Snazzy and Jazzy at Yoshi's

Some interesting and fancy Japanese cooking is paired with a glamorous restaurant and nightclub.

The six kinds of sushi we sample are simple and perfect, especially the uni and toro. Seared toro roulades are lovely to look at, but I think the heat has obscured the essential fatty quality of the fish. Four beautiful fat shrimp tempura boast the exciting, mint-and-floral taste of whole shiso leaves. The nine-vegetable tempura couldn't be better. My favorite dish is the sturdy battera, a version of the old-fashioned classic Japanese box-pressed sushi, eight big pieces topped with saba (silky mackerel) and a touch of salty shaved bonito — I can't stop eating them. I'm less impressed with the delicate, sweet lumps of charcoal-grilled Scottish salmon and the ginger-miso-marinated oven-roasted pork ribs; both are a trifle dull, with classic main-course presentation, certainly not as interesting as what went before. And a too-soft, too-bland panko monkfish sauté disappears from the palate as I'm eating it, despite a poached egg alongside topped with soy-and-Meyer-lemon sauce.

But the extraordinary desserts invented by former Top Chef contestant Marisa Churchill end our meal with excitement. A deconstructed key lime tart boasts yuzu lime curd under homemade marshmallows atop graham-cracker crumbs, with roasted pineapple cubes and a ball of coconut sorbet. A tart yogurt semifreddo hides under a crisp, salty sesame Florentine cookie atop papaya-shiso mint sauce. And three fat little beignets are accompanied by a sake cup full of an irresistible dense Suntory whisky cream called a slurry. Nothing is too sweet. We clean our plates, despite having already ordered (and consumed!) a little too much for comfort.

The space and the menu are huge.
Paul Trapani
The space and the menu are huge.

Location Info


Yoshi's San Francisco

1330 Fillmore
San Francisco, CA 94115

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Japantown/Pacific Heights


655-5600, Dinner: Monday-Wednesday 5:30-10:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 5:30-11 p.m., Sunday 5:00-10:00 p.m. Reservations accepted. Wheelchair accessible. Parking: Valet, $12. Muni: 22, 31, 38. Noise level: Moderate.

Sake sampler $18
Nigiri sushi $5-$8 for two pieces
Shiso shrimp tempura $15
Battera sushi $15
Pork prime rib $20
Yogurt semifreddo $8

1330 Fillmore (at Eddy)

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Even if there weren't a world-class jazz club attached (with its own Kamio-designed bar menu), Yoshi's would be a draw for its interesting, classy Japanese fare alone.

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