San Francisco’s Star Sushi Chef Takatoshi Toshi is Killing It at Kinjo

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Sorry, Ikibotanebi. Although just a few moments ago you were a handsome live wild spot prawn from the cold Pacific waters of Half Moon Bay, California, you were no match for the knife skills of international acclaimed Sushi Chef Takatoshi Toshi at Kinjo.

To say that Chef Toshi knows his fish is to significantly understate the matter. In fact, when competing as the USA representative at the 2015 Global Sushi Challenge in Tokyo, Taka-san earned a worldwide third-place finish. Coupled with a Michelin star in a 10-year stint as executive chef at Sausalito’s Sushi Ran, Chef Toshi has taken his mastery to the brand new Kinjo in San Francisco’s Russian Hill at the start of 2017.


A 9-course, 16-piece omakase incorporates traditional edomae Japanese techniques in a menu that changes seasonally. From starter to sweet, with soup, shellfish, seafood, smoked, and seared courses in-between, Chef Toshi guides diners as he focuses on enticing the senses by elevating each ingredient to its highest potential.
This elegant starter pairs Kusshi Kaki, an oyster from British Columbia topped with caviar, beside Kasugodai, a bamboo leaf cured wild young snapper from Yamaguchi. 
Later on, down the spring menu in late March, we sipped Kaisen, seven kinds of West Coast-sourced seafood in a broth, with crisp rice adding good texture.
 Throughout, preserving the natural integrity of the very highest quality ingredients is paramount. With sustainability uppermost in mind as well, fish is selectively sourced, both locally and globally.
An imaginative presentation of Sazae, a grilled sea snail from Nagasaki, is similar to abalone. Tender pieces are served in the shell with sushi rice inside that can be savored by adding some sake and drinking straight from the shell.

Chef Toshi talked with SF Weekly about his passion for the purity of the fish and for serving sushi following the international competition. “I love seeing the expressions and hearing the comments as my customers react to the sushi I am preparing right in front of them.

Most of all, I like to educate people — to help them appreciate the subtle and beautiful qualities of each bite, because every time they discover something new. And I know that their heightened awareness and deeper appreciation of these subtleties will enhance their enjoyment of sushi for the rest of their lives.”

Take in that highly personalized experience presented by Chef Toshi at Kinjo’s sushi counter to appreciate how very special these flavors are.


2206 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 921-2222

Note: The author was a guest of the restaurant. Opinions expressed are entirely those of the contributor involving no payment. 





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