Along with the skewers came respectable versions of standards like ohitashi; thin-skinned gyoza; rare steak tataki anointed with garlic chips and ponzu; and pan-fried, salted mackerel. The most memorable was the chazuke ($6). We poured a pot of dashi over a mound of crisped rice crowned with shredded salmon, orange pearls of salmon roe, and a thatch of shredded seaweed, and watched it slump as it soaked in the broth. The brothy rice was a humble dish, its salt bursts and sea-swept smells serene rather than flashy. And yet I kept spooning into the dish as if it were made of truffles and foie gras.

Meal on a stick: scallops, pork, and chicken.
Lara Hata
Meal on a stick: scallops, pork, and chicken.

Location Info

Map

Kasumi

2608 Ocean
San Francisco, CA 94132

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Lake Merced

Chotto

3317 Steiner
San Francisco, CA 94123

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Marina/ Cow Hollow

Details

Kasumi
2608 Ocean (at Woodacre), 586-8800. Lunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tue.-Sun.; dinner 5-10 p.m. daily. Muni: K, M.

Chotto
3317 Steiner (at Lombard), 441-2223, www.chottosf.com. 5:30-11 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 5:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Fri.-Sat. Muni: 22, 28, 30, 43, 76.

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Next to our table was an older couple who hunted up and down the menu for kara-age and tempura. One finally exclaimed, "I don't recognize any of these dishes!" In three or four more years, I predict, they will.

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