Sebo


San Francisco (last visit: May 2008).
Japanese.


Sebo is a small Japanese restaurant, It has a small sushi bar, with a small menu. What makes it special is the items on the menu. Sebo is known for its unusual sushi offerings.



The Menu
The sushi menu consists of about 20 items, many of which change from week to week. Seasonal choices show up for a few weeks, then are gone until next year.



The Atmosphere
"Spare" describes the place. The small sushi bar seats six people. There are a few dining tables as well. Moderately loud music plays, but somehow the restaurant still seems quiet. The two sushi chefs are friendly and knowledgeable.



The Meal
Sushi - what else?
Noresore (baby conger eels). Thin, translucent, about one inch long, with a tiny eye on one end. They were jelly like, with a slightly bitter tang. Not great, but very interesting.
Uni (sea urchin). I'm a big fan of uni, and it was very good here. Good enough to order twice. I'm used to eating uni as gunkan sushi (the kind where seaweed wraps around the rice to form a little hollow, into which the uni is placed), but here it served as standard nigiri sushi, on hand-formed rice. Pretty tricky.
Hotaruika (firefly squid). These were whole, tiny squid. The sushi chef used what looked like tiny tweezers to remove the eyeballs. Very tender and slightly chewy.
Tai. Tai is Japanese Red Snapper, but is usually meant to be sea bream, which is about as expensive - unless it's actually tilapia, in which case you've been had. Whatever I had was mild and firm. Good but not great.
Shimaaji. A little bolder than tai, but still pretty mild. Very good.
Aji. Stronger still; typical quality.
Sakura ebi (cherry shrimp). Really tiny shrimp, served antennae and all, as gunkan sushi. A little chewy and fishy. Fairly good; very interesting.


Summary
The sushi at Sebo is good. Not great, but good. What distinguishes Sebo from most other sushi bars is the novelty of the choices. I had a lot of fun trying items that were new to me, and would gladly return.



The Bill
I forgot to write down the cost of the meal. My memory is that the prices were reasonable.


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