Ah, Sushi Raw. Although I would ding you for continuing to post your Grand Opening sign months after first rolling out your extravagantly plated Fuji Mountain rolls, you certainly have kept that working hard to please attitude. It is difficult to be mad at a place where the entire staff drops their duties to yell something cheery in Japanese every time anyone walks through the door (“Welcome?” “You look thin?”). And all pleasantries aside, you had me at the two for one beer and sake special.
That’s right, two for one big beers (Asahi and Sapporo on the menu) and large sake bottles, the bottles procurable for a scant five bucks. I’ve never seen the restaurant open without the sandwich board that announces the special outside. The lure of cheap booze pulled a pre-sated group of friends and I in after dinner at Axum the other day, and we received the same exuberant greeting and table service- despite the fact that only one gluttonous member of our party was still down for raw fishes and the rest of us were doing dessert.
So yes, the fish: fresh and creative, often stacked in towering spires of baked/drizzled artistry or arranged in a flower shape on your plate. Desserts: crap shoot. Avoid the glutinous green tea cheesecake but dive wholeheartedly into chocolate moshi. Booze: superlative. Again, two large bottles of sake for $5. Ambience: they played the same John Legend song three times while we were in there, but it was a song I like so I was pleased. The walls of the restaurant are more covered than art than your average bear/sushi joint- it makes for good eye candy should you get tired of John Legend or your dinner companions.
Domo arigato, Sushi Raw. But fellow pescaterians, please remember your identification if you plan to imbibe. The bf forgot his “big brother card” and wasn’t afforded even a sip of sake thanks to a waitress vigilant enough to defeat even the foxiest undercover ABC agent. Sushi Raw: nobody’s fool.
(three locations throughout Bay Area)
682 Haight, SF