REVIEW I'm a perpetual tourist. It's part of the fiber of my being, like sleeping with my mouth open or my love of kittens. The gimmick is never lost on me. It's probably part of being from the middle of nowhere. So when my boyfriend and I walked into Sushi Boat Restaurant near Union Square, I pulled out the camera. You see, the sushi was appealingly displayed on these little boats, all chained together and sailing around the bar in a circle, and I was sold, quickly and irrevocably, just like when my parents took me to Chuck E. Cheese's as a kid. Call me the gimmick girl.
The food is decent, especially when you consider the prices. The rolls on the boats come in pairs, so you can try something new without being overcommitted if it tastes nasty. Your foray into the fishy unknown will set you back $1.25 to $3.50 per plate, depending on its pattern. The more uncommon stuff is available on the menu and tends to be a little fresher and more expensive than the stuff in watery orbit, although if you sit at the far end of the bar, you can catch the fresh stuff as the chef puts it out.
If you're a diehard sushi connoisseur, you'll be a little disappointed either way you go; the unagi (eel) wasn't as good as the stuff we got in Japantown, but how could we expect it to be? After all, we're talking Union Square, the place tourists go when the Embarcadero gets too chilly. We were paying for the atmosphere, pure and simple, and it felt surprisingly good to let go of our expectations and just enjoy what we were presented with. At the least, you can bring visiting family here, especially if they have small children who aren't picky.
SUSHI BOAT RESTAURANT Daily, 11 a.m.11 p.m. 389 Geary, SF. (415) 781-5111