It’s Official: Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar Is One of the Hottest Sushi Restaurants in the Galaxy Right Now


Bernal Heights is already, and officially, the hottest neighborhood in the entire solar system. Now we are an order of magnitude more hot, because Eater National just anointed the tasty new Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar on Mission Street as one of the Hottest Sushi Restaurants in America.


Truth be told, this comes as no surprise. Your Bernalwood editor has eaten at the new Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar many times since we first announced its glamorous re-opening in the new space in February. We haven’t written about it since, however, because (shameful confession) we didn’t want to have to compete with you for a table. In true Samuel Brannan style, the hypertastiness of the new Ichi+Ni is just a little something we’ve been keeping to ourselves.

Well, now the word is getting out.

Anna Roth at SFWeekly said:

The new [izakaya] space is still coming into its own, but once it establishes its own identity, Ni Bar is bound to become not only a staging ground for the sushi bar’s omakase, but a destination in its own right.

Critic Jonathan Kaufman reported that the sushi remains amazing as always, while the new izakaya-style zone in the back of the new space takes things in a rather delicious new direction:

Your resolve to hold out for sushi may be whittled away by the sanbaizu sunomono ($7.50)–pink commas of shrimp with pickled cucumber and frilly, crunchy tremella (white fungus)–and crisp-skinned fried chicken wings ($9.50), first cooked sous-vide with yuzu juice until the flesh is as tender as a ripe peach.

If you want to preserve your omakase aspirations, don’t order the clams ($8.50), which come with ground pork in a ridiculously savory miso broth swirled with black garlic oil.

Because you may have to order seconds.

I’ll second that. The Miso Asari Clams & Pork are mind-blowing. In fact, yes, I actually do get two orders of it, because it’s just that insanely good.

We’re in good company, because the Michael Bauer says the miso clams are one of his favorite dishes as well.


More of this sort of gush is likely to follow, because this week Eater National added Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar to their list of The 19 Hottest Sushi Restaurants In the US Right Now:

Already a favorite on San Francisco’s sushi scene, ICHI Sushi only got better earlier this year when it reopened in a new, bigger space. Eater SF took a look inside the new 30-seat sushi bar with an omakase counter, table seating, and an izakaya named Ni Bar serving booze and other izakaya-style plates.

Big congratulations to Ichi owners (and Bernal neighbors) Tim and Erin Archuleta.

If you haven’t already eaten at Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, get thyself there quickly, because it won’t be long before you’ll have to compete with every foodie in the United States to get a table. You have been warned.

PHOTOS: Top, Neighbor Chef Tim, by Telstar Logistics. Below, Miso Asari Clams & Pork at Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar; photo by Inside Scoop

13 thoughts on “It’s Official: Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar Is One of the Hottest Sushi Restaurants in the Galaxy Right Now

  1. If you want a prime-time spot at Ichi you now have to book a month in advance on opentable. Kinda of a bummer for selfish reasons, but its great for the hood. Once we get people from other areas coming to eat here more often, we can only hope that brings more investment into casual and upscale dining in the area.

  2. I ate there and was disappointed with the sushi (the toro was a total let down.) I think Saru on 24th is way better.

    • I ate there recently and also felt let down. I thought the sushi was average, and certainly well below the experience I had eating at Ichi the last time in 2011.
      I don’t think it’s bad sushi per se, it just didn’t live up to the hype or Ichi’s previous incarnation IMHO.

    • I agree. . .we were disappointed by our visit to the new location. I am hoping they are just going through growing pains and will soon be back up to what I remembered and loved at their prior location.

  3. Hi, all! This is Erin from ICHI — We’re always sure to leave half of the sushi bar each night for walk-in guests and our NI Bar menu is always walk-in. Join us anytime! Thank you, Bernal, for all your love. We’re neighbors and would never be here without you.

  4. concur that ichi is uneven. sushi was all right, rice was cold and on the hard side (!). my experience in the old location was underwhelming. maybe the new spot is better.

  5. I too was frustrated by the seeming need for reservations a month ahead of time. But on Friday night I was able to get a table around 9pm by asking if anyone had no-showed or canceled their res. Waited for literally 5 minutes at the Ni Bar and got moved to the sushi side of the restaurant. So, you never know. BTW, the clams are great but so is the EGGPLANT. Sushi was great too, but wish they had a dessert menu.

  6. Pingback: Star Sighting: Mayor Lee Visits New “Mission Bernal Merchants Association” | Bernalwood

  7. Pingback: Where Bernal Celebrity Chef Tim Archuleta Dines When He Dines in Bernal Heights | Bernalwood

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