One mainstay in our rotating roster of casual sushi places is Okoze Sushi, a Russian Hill spot with something for everyone. You can get a bunch of excellent specialty rolls for the table to share, go with the 9- or 12-piece nigiri omakase, or turn to the robata grill section for salmon teriyaki and vegetables. Keep an eye on the chef’s specials, which has things like the fantastic negi toro gungan (two nigiri filled with chopped toro and sweet unagi sauce, and topped with crispy rice crackers). What we also love here are the thoughtful decorative touches, like flower-shaped beets and actual flower petals that dress up the plates. Have this quiet spot in your back pocket for nights when you forgot to make a reservation—it’s easy to walk up and get a table, or, at the very least, a seat at the bar.
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Negi Toro Gungan
This two-piece nigiri is found in the chef’s special section of the menu, and it’s one of our favorite things to order. Chopped toro gets a touch of sweetness from unagi sauce, and is topped with rice crackers for added crunch.
If you want to try a range of nigiri without having to make actual decisions, go for the 9- or 12-piece nigiri omakase. You’ll get a sampler of pieces with a range of preparations, from seared toro to yellowtail with just a bit of ginger and onion, all of which are excellent.
There are quite a few specialty rolls on the menu, and it’s really about personal preference here—it’s hard to go wrong. But the Typhoon, filled with unagi and avocado and topped with salmon and a thin slice of jalapeño, packs the perfect amount of sweet and spicy flavor.