Business is booming at Ichi Sushi on Mission Street. The critical accolades keep coming, and there’s always a crowd at the door waiting to get in. That’s great news for Chef Tim Archuleta and his wife Erin, and Bernalwood couldn’t be happier for them — except for the fact that as Ichi’s fame has grown, it’s gotten steadily harder to get a table, especially on a Friday or Saturday night.
But last night was a Wednesday, and when a visiting friend declared that she wanted sushi, I saw my opportunity: Ichi! Midweek! On a Wednesday night! Yessss!
And so, with dreams of a friendly spot at the sushi bar swirling in my head, Bernalwood fired off an enthusiastic tweet to Ichi to warn them of our impending arrival. Ichi’s response caught us by surprise:
WHAT?? A bomb scare????!!
Yes, the San Francisco Police Department had cordoned off several blocks of Mission Street between Cortland and Virginia. The Bomb Squad was at the scene, along with several units from the San Francisco Fire Department. It seems a suspicious briefcase was found abandoned near a bus stop on Mission, and our City’s law enforcement authorities decided to err on the side of caution.
Happily, it all turned out to be a false alarm. The suspicious briefcase posed no threat, and after about an hour of nervous anxiety, the SFPD declared an all clear. The police tape came down, Mission Street reopened, and Chef Tim scrambled to recall his staff from the nearby Rock Bar, where they had wisely chosen to take shelter.
Bernalwood arrived at Ichi a short time later, by which point the place was already packed — as if the whole bomb scare thing had never happened. Blessedly, a space opened up after about 10 minutes, and our fantasy of snagging a coveted space at the bar finally came true.
All clear, indeed.
PHOTOS: Top, Rachel Leibman. Below, Jeremy Fitzhardinge