1550 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Dining date: 9/10/21
Sushi Ondo is part of a wave of San Francisco restaurants doing more reasonably-priced omakase meals (~$100). While I haven’t found anything quite like Sugarfish around here, I have been interested in what kind of quality / value these restaurants can offer. Sushi Ondo opened in 2019 and is part of a group of restaurants that includes Sushi Hon, Barnzu, Sushi Hakko and Izakaya Hon.
The omakase currently runs $95 for 8 courses, including twelve pieces of nigiri within 3 of those courses. A sushi tasting, sashimi tasting, and full a la carte menu is available as well. We went with the omakase, adding a couple of fried appetizers at the beginning of the meal.
Deep Fried Panko Shrimp
Spicy Beef Gyoza Dumpling
Hamachi Ume Carpaccio
Amberjack, Lean Bluefin, Snapper
Crab Frittata with Bitter Melon
Hokkaido Scallop, Salmon, Spanish Mackerel, Halibut
Dashi Braised Root Yasai
Soy-Cured Salmon, Flatfish, Medium Fatty Toro, Japanese Mackerel
Oven Roasted Salmon Steak with Chestnut
Hibiscus Panna Cotta
Sushi Ondo had some moderate-highs and some real lows. The sushi was a bright spot – the lean and medium-fatty cuts of tuna were highlights, as was the Hokkaido scallop. However, just about everything else fell flat. The fried appetizers tasted very similar to commercially-sold frozen counterparts; the gyoza in particular had a small, waterlogged filling without distinguishable flavor. The crab frittata was served cold, a dense texture-less vehicle that I didn’t want more than one bite of. The dashi-cooked vegetables were also ice cold and didn’t exhibit much of a dashi flavor at all. In fact, the only omakase item served warm was the salmon, which was the best non-sushi course of the evening. I’d potentially return to Sushi Ondo for just sushi or sashimi, but nothing else.