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Sanraku Japanese Restaurant, San Francisco CA

A couple weeks ago was my annual suite director’s conference in San Francisco.  I arrived a day early, on Sunday, and spent the whole day sightseeing.  Of course with the time change I woke up super early on Monday morning. But that was okay, because I was able to get in a great morning run plus a little more sightseeing. Our hotel was the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, in the heart of downtown. The roads are really flat, but I swear I got stuck at every single red light until I got to the Embarcadero, where I had miles of flat, uninterrupted course. I have to admit I did jaywalk a few times on my walk Sunday, but that’s not smart or really even possible on weekday mornings when the traffic is heavy.

My friend Blair and I decided to grab some lunch late Monday morning, before our board meeting and the start of the conference.  Blair and I met at the conference in NYC, and have become great friends.  He works at Wisconsin, so he’s one of my college division counterparts.  Each year at the conference we have lunch off-site at least once, and this time I put him in charge of finding a location.

Across the street from the hotel is Metreon. It’s a shopping center with a Target, movie theatre, shops and restaurants. We decided on Sanraku Japanese Restaurant because we both love sushi and it was really close.

The restaurant is part of the food court, but it’s a full-service restaurant that also has an outdoor patio.  The weather was gorgeous so we sat outside. The patio seats about 24, and each table has a big patio umbrella. There’s also a great view of the park next door, that got more and more crowded while we sat.

Sanraku, San Francisco CA - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

We started with edamame while we decided what sushi to get.

Sanraku, San Francisco CA - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

The edamame was very good. Nice and hot, and seasoned well.

I’m not a fan of raw sushi. Well, if it’s a small piece of raw as part of a roll I’ll do it occasionally.  But no chance I’m eating hunks of raw fish with nothing else.  We decided to be a little adventurous, and went with Golden Gate, Sunset, and California rolls. When in Rome, right?!

Sanraku, San Francisco CA - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

SUNSET: salmon, avocado, shrimp tempura, cucumber, ikura & eel sauce GOLDEN GATE:: seared salmon, scallion, tobiko, crab stick, avocado & miso sauce CALIFORNIA: crab stick & avocado

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed they didn’t use real crab in the rolls. But then again, crabs are an east coast thing. So I got over myself and dug in.

The Sunset was really good.  The salmon was lightly seared, and it had a lot of flavor. I’m not normally a fan of miso, but the sauce lent a very good flavor to the roll. The Golden Gate was my favorite. I really liked the combination of the creamy avocado and raw salmon. The ikura (fish roe) was much larger than any other roe I’ve seen before.  And it was awesome. I ate every single piece, including the ones that fell off the roll as we were eating. The California roll was your basic, standard Cali roll. In hindsight, we should have gotten another adventurous roll.

Will I go back? No question. The atmosphere, especially on the patio, was awesome. The sushi was delicious and there were lots of other rolls that I would like to try.

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