Non-sushi Japanese cuisine is having a surge in San Francisco. After my trip to Japan, I admittedly have been finding myself craving the more unique foods I had sampled when visiting, so I find this trend refreshing and much-needed. One restaurant spearheading the culinary charge is Hashiri, which opens tomorrow at Mint Plaza.
Hashiri is a high-end Japanese restaurant which focuses on three things: (1) Seasonal ingredients, whether that means the fish or the vegetables, (2) Omakase style eating, in line with the other recent trend of tasting menu-only establishments, and (3) combining kaiseki (multi-course) and sushi dining into a cohesive experience not yet seen before on the San Francisco scene.
Hashiri is both modern and traditional. The interior is immaculate. Projector screens showcase the appropriate season (it currently displays cherry blossoms for spring); tables are spread out to keep the atmosphere from becoming too loud; and Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon pop art pieces stare unabashedly at you while you sit.
But at its core, the cuisine and techniques are highly traditional. Sitting at the chef’s counter, I watched chefs Saito-san and Mekaru-san deftly prepare each dish and explain to us. For the most part, they are silent, concentrated intently on their craft.
The omakase menu is twelve courses, in which the nigiri course is twelve pieces in itself. The fish is flown in from Tsukiji Fish Market twice a week and complemented with local products like fresh wasabi root. The dishware exudes Japanese delicacy and meticulousness.
Hashiri is a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience, taking the best of Japanese culture and cuisine and taking it one step further. Its mission is to elevate food and ambiance, and it does so with both tact and creativity.
Hashiri San Francisco
4 Mint Plaza
Open for dinner Friday
My slideshow below showcases the menu in full: