Actually Pretty Awesome

Actually Pretty Awesome: The Flaming Sea Bass Roll at Elephant Sushi

There's a maki roll in there.
There’s a maki roll in there. Photo: Carolyn Feng

Tom Tamir, the sushi chef at the new Elephant Sushi (1916 Hyde Street), isn’t afraid to get down with pyrotechnics. And that’s alright with us when it produces creations like the flaming sea bass roll, which comes, literally, flaming to the table and encased in foil. Once the fire dies down and it’s safe to unwrap the goods, you are rewarded with a slightly warm and satisfying roll of baked sea bass, spicy tuna, masago aioli, Japanese chili, scallion, and sweet soy. The crunch of the masago helps to offset the otherwise creamy orgy of flavors, which includes just enough spiciness and a hint of fragrant shiso.

The personable and oft-enthusiastic Tamir, formerly of Fuji in West Portal, had a hand in designing the cozy restaurant that took over the Sushi Groove space in Russian Hill. Fish shapes fashioned out of driftwood from Baker Beach adorn the walls, and music ranges from Bob Marley to moody electronica.

The menu mixes style and substance and is kept fun with non-traditional elements like shichimi pepper aioli, basil oil, garlic chips, and even banana. Other standouts include a refreshingly cool, meltingly tender albacore tataki appetizer served on a Himalayan rock salt slab; and the sweet and savory sizzling mango sea bass, which also comes (you guessed it) on fire.

Earlier on Actually Pretty Awesome:
Black Risotto With Uni and Egg at Prospect
Seared Salmon and Mussel Mashed Potatoes at Bisou
The Meatloaf at Jamber
Carrots at Commonwealth
Turducken at Honor Bar
Beggar’s Chicken at Betelnut
Lobster Bread Pudding and Smoked Cod at Maverick
Sand Dabs at Bar Jules
Green Farro-Sausage Risotto at RN74
Vegan Charctuerie at Gather
Pickled Eggs at St. Vincent
Beef Tongue at Namu Gaji
Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken at Brasa
Green Garlic Bread at State Bird Provisions
A Dinner of Small Plates and the Duck Confit Salad at Frances
Duck Fat Chex Mix at Truck Stop Café
The Lamb Tongue Salad at Txoko
The Branzino and the Cucumber and Scallops at AQ
Dinner at Local Mission Eatery
Suckling Pig Sandwich at Sweet Woodruff
Crudités at Saison
The Roasted Broccoli Sandwich at Split Pea Seduction
George Mendes’s Partridge in a Pear Tree
The Buffalo Burger at Double Decker
A Preview of Dishes at Haven
Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas
The Cocktails at Outerlands
The Meatball Gigante and the Honey Pie at Tony’s Pizza
Three New Gins from St. George Spirits
The Date Night at Sneaky’s BBQ
Crab and Dumplings at Pican
The Fried-Chicken Sliders at The Lookout
The Tripe and the Pickles at Bar Tartine
Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Doughnuts at Beast & the Hare

Actually Pretty Awesome: The Flaming Sea Bass Roll at Elephant Sushi