Ichi is another one of these “Americanized pseudo-Edomae-sushi” restaurants serving a style that is, sadly, very popular in California. Don’t get me wrong, the food tastes fine and the atmosphere is enjoyable, but Edomae-zushi purists will be frustrated when dining here.
The rice (which is flavored with akazu) is surprisingly good, and the neta is overall of decent quality. But the nigiri size is ridiculously small (some, like the ikura and uni, literally looked like miniatures) and almost every piece is over-sauced or over-garnished in some way.
The restaurant is always busy, so obviously plenty of customers enjoy this type of Americanized sushi preparation. Me, I prefer nigiri that’s not drowning in yuzu juice, thank you very much.
Expect to pay around $80 to $90 per person for the nigiri omakase. Below are a few images of the sushi at Ichi, along with some additional comments.
Tai, or Japanese sea bream, is a white fish with delicate, subtle flavors. As you can see, the tai nigiri is grossly over-garnished, resulting in a complete loss of the fish’s subtleties. Sadly, this is a recurring issue at Ichi.
While traditional Edomae shops serve kuruma ebi, botan ebi, shako, or the like, Ichi serves “ao ebi” (or blue shrimp) – a cheaper, non-traditional, and less tasty alternative.
The bafun uni nigiri tasted pretty good, but was half the size of a normal nigiri piece. I found many pieces to be too small to properly enjoy.
ICHI Sushi + NI
3282 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA