[Japanese] Wako

Restaurant: Wako
Location: 211 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118, United States
Price Range: $$$$

Wako
Wako

[wp-review]

If you guys don’t know already, recently I took a mini vacation to San Francisco and spent some quality time with my family. Of course I was being a tourist and had to take roughly 600 pics of all the scenery/food/or anything I find amusing. I had my sister who took me around to all her local favourites, and she had an amazing taste buds so all the restaurants were AMAZING :D. One of the most memorable meal of my trip was Wako, as my sister said it is possibly one of the best sushi restaurant outside of Japan (she went to Japan before too!).

This post will be pictures heavy and I will say this from the get go: the food and service were impeccable. Every single plate that I received was an art and essentially crafted into a masterpiece of texture and flavor. The fishes were fresh, buttery and practically melted in your mouth. The flow of all the courses made sense, all the ingredients complimented each other and there was not a single issue throughout the meal.

Wako is a small and cozy restaurant located in the heart of Richmond district in San Francisco, and since the restaurant is small, definitely make a reservation in advance. I came here on Tuesday and I saw at least 5-8 patrons who got turned away as they didn’t make a reservation. If you come here in a small group, I strongly recommend sitting at the bar to get the full experience and see some sushi-making-actions from the chefs!

Interior
Interior

Some of us ordered the omakase dinner, which is a 7 courses menu for $76/each and you are trusting the chefs to present you the finest dishes of the restaurant. Although $76 is expensive, but in my opinion you can expect to pay $50 – $120 for an omakase experience anywhere else… I apologize in advance if I didn’t get the name of the dishes correctly, I had to rely on my hearings when the server explained each dish, so feel free to correct me :)! For the full menu with items other than sushi/sashimi, click here.

First course – Small plates

(homemade tofu; seaweed + octopus; fish chips; tuna) - I can't remember the rest :(
(homemade tofu; seaweed + octopus; fish chips; tuna) – I can’t remember the rest 🙁

The components on the dish are meant to be eaten individually and each on their own were amazing! The homemade tofu and seaweed/octopus in the short glass definitely stood out as they were really unique!

Second course – Sashimi 

Yellow Tail + Red Snapper
Yellow Tail + Red Snapper

Third course – Warm dish 

Seabass; Okra; butter sauce
Seabass; Okra; butter sauce

Soft and crispy skin seabass with a light butter sauce…. drool

Fourth course – Tempura 

Eggplant; cauliflower; green bell pepper + matcha salt
Eggplant; cauliflower; green bell pepper + matcha salt

The vegetable tempura was the best tempura I have ever had! They had a light crispy batter and not too oily. You can tell the tempura was fresh as they were hot and soft inside :). Although it was not needed, the matcha (green tea) salt really added a nice flavor to the dish.

Fifth course – Nigiri (8 pieces)

First nigiri plate
First nigiri plate

I forgot to take a picture of the second nigiri plate and the king salmon. Also since 4 of us ordered the omakase, it was one piece of nigiri per person.

sashimi_

Scallop Nigiri
Scallop Nigiri
Snow Crab Nigiri
Snow Crab Nigiri
Spanish Mackerel Nigiri
Spanish Mackerel Nigiri
Striped Jack Nigiri
Striped Jack Nigiri
Sea Urchin Nigiri
Sea Urchin Nigiri
Tuna Belly Nigiri
Tuna Belly Nigiri

Sixth course – Miso soup (choice of regular or red miso soup)

akadashi / red miso, sesame tofu, nameko, mitsuba
akadashi / red miso, sesame tofu, nameko, mitsuba

Definitely pick the red miso soup, it’s got a pretty unique flavour in a good way and it was a nice palate cleanser.

Seventh course – Desserts

Dessert 1: White chocolate, pear, blueberry
Dessert 1: White chocolate, pear, blueberry
Dessert 2: Passion Fruit, Raspberry
Dessert 2: Passion Fruit, Raspberry

Both desserts had a texture of a pudding. Not too sweet and very refreshing, a nice way to end the meal :).

Blue Shrimp Nigiri (not part of the Omakase) - $6
Blue Shrimp Nigiri (not part of the Omakase) – $6
Wagyu Beef (not part of the Omakase) - $10
Wagyu Beef (not part of the Omakase) – $10
Abalone Nigiri (not part of the omakase)- $8
Abalone Nigiri (not part of the omakase)- $8
kaisen chawanmushi / ft.bragg uni, jidori eggs, snow crab (not part of the omakase) - $8
kaisen chawanmushi / ft.bragg uni, jidori eggs, snow crab (not part of the omakase) – $8

For the person who didn’t order the omakase, he ordered other dishes (above), and it was quite nice of the server to made sure his dishes arrived around the same time as other people :).

My sister have been here multiple times and these are her pictures :). 

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2015-07-23-21.52.02-22015-07-23-21.52.01

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If you are used to eating the fancy rolls dripped in mayonnaise dressings or sushi that is covered with ingredients to mask the inferior chopped bits of fish, don’t come here. I understand Wako is expensive, but I wholeheartedly recommend this place if you are looking for a truly authentic sushi experience outside of Japan. The service was excellent from the moment you are greeted until you are thanked when leaving. Although the meal was a graduation gift from my sister and brother in law (thank you so much T_T now I can’t eat normal sushi again LOL), I wouldn’t mind coming back here and pay $76 again for another amazing omakase :).

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