Many meals start strong. The first few tastes are potent, the appetizers delicious and concise. At about dish number three, we start wondering — can they keep this up? How long can the streak go?
By the fifth or sixth great bite of food, it's established. This is a good restaurant. But will they go all the way? It's like watching a pitcher carry a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Will something fall flat, or at least be mediocre?
The answer is almost always yes. Even our favorite restaurants throw some wild pitches (to belabor the metaphor).
So it's pretty exciting to tell you about a restaurant that spits absolutely immaculate game. We have no idea what's going on in the kitchen at Yuzuki, but it's consistent and brilliant. This was one of the best end-to-end meals we've had, period.
Some items were austerely pure, like the tofu and octopus. Others were kicking with BOLD FLAVORS, like the yakitori and the dumplings. (Man, the dumplings were good.) But everything played to win the game - not to just play it. The grand finale, a giant rice pot topped with salmon and salmon roe, was the perfect cap to a tremendous meal.
The atmosphere gets the job done, although on a chilly night you'll wish there was a double-door airlock. That's an innovation more SF restaurants could afford to steal from our more winter-friendly counterparts on the East Coast. But, overall, it's dark and noisy, and you'll enjoy it.
Yuzuki is on a central corner in the Mission, so you've probably passed by from time to time. If you've never ventured in, we recommend changing that strategy. This is the rare incredible meal that isn't overwhelmed with attention, quite yet. You don't want to miss that opportunity.
Clean flavor with enough salt/umami to transcend to excellence. A great way to start the meal.
Do you like perfectly prepared crab? Of course you do. Get on this, immediately. It tastes like the ocean marinated in fresh vegetables.
Dumplings that look like little sticks, filled with shrimp, fish, and vegetables? A bit surprising, but incredible. Among the favorites of many favorites.
One of two yakitori we're throwing on the must-order menu. The scallion adds the perfect kicker to some juicy chicken.
Wiiiiiinnnggsssss. This is the other must-order yakitori item. The Japanese do 'em even better.
Maybe the one thing that's just good and not capital-G-great. You definitely want to hit these little pieces of squid with sauce, because they're a bit bland solo.
This dish is sexual, and not just because it's topped with sea urchin gonads. Hot fresh egg custard with an uni capper. Get amongst it.
You must get this with salmon and roe. Kind of morbid, eh? Salmon and their progeny, laid out for your pleasure. Any guilt will dissipate on that first bite.