte. Last time I went at the end of February and this time it was mid-May, the menus were definitely varied which goes right along with using seasonal ingredients, everything was super fresh and great quality. My favorite dish of the night was the Crispy Alaskan Kinki with Maitake Dashi Soup. Fish was crisp and tender, mushrooms were flavorful and broth was delicious. Will definitely be back!
The sushi are absolutely on spot. The proportion of the seafood and rice is very well balanced. The food is mostly traditional Japanese but with a little twist, but not overly done. Definitely try the grand omakase! And if you're a sake person, definitely ask the waiter to give you some inputs on what sake to pair with your meal. Of course, sit at the bar!
This is quickly becoming my favorite in the entire city. Amazing atmosphere, served by the legendary Chef Kusakabe himself. Treated my parents and my Japanese mother thought the food was equal to the best sushi and sashimi she has in Japan.
Would highly recommend to anyone looking for an amazing experience.
My husband and I celebrated our 14th anniversary here earlier this week. Our server, Gabriella, was amazing. The food was outstanding...the freshness, quality, attention to detail were superb. I can't think of enough adjectives to describe it. Sushi is our favorite food and we have dined at many of the top restaurants in San Francisco. It's been a while since we've been blown away, but Kusakabe comes close. We understand why they have a Michelin worthy.
One single complaint I have is the pace at which the food came. There was so much of it and would have loved to have more time in between the courses.
We went to Kusakabe for my birthday celebration. We got the Grand Omakase for $150/ppl and I ordered a 4 oz sake (for $14). The Grand Omakase has an excellent mix of sushi, sashimi, and hot appetizers. The fish was so fresh, and I have to say it is one of the best I have had in bay area. The desserts were equally heavenly, we had both the yuzu sorbet and black sesame ice cream. Comparing this to Omakase ($200/ppl menu), we both like Kusakabe more (maybe it just happens that Kusakabe's selection of food fits our tastebuds better). All in all, Kusakabe is well worth the price and we would come back!
Although not inventive, the sushi was fresh and tasty. The Grand Omakase had lots of toro and a bit of uni. The wait staff was sufficient, but at times it was difficult to understand the descriptions when they were speaking so softly and from me to my companion. Between the both of us, we probably heard half of what the waitress was describing. The most annoying thing was that we were celebrating my friend's birthday which I stated during the confirmation call. Why call to confirm if you aren't going to note it? The desserts were also disappointing. Next time I would just get the Omakase and order a la carte afterwards.
Kusakabe recently changed their Omakase menu; what used to be the $95 omakase is now the $150 one (quite steep price increase!). The new $95 omakase is missing a few items (like the wagyu beef) and has fewer sushis. Other than that, the food is delicious as before.
Kusakabe is a must visit in San Francisco. Making reservations is simple and enjoying this restaurant is even more effortless. The service, the food, the atmosphere and the dessert (!!!) are all beyond excellent. Michelin star anyone? Oh, yeah, they've got that too. I can't stop dreaming of the mind-blowing wagyu... Seriously... You haven't lived until you've eaten this heavenly treat.
I've never had an omasake sushi experience before and I felt like this was a really great way to start. The sushi itself was beautifully presented and tasted delicious. The paired sake experience was exactly what I had wanted and I'll say that this was a wonderful addition to the meal and really added to my dining pleasure. I was told the sake pairing was new, I would keep it as this was really enjoyable! With added sushi selections and dessert, total time that we took was 3 hours. I have to say that after paying the bill ($1000+) I felt that it was tacky that I was asked to leave to accommodate the 2nd seating of the night. This was done in a very nice way by the host and I totally understood but it would be better and could have been avoided if we were told at the beginning that we would need to vacate our seats by a certain time or if that was written somewhere for me to easily see.
My husband invited my city friends to join us to celebrate my birthday. He ordered the $150 tasting menu for each of us. Everyone was delighted with the sushi selection. My favorite dish was the octopus. It was so tender and flavorful. The Ken sake was the best I've ever had. I thought I just didn't like sake. I guess I just didn't like bad sake. Our server was very welcoming and informative. The relaxed atmosphere at our table was really enjoyable. We couldn't wait for each dish to come out! Each slice of fish was like butter, and melted on my tongue. The beef slices were delicious and intriguing. The quantity of food was perfect, not too little nor too much. We sat at a table, but the sushi counter looked pretty cool. That will be my next visit. Besides the food, I really liked the laid back atmosphere and high level of professionalism. No attitude. I felt like I was visiting my best friend's restaurant!
The food was fine, but not at all exciting and not worth the price (and we are rarely ones to complain about the cost of a meal). We went to Sakesan sushi a couple days later and enjoyed it much more. One high point of Kusakabe was the service, which was top notch.
An amazing omakase with some of the best seasoned sushi I have had in the city. For those looking to ONLY eat sushi, I would stay away. Their set menu includes a lot of non-sushi plates such as soup. You could do a la carte but price-wise, it's more economical to go with the omakase and get filled up.
Highly recommend to any hardcore sushi lovers! This place is not for those who like "rolls."
I was absolutely delighted to read about Kusakabe before my husband and I headed back to SF. I knew that I wanted to partake in the Omakase experience after reading all the reviews. I can understand why this restaurant has earned a Michelin star. Each course was beautifully presented and we took the time to savor each item as it was meant to be eaten. I highly suggest the Sake pairing. We had no idea how smooth Sake could be and each glass melded with each course beautifully. I highly recommend Kusakabe but, be warned, the price tag will be high (but worth it).
I was not particularly hungry, and feeling a little queasy (read: hungover), and actually considered cancelling our reservation. Thank goodness I didn't because we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here thanks to top-notch food and the excellent chef! We had counter seats 1 to 3 with Bryan and he was engaging and informative. I especially enjoyed the king salmon and wild yellowtail - they were exquisitely prepared such that the flavors were perfectly balanced! Highly, highly recommended.
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