Something for Everyone at Sushi Kinoya

The title says it all! I’m a little particular when it comes to sushi. A lot of my friends think sushi means fried shrimp, panko crumbs, and cream cheese. Yes, I said cream cheese. I’ve seen it, and it’s sad. However, once in awhile, you find a place that will please everyone’s definition of “sushi,” without the cream cheese. Sushi Kinoya has sashimi, they have rolls, they have fresh sweet shrimp, they have teriyaki chicken, and more!


The salmon sashimi here is fresh, fatty, and DELICIOUS! I would recommend this to everyone, especially those who aren’t super into raw fish. If they don’t like this, then there is no hope for them.


These thick cut pieces of yellowtail are melt-in-your-mouth goodness with just the right hint of spicy from the jalapeno.


For your pickier friends, I’ll delve into more familiar territory. This spider roll was fresh and crunchy in all of the right ways.


The spicy tuna roll is a great safe choice for your friends that are just getting into sushi. They can get it pretty much anywhere that serves sushi, so it will be familiar. However, here, it is a standout. I’m not normally impressed by spicy tuna rolls anymore. I would rather indulge in another fun roll, but this is the perfect level of spicy and great quality, so I always order it.


This blue crab roll with avocado is the definition of #bombdotcom.


The Rock n’ Roll is my ABSOLUTE favorite! I have never had a cucumber wrapped roll, but with little to compare it to, I am still confident that this is the best around! It is filled with albacore, salmon, crab, tuna, avocado, and sambai sauce. It’s great to indulge in a roll without feeling full from rice.

Everything is reasonably priced and so fresh! They don’t have  a website, but if you need more proof that they kick ass, visit their Yelp page (not that I endorse Yelp).

Modern Izakaya with Michael Mina at Pabu

After reading about Pabu, Michael Mina’s newest San Francisco venture with Chef Ken Tominaga back in April, I couldn’t wait to try it! It just so happened that I was able to score a reservation for my (then) upcoming August trip through OpenTable before they opened on July 1st. Just in that month, I had heard such great things about the location, service, ambience, and cuisine. It was probably a little risky choosing a new and hyped restaurant for my birthday dinner, instead of an old favorite, but I’m sure glad I did!

We started out with their classic Kaiso Seaweed Salad served with hand-ground sweet sesame dressing. Sometimes, an Izakaya-take on seaweed salad means that they serve several kinds of seaweed. While I like the variety, I was glad that they chose to stick to the classic seaweed and sesame flavors.

Fortunately for us, there was room at the sushi bar, so we got to enjoy seeing the sushi chefs prepare the Tasting Menu for others. We didn’t do this because I wanted to try other options, but I have heard rave reviews and witnessed the artistry that goes into crafting each and every course. It was an experience in it of itself to witness. To get our sashimi fix, we ordered the 10 Fish Sashimi Platter. The presentation was gorgeous and the selection was delectable. From Tuna to Amberjack to Mackerel, we had a nice balance of flavors and consistencies.

Next, and my favorite dish of the evening, we enjoyed the Monterey Squid Okonomiyaki. This was one of the Hot Small Plates on the Dinner menu. The pork belly and squid patty was topped with a sunny-side up egg and bonito. If I could eat this day, I would be one happy gal. The combination of flavors was absolutely amazing and the best example of “everything is better with an egg on it.”

Steven and I don’t usually get sushi rolls that have any “cooked” or “baked” aspect to them. We made an exception at the urging of our waitress and ordered the Crispy Spicy Roll. Filled with yellowtail, amberjack, scallions, and tobiko, the warmth of the roll and the spiciness of the sauce was a great combination.

Lastly, we finished off our meal with a classic Spider Roll. Filled with soft shell crab, kaiware, tobiko, and spicy mayo, this was the best Spider Roll I have ever had. The crab was cooked to perfection and provided the perfect crunch in each oversized bite.

I can’t wait to visit SF again, so I can try their luxurious Tasting Menu and more of their Izakaya options. With mentions on and, Michael Mina has another winner on his hands. Pabu is quickly becoming FiDi staple and the praises will continue to roll in! Be sure to visit Mina’s The Ramen Bar directly next door to check out Chef Ken’s signature Tokyo-style ramen recipes.
For more information on Pabu, visit