No. 22: Tataki's Faux-Nagi

SFoodie's countdown of our 92 favorite things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.

There are people out there — we've met them, we know — who can't think of a sushi meal without a couple of orders of unagi. With its broiler-blistered skin and sweet, thick glaze, the freshwater eel has the immediate appeal of barbecued baby backs or maple-glazed ham.

But freshwater eel, even the farmed variety, is also in many seafood watchers' no-fly zones. And so Tataki and Tataki South, which serve only sustainably sourced seafood, have come up with a substitute that may be even better — and we're not talking ethics. Their faux-nagi is actually slices of black cod, aka sablefish, a Pacific Coast fish that Californians have been late to appreciate.

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