Favourite food haunts: Japanese in San Fran

On occasion, the boss will throw me a good enough reason to travel to San Fran a couple times a year for work (Thank you, seriously!).  Unfortunately, most of the time it’s all work and no play (except for that one time I went on a bike winery tour of the Russian River wineries – remind me to tell you about that one – it’s an incredibly good time). 

On occasion I can be a creature of habit and if I think I’m onto a good thing, I’ll do it over and over again until I’m absolutely sick of it (like that time I had crepes every night for three weeks and couldn’t again for a year).   Back in late 2016 I stayed at a hotel close to the office, but it wasn’t the hotel that caught my interest, it was the Japanese restaurant next door…

Ozumo is a contemporary Japanese restaurant overlooking the Bay Bridge in San Francisco.  The food is delicious, the location is pretty special, but the common theme amongst all my favourite food haunts of late, is the people.

I walked into Ozumo solo once again last week, after what was maybe a 6 month gap between visits, only to be greeted by Mel, the manager at the door with a warm hug and a “welcome home”.  Taken straight to a table (or sometimes the bar where I can chat with the bar staff), and served up a Saki shot to cheers with Mel, followed by an appetizer on the house. Multiple staff are introduced to me, or reintroduced, “Remember Elise? She’s back, she is like family, she comes here whenever she is in town”.

Travelling solo can be and is amazing, but sometimes after long work days, you don’t always want to be having room service alone, and going out to eat can be equally lonely.  Ozumo is a fab Japanese haunt where the sushi is great, and you’ll spend way to long trying to narrow down your food choices, but most importantly you’ll be welcomed and made to feel special and part of the Ozumo family.  But enough of that, Ozumo wouldn’t make the list if it wasn’t for the food…

Some of my FAVOURITE DISHES to try:

  • Edamame – steamed soy beans served warm with salt, cold with shiso or sautéed in garlic-shoyu – solid appetizer on many menus across asian restaurants, but delish non the less – the garlic is a nice touch.
  • Hanabi – sliced hamachi with avocado and warm ginger-jalapeño ponzu  (FREAKING DELISH!!)
  • Dohyo – bigeye tuna tartare, edamame, cucumber, avocado, black tobiko, ponzu, wasabi oil, served with gyoza chips  – I am a big tuna tartare fan, and this does not disappoint. 
  • Ebi Tempura – black tiger prawn tempura with bonito-shoyu dipping broth – Cannot get enough of prawns, this dish is awesome as a side or additional appetizer, and the tempura is nice and light.
  • And because I love dessert, of course I have tried a couple.. The rice dish and fondue are both amazing.  I think the chocolate Fondue was meant to share, but I have eaten it solo on at least three occasions, YOLO.

Ozumo = Delish Japanese in downtown San Fran, next time you are there, get around it – you’ll leave full, content and happy.

Love Always, Elise x

Ps. Oh and Google tell’s me that Kanpai, is the Japanese term for Cheers in a drinking toast.  So Kanpai!

Pps.  Say hi to Mel for me…




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