This cosy Castro sushi spot, from the owners of Sushi Ko in Berkeley, specializes in super fresh fish and Japanophile decor..
In a move that was part positive-association, part homage to the dearly departed Ma Tante Sumi, the French-Asian fusion bistro commonly rated as the Castro's best restaurant, the owners of Sushi Ko in Berkeley chose Sumi as the name of their eatery as well, although that's where the similarities end. Across the street from Cote Sud, another popular French spot, Sumi lures diners to its 25-seat digs with a dark, cozy dining room dressed in typical Japanese garb: Sake bottles line the bar, bamboo shades cover the windows, Japanese pop music trickles from the stereo system, and the brightly colored catches of the day behind the counter, themselves now bait for passing sushi-heads. Though there's nothing on the menu that would surprise a sushi fan, the draw here is the super-fresh fish and the meticulous knife of chef/owner Cris Yeung, who prepares each roll with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker. Sumi also offers cooked entrees like teriyaki chicken, shrimp tempura, and shioyaki (grilled) yellow tail. While there's little connection between Sumi and its French predecessor, there is the hope that this Japanese joint (owned by two Chinese men) will succeed Ma Tante Sumi as a Castro District favorite.
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