The Other Critics

Unterman Returns for Amazing Fish at Hama-ko; Bauer Likes the Lounge Menu at Keiko à Nob Hill, Revisits Harris’

Patty U. mentions a couple of recent visits to Ichi sushi in Bernal Heights, and she says she likes a few dishes at Izakaya Yuzuki, like the “unusual” agedashi tofu and the satsuma age. But then, because those two places didn’t wow her as she must have wanted them to, she returns to an under-the-radar but “out of this world” sushi place in Cole Valley that is always her go-to: Hama-ko (108 Carl Street).

She does so with hesitation, saying “This purposely obscure little place cannot handle crowds.” And sushi chef Tetsuo Kashiyama has been at it for 30 years, so it’s not like the neighborhood is unaware of their little gem. She describes a very special meal Kashiyama cooked for her and several friends, because he obviously knows her: whole tai snapper stuffed with hand-pounded shrimp and wild matsutaki mushrooms, served with wilted chrysanthemum greens, house-made ponzu, and grated yuzu. “We sucked every morsel off the bones, from head to tail.” She adds, after sake and several more items, “The bill was high. The surroundings modest. The service slow but endearing. And all I can do is dream about going back. [Examiner]

Michael Bauer, meanwhile, mentions something from a recent review trip to Keiko à Nob Hill, and it sounds like he’s more interested in their new lounge menu than he is with the more formal, eight-course prix fixe. In particular he calls out a four-dollar dish of daikon with a soy-based sauce, which probably isn’t the dish the restaurant wants him highlighting above all others.

But his formal, update review this week was at Harris’ Steakhouse (2100 Van Ness), which he hadn’t returned to in over ten years. He’s pleasantly surprised to find the place a little improved, with excellent dry-aged steaks and a very old-school vibe, with pleasant but “rote” service. He notes, “Unlike most steak houses, the sides are included,” and he’s definitely referring back in part to that dismal review of Morton’s last year. So, even though a steak is going to run you upwards of $44 here, and up to $78 for Wagyu, he seems fine with the value. All told: two and a half stars. [Chron]

Unterman Returns for Amazing Fish at Hama-ko; Bauer Likes the Lounge Menu at