Matt (foodie friend from London) was in town last week, and being that this was his first ever visit to the Bay Area, Tracey and I felt obligated to show him the highlights of the vaunted SF restaurant scene. And obviously, we’d have to take him out for sushi, since London’s sushi is always expensive and usually crap.
But where to go? We racked our brains for a place in town that would be worth crossing eight time zones, and couldn’t come up with anything that fit the bill. In a final act of desperation, I started digging through Zagat and came across the listing for Sushi Ran. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Tracey and I had been there for lunch last month and were very impressed, but we had completely forgotten about it in our frenzy to find a place within the 7×7. Fortunately, booking with only a day’s notice was no problem for a Wednesday night, and so we made the picturesque (even at night!) trek across the bridge to Sausalito.Time for an embarrassing admission: I’m a terrible food blogger, and I didn’t take notes or photos. Matt did though, and if he posts his, I’ll link to ’em from here. In any case, the best parts of the meal still stick in my mind quite clearly:
Vegetable Tasting: I’ve tried to imagine the process that results in a dish like this, four small piles of little morsels of vegetarian delight. Perhaps they chop the eggplant into tiny little cubes and then train monkeys to paint curry sauce on them with a modeling paintbrush? Maybe they parcel out each fingernail-sized chunk of potato and then crisp them individually over a candle fueled by clarified butter and happy thoughts? Perhaps it’s best that I never find out, because this dish is magic, and I’d rather think that magic was used to bring it from the kitchen to the table.
Crunch roll: The major point of bringing Matt to a sushi restaurant in the Bay Area was to highlight California-style maki: innovative combinations made perhaps at the expense of strict authenticity, but not to the detriment of flavor and texture. The crunch roll was a perfect example of the concept; they used at least two different “crunchy” substances (salmon roe and fried panko?) atop the roll, and the result was just beautiful.
The Fish: Yes. Just yes.
Black Dragon sake: Recommended by our server when asked for a more floral, aromatic style of sake. Good recommendation. Unless you really know your sake, it’s probably best to ask for help, because they offer a very wide range of sake by the glass (don’t be fooled by the abbreviated list on the card, there are more listings in the full wine list.)
It’s already settled: the next time we want to impress out-of-towners with raw fish, we’re heading straight to Sushi Ran.107 Caledonia St
Sausalito, CA 94965 (415) 332-3620