Good Things, Small Packages at Ozumo
With every new plate arriving at our table while dining at Ozumo I felt that those fanciful morsels were not just food, but some representation of Japanese genius.
Take Dohyo – tuna tartar spiced with sriracha, and balanced out by avocado, fresh cucumbers, and minty shiso – all neatly stacked in a miniature tart topped with black tobiko, and standing in a pool of chili ponzu sauce and wasabi oil. Along with gyoza chips, used to scoop the mixture, the combination of tastes and textures is just heavenly.
Sake Kobyjime is a house-cured salmon, served over pickled red onion, cucumber slices, and chili oil. To retain its bright color and subtle flavor, salmon is covered with salt, wrapped in konbu (kelp) and cured for an hour. Then it’s unwrapped, the salt is scraped off, and the fish is wrapped again, now for a day. The resulting tender flesh is nicely contrasted by shaved daikon radish and micro greens.
A salad like no other, Yaki Tako consists of grilled baby octopus prepared on robata grill over hollow charcoals that come all the way from Japan. Grilled radicchio, sliced endives, and shungiku (chrysanthemum leaf) pesto bring out the best of the lightly salted meaty pieces with a smoky taste.
And then came the Ozumo sushi roll with grilled unagi and diced cucumber on the inside and snow crab meat on the outside. The entire lavish roll is wrapped in red tuna and green avocado, and drizzled with golden-orange spicy sauce.
Tontoro might easily be one of the most enticing dishes on the highly diversified Ozumo menu. Thick, wonderfully fatty slices of melt-in-your-mouth barbequed kurobuta pork are served on a bed of fried Brussels sprouts, and additionally moistened with fragrant mustard vinaigrette.
One of the most complicated dishes is Gindara – black cod marinated in sweet saikyo miso and sake for 48 hours, and then grilled on skewers.
There are five daily sake flights (three tastes each) offered to accompany the food.
With a lucky waterfront location, floor-to-ceiling windows, and views of the Bay Bridge and fireworks on holidays, Ozumo is a great place for a special date or just because. Ozumo Restaurant is located at 161 Steuart Street, San Francisco. Call for reservations 1-415-882-1333 or visit their website.