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Sushi Sho

28 reviews
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$50 and over
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Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies (47)
  • Neighborhood Gem (37)
  • Special Occasion (37)

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Sushi Sho, located in El Cerrito, California, is a full-service sushi bar. The chef and owner, Aki Kawata, serves both Tokyo and Osaka style sushi at this small restaurant. Six customers are served at a time in this intimate dining experience. Every dish is made from the freshest and highest quality ingredients at Sushi Sho.

Sushi Sho serves simple, flavorful dishes such as the saba bateira or the natto-maki sushi roll. With side offerings ranging from edamame to tsukemori, you’re sure to enjoy an authentic Japanese sushi bar experience complete with fresh meals prepared in front of you at the sushi bar.

Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Sushi, Japanese
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Hours of operation

Dinner: T-Sa 5:30pm-9:00pm
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Phone number
(510) 525-1800
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Payment options
Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Aki Kawata
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Cross street
Portola Dr
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Parking details
Ample street parking available on San Pablo Avenue.
Bar Dining, Beer, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 28 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Andrea (San Francisco)
Dined on March 27, 2015

This is as authentic as you will find for a Sushi Bar. As well, there are 6-7 different miso soups. The Seaweed Salad won't disappoint you. Try the marinated garlic , I can't eat enough. As well, The Osaka Style Pressed Sushi with House Smoked Salmon is delicious. All the seafood is hand picked by the owner and as fresh as you will find. Make a reservation as it fills up quickly.

vipTheChauffeur (San Francisco)
Dined on March 25, 2015

I've taken business guests from Tokyo here and they are completely blown away. Need I say more?

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
Dined on March 17, 2015

Chef Aki Kawata opened his first sushi restaurant over three decades ago, after growing up in the family business. By that time, the first English language book on Sushi had been published, featuring food prepared by him exclusively. In a day when a typical American wouldn't have known sushi from a dead goldfish, Aki had lines out the door with people wanting to get the finest in sushi.

Aki won't serve anything unless it's using the finest ingredients. He had things on the menu that you won't find anywhere else. Back when he opened his first restaurant, not many people knew much about sushi, and his patrons these days realize how much they can learn about sushi despite what they thought they knew.

I never would have thought of ordering a combination meal where the chef chooses for me, but that's what many customers do these days and I might do that next time. Even though I hadn't been to one of Aki's restaurants in about six years, he remembered the types of things I like and was able to tell me what I had and hadn't tried before.

Damascus9 (San Francisco)
Dined on February 14, 2015

Here is the place to go for the freshest sushi you can get. You will need close to two hours for your meal because if the way the seatings are set up. Only six diners are served at each seating nominally, but during my visit two diners from the next seating were allowed to sit at the sushi bar.

Aki-san, the owner and sushi chef, is very friendly and instructive. While he is rolling he may tell you the proper way to pick up nigiri with chopsticks or discuss the differences between different kinds of fish. He seems very committed to providing the best possible dining experience for his customers.

Sushi Sho is best experienced by parties of two. Chances are very good that the daily menu will feature something you've never had before. That's a good thing.

I tried something i've had a disliking for for over 30 years: the Saba. I've never liked it because it's too fishy in general but Sushi Sho makes it very palatable. So if you're going to go out on a limb this is the place to do it.

vipglovesm (San Francisco)
Dined on February 13, 2015

We loved this place - the sushi chef was great and the sushi was delicious. We didn't realize that a 7pm reservation would be when the 8 person counter would be ready so as long as you're prepared for that. As our first time here, we shared the omakase menu and had 2 types of sashimi. We definitely did not do the omakase menu justice by sharing so each person should definitely get their own. My favorite was the cold-smoked salmon. I will definitely come back to this place.

HappyFoodie (San Francisco)
Dined on January 23, 2015

Aki-San is an artist when it comes to sushi and sashimi. If you're in for a treat, Sushi Sho is the place to go.

vipDavidN (San Francisco)
Dined on December 24, 2014

The restaurant says that you have to be there on time or they give away your table. So we did. Then proceeded to wait outside in the rain and cold as they couldn't be bothered to open on time. Staff saw us standing there but couldn't be bothered. Finally called them but still didn't let us in. Left. Look at their reviews later and realized this is their way of doing business. Haughty chef. Haughty staff. Never again.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
Dined on December 20, 2014

Hv been eating here for almost 30 years. Never a bad meal.

vipFoodObsessed (San Francisco)
Dined on December 13, 2014

I felt scammed by the sushi chef and owner. I have dined in several highly rated sushi restaurants in most every major US city over the last 20 years. I have also dined in a lot of small, basic local sushi restaurants.

Sushi Sho was by far the worst - even compared to my experience in lower end restaurants where I expected nothing special.

All I can say to the over-the-top reviewers on Open Table is that you have not yet really experienced good sushi.

With the exception of the Hamachi sashimi, I found most of the fish to be second rate. The chef/owner clearly does not source top (higher cost) fish. And his prices exceeded what we received.

Most importantly, the overbearing chef would not leave the 8 people at the sushi bar alone -- a self designated "mentor" to his guests. Well some of us just want to enjoy our food.

I am an American who enjoys authentic Japanese food. That said, I don't appreciate being told to use my fingers instead of chop sticks. And I don't appreciate having the chef debate with me while I enjoy my food the way I want to enjoy it. He was downright oppressive.

We felt trapped for over 2 hours while the chef made his rounds around the sushi bar holding court with lectures on the "right" way to eat and the right way to "enjoy" his mediocre fish. This resulted in significant delays receiving fish -- mere morsels at a time.

Never again.

Jkbb (San Francisco)
Dined on November 28, 2014

I'm a long time customer. I can't think of a sushi experience as interesting as that provided by Sushi Sho. Expect 2-3 hours and possible delays. You'll find yourself feeling very happy at the end of the meal.