SFReview

If there’s one thing that unites restaurants in San Francisco more than anything, it’s lines. Whether you’re in the mood for a burrito or eating every small plate in sight at State Bird Provisions, more often than not you’re going to find yourself waiting and wondering if you’d be better off at home heating up freezer-burned pizza rolls. Elephant Sushi on Hyde Street always has a line too, but the great sushi and good prices make it one we never mind waiting in.

The big reason there’s always a line at Elephant Sushi on Hyde Street, or any of their other three locations, is that the quality of the food is great for what you’re paying. For two people, it’ll run you about $30 per person, and while the menu isn’t huge, there’s plenty of variety, with appetizers, standard rolls, nigiri, and house specials. If you’re one of those people who knows what they like and sticks to it, you can get maguro and toro nigiri and be more than happy, but the specials are why the wait is always worth it.

The Himalayan trout served on a salt block with green onion, olive oil, and ponzu sauce is the best thing here. The salt actually seasons the fish, and isn’t just a gimmick to look cool, like that time you bought a designer fidget spinner or started to use British slang in your everyday life. Even the less traditional combinations are legitimately great, like the chips and dip appetizer that combines spicy tuna, garlic pita chips, and honey mustard, or the White Out roll with hamachi, butterfish, and truffle oil. This isn’t sushi for a random weeknight when you’re too lazy to make a salad, it’s actually worth going out of your way for.

The majority of the tables here are two-tops and usually filled with people on dates on any given night, or at least Wednesday through Saturday, which are the only days Elephant Sushi is open. If you plan properly and get here early-ish, you’ll be seated immediately, but even if you’re late and there’s a line, it’s worth waiting it out. Save those pizza rolls for more desperate times.

Featured in

.
The Best Restaurants For A Last-Minute Valentine’s Day guide image
Guide
The Best Restaurants For A Last-Minute Valentine’s Day

Forgot to make a reservation for the Hallmark-fueled mayhem that is February 14th? Use this guide.

SF’s Best Casual Neighborhood Sushi Spots guide image
Guide
SF’s Best Casual Neighborhood Sushi Spots

Our guide to the best casual SF places for good fish at great prices.

SF’s Best Restaurants For Affordable Group Dinners guide image
Guide
SF’s Best Restaurants For Affordable Group Dinners

You finally got everyone to agree on a date. Next step: finding the perfect place for your group to eat that also won’t cost too much.

Where To Go When You’re Not Sure If It’s A Date guide image
Guide
Where To Go When You’re Not Sure If It’s A Date

When it’s not a date, but it’s not not a date, check out one of these 15 places.

Suggested Reading

.
Tataki review image
Review
Tataki

Tataki does great, sustainably-sourced sushi in Pacific Heights.

Ebisu review image
8.0
Review
Ebisu

At Ebisu, in the Sunset, go with the fresh fish of the day off the board, or try the poke roll or 49er roll.

Ten-Ichi review image
Review
Ten-Ichi

Ten-Ichi is a sushi spot that’s been holding down the fort on Fillmore for almost 40 years.

Domo review image
8.3
Review
Domo

Domo is a neighborhood sushi spot worth a visit, even if you don't live in Hayes Valley.