Neighbors flock to this hard-to-find sushi spot for fresh nigiri and traditional Japanese hospitality..
When walking by Okina on, say, a Tuesday at noon, there's nothing to differentiate its wooden facade and door-hung Japanese flags from many of the surrounding homes. But come Friday dinnertime, it's suddenly quite evident that this inconspicuous venue houses one of the Inner Richmond's most sought-after sushi restaurants (if only because it plays hard-to-get with a bento box-sized dining area and small window of operating hours) as patrons spill out the door and light floods from the front windows. The menu is sparse but ultimately very Japanese--no Philadelphia rolls or teriyaki chicken, but lots of fresh nigiri, sashimi and hot green tea.
"reminds me of the places in japan where there isn't much ambiance, but they focus on what they know..." (dyne, Citysearch user)
"The Toro and the other tuna cuts were excellent, and my date and I even tried the Uni, which was the best I've ever had." (nmerriss, Citysearch user)
"Very very small do not bring a large group to this place I think the total number of folks who can eat here is maybe 20..." (cybelea, Citysearch user)
"Nothing bad about this place at all...just...nothing spectacular either." (badbatzmaru, Citysearch user)
Average, C+ overall, service B, food B-, selections of fish and food D, freshness B.
Okina Sushi Review
March 8, 2007
Decided to try this place after reading some of the reviews. Overall, the place was good to above average. We were the first ones in the store, sat at the counter, and got a chance to speak to the owner. He is a friendly fellow, casual, and offered great service. Our tea was refilled without asking.
Everything was fresh, and like another reviewer of this restaurant before said, the fish was a bit colder than usual. This maybe a good thing, to prevent bacteria...
My only complaint is the lack of choices. I don't care for rolls generally, and they do not have any type of appetizers or other cooked food. Most of the basic fishes are there, but nothing more.
Total bill came out to $65 for two people. We ordered amaebi, mackeral (3 orders), hamachi (2), scallop, squid (2), unagi, oyster sushi, fatty tuna (2), 1 large sake, crab sushi. We just ordered one or two orders at a time. Did not try uni, salmon, halibut, and tuna.
Items that I did not care for, scallop and squid. Both had shiso leaf in them. Oyster sushi and crab sushi to me lacked any type of flavor. The rice masked the taste of the oyster.
Finally, the shrimp head was baked in the oven, I prefer deep frying em.
Nothing bad about this place at all...just...nothing spectacular either.
I was totally satisfied with the restaurant quality of sushi. They were very fresh and tasty!
More than that their prices are cheap. I don't know why so cheap, but it was great.
They don't have varieties of sushi. No fresh salmon!!! Oh my god! But again sushi they have at the time were great.
Only one thing I didn't feel good about was that I opened the soy sauce bottle lid to pour, then suddenly the chef yelld at me, "Don't open! Just pour!!" I was scared as hell, and other customers looked at me. I was embarrased from that. What's the deal with it??
So if you sit at the counter in front of him, DON'T OPEN A SOY BOTTLE!!! He will look at you as if you are a rude American.
EXCELLENT!. this place has such high grade sushi! reminds me of the places in japan where there isn't much ambiance, but they focus on what they know. the sushi chef/owner is pretty intense and serious about the quality of his fish. no kitchen food, so don't bring the friends that always order teriyaki.
my new favorite sushi place!. i'm obviously not the only one annoyed by the previous "pre-cut" review! this place is GREAT! impeccable quality and service! it's the most authentic you'll get here in SF!
Delicious. I've been hitting up sushi bars for almost 20 years now, and this is the first of the hole-in-the-wall neighborhood bars that I have visited, and I thought it was excellent. My only dissappointment was they did not have miso soup (a small loss). The Toro and the other tuna cuts were excellent, and my date and I even tried the Uni, which was the best I've ever had. The only pre-cut fish I saw was the smoked salmon. Not sure what the deal is there.
very old school. The previous poster was correct, some of the sushi IS pre-cut. However, this has nothing to do with the caliber of the fish. The fish was very very high quality and the matching of rice to fish was perfect. Portions tend to be smaller(just like in japan) than many other SF sushi bars but prices are also much lower. This is as old-school as Japanese food comes. I'd definately recommend it.
best sushi place for a date.
this is one of the best sushi bars in the bay area, hands down. it is a humble establishment with a masterful sushi chef. the food quality is top-notch and i should know (i'm an avid fisherman and former fishmonger from hawaii).
the owner and sushi chef is a wonderful man who really puts his soul into his work. try everything!
it's a great place to take a date to since it small and intimate.
Go see the master. Reading a negative review where the person said that the sushi is pre-cut here prompted me to write my own review. The fish is not pre-cut. That is silly. The proprietor is a master of every aspect of making sushi. He chooses the best fish. It's so good that I wondered if he goes down to the ocean and the best fish just come and surrender themselves to him. He tells you what's the best that day and what is in season. It's hard to settle for a lesser place now. Go there!
Fresh. I stumbled upon this place last week in my neighborhood and took my girlfriend. It is easily camouflaged in this area. We were pleasantly surprised. Great food and great service. I was not a sushi fan until now! When we arrived there was one couple who were on their way out and they could tell we stumbled upon this place and were prompt to let us know we "found the best sushi in town". They were right!
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