stay away. there is a reason why this guy has been in business for 28 years, and this place is always empty. i've tried it 4x now (mainly as a last resort because every other sushi place was booked) ... sushi is never fresh, kitchen food is inconsistent, & service is a joke. i can be somewhat empathetic to the language barrier (since i'm asian,) but the waitress has NEVER gotten an order right, and it does get extremely annoying after awhile. for the ridiculous price of their food, there are SO many other mediocre places you could go in this town.
Secret sushi -- best on Clement Street. What to expect: Classic and traditional Tokyo-style sushi. What not to expect: Trendy things like Caterpillar rolls or anything with Philly cream cheese (thank goodness!) The sushi chef at Murasaki trained in Japan and came to San Francisco 20 years ago. So you're not going to get hip hand-rolls from somebody with a great hairstyle while listening to the latest J-Pop! This is a great, small restaurant where the sushi chef does what he does, and it does it well! You may not have an extensive conversation with anyone here (unless you speak Japanese), but you will always get great, authentic sushi and tasty traditional Japanese cooked dishes. This restaurant has been here a long time. It's not new, doesn't have the latest decor, and is fashionable only with people that like really good, authentic sushi. If that sounds good, then come close your eyes and pretend you're in Japan. Try something different from the specials menu, or just enjoy the great fish that's well prepared. Good sake and beer selection, including some that aren't listed on the menu, like Asahi Black beer and Utatane sake -- buy the whole bottle and drink it with friends!
Tiny restaurant. Big taste.. I've eaten at smaller sushi places, but this place has some of the best sushi anywhere. And the traditional japanese food is delicious, too. This place is not really 'Americanized', so think of going there as entering a little bit of Japan. You may not understand what's happening all the time, but the experience is very pleasant if you're patient. Don't forget to order off the specials menus for sushi and cooked food. And if you come back over and over again, be relentless about uncovering all the treats on the menu and the drink selection, including the stuff that's not written down anywhere. This place has a family-run feel to it, so the service is friendly but sometimes slow. Just order a lot of individual dishes and go with the flow. Favorite dishes: Unagi-nigiri / White Tuna or Katsuo Tataki (sashimi-style sliced fish served in a bowl with ponzu sauce and garnishes)
Fantastic traditional sushi from a small neighborhood restaurant. This restaurant is all about the taste of the food, and it?s excellent. At first glance, Murasaki might look like just another local Clement street restaurant, but it is so much more. The Tokyo-trained chef uses high quality, fresh ingredients, and the dishes are delicious. The focus is on traditional sushi and Japanese cooking. Recommended are the ikura (salmon roe) and the unagi, which is the best anywhere -- warm and moist, with just the right sauce on top. Other favorites include the sashimi platters and the crab salad. Traditional cooked Japanese items are in the menu and posted on a specials board. Try the Yaki Nasu (grilled eggplant) or the grilled squid for an authentic experience. Look for other off-menu items, including drinks. Ask about beers like Asahi Kuronama (a kind of dark ale), and sakes -- our favorite is Kurobin (Black Bottle). We?ve been going to Murasaki for almost ten years, and it keeps getting better. The atmosphere is simple, so if you?re looking for a cool environment or trendy dishes, try elsewhere. But if you want high quality sushi, and appreciate the understated presentation of traditional Japanese cuisine, then this is the place to go. Open everyday, so this restaurant is great on weeknights. Can get busy on weekends, so make a reservation between 7-9pm. Sometimes the service can be a little slow, or the dishes come out at an uneven pace, like sushi before cooked appetizers. The mostly Japanese staff are always kind but can be a little reserved, so be sure to ask if you have questions or need attention. Let them know that you're enjoying the food, and they will reciprocate with extra warmth. Just down the street from Inner Richmond faves Q, Burma Super Star and Genki Mart (dessert crepes).
Super delicious sushi and Japanese food. Great sushi from a small restaurant. The chef is from Japan and always has quality ingredients, so the sushi is delightful. This is a great place for people who love genuine sushi and don?t need trendy experience. Be sure to check out the posted special items, which include many traditional Japanese cooked dishes. Busy on weekends but usually not crowded on weeknights. Try going Sunday through Thursday for a relaxed experience.
very good traditional sushi restaurant. very good sushi, sashimi place. not a lot of hype, not a lot of service; but, the food is very traditional, very good and the place is comfortable. if you think "california roll" is sushi, this might not be the place for you. mush try for sushi/sashimi lover.
Have to find out on my own - it is the BEST!. Read all the postings here and asked around, decided to make a trip and taste for myself; there is no doubt in my mind, this place has the best and freshest sushi in the Bay Area. If you are into traditional, good, no-gimmick sushi, this is it; sometimes people are spoiled by going to some second/third tier sushi places run by non-japanese (who does not even know the art of sushi) and they would consider those places as good sushi. Saw the sushi certificate on the wall and watched the cutting style - I was just impressed. Do not expect good services since this is a very small place, just go there for the quality sushi! Try their crab salad, and the lobster shabu shabu (not on the menu, and it's damn good!)
a true traditional sushi place. Real advice from an advid outgoing sushi eater. This is one of the best places to eat sushi. People who gave this place bad reviews are probably more into fusion sushi, don't know great sushi, and expect the wrong things from a mom & pop shop. This is a traditional sushi place so you will get great sushi with a variety of nigiri but a not a large selection. This is a given at ALL traditional sushi places. Since this is a mom & pop shop expect the speed to vary since the staff is limited. I am a person fusterated with people who don't know what to look in good sushi places. I have eaten at over 30-40 sushi stores in CA and japan. This is place is my #2 place. Its #1 in San Francisco.
The Best. It's not glitzy, but this joint consistently delivers the best Sushi in the city. I always get whatever he recommends and it's always phenomenal. Get the wood mushroom w/clams, Uni, Maguro.
Sushi for people who don't know sushi. Citysearch got it wrong. The people who rated this place must not know good sushi. The sushi was poor and the service was bad. It's such a small spot with few customers that it boggles the mind that it should take an hour to finish getting our food. The salmon teriyaki was dry, the rolls were tough, the sashimi was mediocre at best. The only bright spot was the seaweed salad but you have to really suck to jack up a salad. If you want to be disappointed in both the service and food, this is your place. This is one of the worst sushi joints in the city.
Editorial Review. Born and trained in Japan, the owner-chef prepares authentic sushi rolls, including tempura, eel, yellow tail and more.
BEST of the best sushi. Spent over 2 years finding good sushi restaurants in Bay Area - this is "IT". All my friends (and my 3 year old) love the food here! Mr. Sasaki manages the whole "sushi process", from picking the fresh fish at the market to slicing them into delicious sushi! He is a very friendly and funny man. Mr. Sasaki will also recommend the freshest fish to you . Recommended sushi and cooked food: Yellow Tail, Uni, Giant Clam, Toro, Fresh Salmon, Katsuo, Unagi, Salmon Skin handroll (request extra crispy)! Unagi Donburi, he serves it with some really great sauce. Try some of his traditional japanese seafood soup (serves in a teapot), very nice during those cold foggy night! For California Roll, he uses REAL crab meat - not fake crab meat which ruins the taste and texture of the roll! Moreover, this place opens till MIDNIGHT! =============================== It was 3 years ago I wrote the above comments and this is an update base on my almost bi-weekly visit to Murasaki over this past 3 years with my now 7 years old and 4 years old. My little ones would not eat sushi any where else except Murasaki. Yes, I am a loyal customer and you can say I am bias - all because it is the best sushi in town. Most recently, I had special ordered lobster sashimi (just call a few days ahead of time and the fresh live lobsters will be ordered for you), he would cut up the live lobster right in front of you and as for the taste - well, try for yourself... The second time I ordered the lobster sashimi, I ordered 2 lobsters! It's amazing that the high standard quality of all the food remains consistent over the years. And as far as I can tell, most of the customers are locals in the area and a number of them are Japanese. To my knowledge, some of the customers include employees and crews of JAL and ANA airlines, enough said.
Close Your Eyes- Just like Japan. Murasaki serves up some of the most authentic sushi in the city. No frills here so forget the 4 eyed caterpillar roll or the wasabi-infused triple decker yellowtail handroll. This place is bare bones, traditional sushi and it kicks ass. The rice is cooked to perfection and the fish is as fresh as it gets. Haven't had a bad experience here yet. Definitely a bit on the pricey side but if you want a treat, you won't be disappointed.
Best sushi. Ever.. One of three restaurants I always choose for a special meal -- yes, anniversary or birthday requests, etc. Although there are more fashionable, far more expensive, you name it ... I leave it to the fabulous sushi-master to serve me whatever he likes that day. I have never been disappointed. And I'm picky. (also wonderful for non-special occasions AND take-out, if you just have to get home)
Iron Chef class. I don't know if this will work for anyone who's not a regular, but I usually don't bother with the menu at this place. I let Sasaki-san work his magic with whatever ingredients are best that day and he never fails to amaze me. Amazing sashimi creations with lots of surprises.
Fresh. Murasaki is hands down, the best sushi bar in town. The owner/sushi chef is extraordinary and doesn't recommend let alone serve anything that he doesn't deem fresh. Sake selection is very good as well. What puts this place over the top are their hours. Sushi this good at 11:30 PM? Awesome baby!
best sushi this side of the Pacific. Japan Airlines crews, embassy staff and expatriate Japanese company employees can't all be wrong - this is the best sushi restaurant this side of the Pacific! The classical varieties of sushi and sashimi is offered at an unusually high level of quality - freshness, texture of rice, proportions, even the angle of the cut (not surprising since Chef Sasaki trained for seven years at some of Tokyo's finest restaurants). But if you leave the menu to him, he will offer an extraordinary experience of sushi and mouth-watering small seasonal dishes the likes of which I have not seen except in Japan (phoning ahead helps). Some of us would prefer to keep this island of culinary delight a secret ... but what the heck, the more people sampling such fare, the higher the level of Japanese food will rise in our fair city.
Good Sushi. This place has possibly the best sushi in town next to Kiss Sushi in J town. I also like the friendly service and the relax atmosphere. This place frequented by Japanese and other asians which is always a good sign.
Ahh.... Five words would express it all: I would kill for this Uni!