Go to the best omakase spot in San Francisco and ask the sushi chef where you should go next. The recommendation? Head over to Wako on Clement. The tasting menu at Wako is pretty much a copy of the holy-grail omakase at Kusakabe - it’s even a little cheaper.
But if you want to steer your own sushi ship, head to Wako. Unlike Kusakabe’s all curated all the time setup, the S.S. Wako lets you order a la carte, and they also do a nigiri-only omakase in addition to a full tasting menu.
Wako has a neighborhood feel, but make a reservation or prepare to be turned away, because the 20-seat restaurant is very small. Seriously, it’s no bigger than a San Francisco living room - not even the one you converted to another bedroom.
If you’re coming to Wako, skip the full tasting menu and go for either for the omakase nigiri or order a la carte - we’ve got some recommendations on how to do so below.
Bluefin Tuna from Spain and Nagasake Butterfish - both raw cuts are insanely tender. And don’t skimp on the house soy sauce.
Cherry Blossom shrimp tempura. This is amazing. Get it.
The chef’s choice nigiri is the way to go if you want sushi. A few favorites: kelp-marinated Hokkaido halibut, the Spanish mackerel with ginger miso paste, the Stripe Jack, and Chinook king salmon from Canada. You don’t have to remember all that, just eat what you’re given and leave happy.
House panna cotta. We know sushi chefs have knife skills, but you have to see how tiny they chop the kiwi and strawberry on this. Mind boggling mincing.