Sunday, January 25, 2015

Roll Play

Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar swims upstream to a new spot on Mission


So what if we live in the "cradle of innovation?"

We still have to follow the rules.

When it comes to dining at Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, Chef Tim Archuleta has made those rules crystal clear.

Written onto a giant mural of bold black instructions by local artist
Erik Marinovich, here are Ichi's commandments:

  • Eat sushi in one bite. (Gulp)
  • Pour for each other. (Irasshaimase)
  • Hold sushi rice-side up. (Easily done)
  • Clean off entire plate. (No problem)
  • Ginger to cleanse your palate. (An acquired taste for some)
  • Empty your cup. (Kanpai)
  • Rest your chopsticks here. (On their well-known kitty chopstick rest)
  • Nigiri can be eaten with your hands. (Why not?)
  • No soy sauce necessary. (Tim is a stickler about this one. And after 18 years as a sushi chef, he knows his stuff.)
After Chef Tim's recent trip to Tokyo, he's more inspired than ever to stay authentic. The menu changes seasonally, but tripe stew and tender chicken skewers are already favorites.

As is the new space; larger than the previous location (soon to open as an oyster bar) where long lines once wrapped around the block. The front area sushi Ichi Bar serves crowds hungry for omakase, while the back Ni Bar is reserved for izakaya and cocktails.

If you're looking for a drink recommendation, we can't get enough of the utterly refreshing Cat’s Meow (rice shochu, citrus, salted plum, and a shiso leaf over crushed ice).

And no, there aren't any rules on how to drink that one.

Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar
3282 Mission St. (at 29th St.), The Mission
(415) 525-4750

Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 2 (out of 4)
Parking: Metered street
Scene: Sushi purists, Ichi devotees, and Bernalwood locals
Best bets: Motsuni (short ribs and beef tripe); chicken skewers; Cat's Meow cocktail; and really any item from the sushi menu
Japanese flavor: Chef Tim Archuleta designed and handmade the blonde wooden chairs and shelves throughout. Amber sake bottles provide the lighting above the bars and, of course, the playful sushi-eating rules mural offers keen advice.
Nearby: The Front Porch; Royal Cuckoo, Virgil's Sea Room

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