It takes trust to fully enjoy yourself while eating omakase. Not to state the obvious, but your entire meal is in the chef’s hands—you never know exactly what you’re signing up for, like when you try a new workout class or buy the latest frozen entrée from Trader Joe’s. Those concerns don’t exist at Robin. The excellent, casual sushi spot in Hayes Valley, makes omakase all feel easy.
This place brings a level of casual unpretentiousness to very upscale sushi and Japanese small plates. Sure, there’s some social media pandering going on with the neon logo on the wall, a bathroom floor made entirely of pennies, and nigiri made with potato chips and caviar. But it works, because everything at this bright and energetic place looks and feels pretty cool.
Attractive as the space is, though, you’re at Robin for the very delicious food, and omakases that range from $99 to $199. What sets Robin apart is you can tell your server exactly how much you want to spend within this range, and they’ll customize the number of courses. Wherever you land, you’ll probably get nigiri (both traditional and very much not) from the lean and fatty sections of the menu, some beef tartare, sesame noodles, a soup, and the previously mentioned caviar-potato chip-rice bite. It’s a lot of things, almost all of them stellar, and absolutely worth the price of admission.
Robin’s light, low-key corner space makes for an excellent meal whether you’re sitting at the sushi bar or at one of the tables with retro airport lounge-looking seats. It’s a perfect date spot for special occasions, or a small group dinner. And no matter how much you choose to spend on a dinner here, just know that you’ll be in extremely good hands.
Any/all of the toros are stellar. The fish is extremely high-quality and needs zero accompaniments besides the rice it comes with.
Salmon With Truffle
We would be happy eating an entire omakase consisting of this piece of nigiri again and again. It’s incredible—rich and flavorful with a little bit of truffle on top of perfect sushi rice.
This is a plate of very good noodles with some shaved truffle on top. It’s a good way to break up the sushi.
Decadence is cool with us. This beef tartare comes on a fried nori chip with some uni on top for good measure. It’s rich and phenomenal.
On that note, why not throw in some caviar on a potato chip on top of sushi rice? It’s salty and damn tasty. You will probably take a picture of this with the neon sign in the background, and that’s exactly what they want you to do.
This can be a little hit or miss. When it hits, it’s rich and fantastic, but when it misses, the texture can be a bit chewy.