/Omakase at Zushi Puzzle, San Francisco

Omakase at Zushi Puzzle, San Francisco

Everyone sweating our edible fish sculpture.

Last week I had lunch with my friends Sarah and Nirav at the Slanted Door in San Francisco. Not surprisingly, while sharing Shaking beef, Lemongrass chicken, and about twenty other dishes, the conversation turned to dinner. I had an impossible list of places I wanted to hit up on my very short trip to the city, but I forgot about it completely after hearing their strong recommendation for Zushi Puzzle, a sushi restaurant in the Marina. Sarah got me a last-minute reservation and scored me a seat at the bar. The best seat in the house, to be exact, right next to Roger, one of San Francisco’s most famous sushi chefs. I ordered the omakase at Nirav’s suggestion and this is what followed.

A hand roll of deep fried soft shell crab.

Next up, live scallop nigiri.

Monkfish liver, aka foie gras of the sea. This was badass.

And so were the scallop feet tempura. Yes, scallops have feet. And they can be deep fried!

Halibut sashimi.

Salmon sashimi with cucumber wasabi dressing.

Uni with organic tofu. It’s like sea urchin roe custard. Amazing.

An edible fish sculpture with a head and a tail all up in it. There were five types of salmon, butterfish, flying fish, tuna, and some other stuff I can’t remember because by this point nothing was making sense.

Soy sauce marinated tuna cheeks, aka the filet mignon of the sea, which did taste like grilled steak. But then again, I was hallucinating by this point.

It just keeps coming. More nigiri. Food coma…

And finally, wasabi flan and plum/watermelon sorbet.

2016-01-07T03:38:13+00:00 August 29th, 2010|Categories: America, Fish, Food & Wine, Restaurants|6 Comments


  1. Yuko August 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Monkfish liver is my favorite, actually! It should be cooked when it’s really fresh, though. Have you tried it with Japanese SAKE? It’s such perfect conbination, among those who love SAKE!

    • Katie August 31, 2010 at 5:21 pm - Reply

      @Yuko oooh ive never had it cooked. in fact, that night at zushi puzzle was my first monkfish liver experience. to my knowledge, they don’t serve it much in italy, tho monkfish tripe is a delicacy in Le Marche. I drank beer with my meal, tho next time, sake it is!

      @Amanda when i want raw fish, i go to Tempio di Iside or Tuna. There are a couple of sushi places I go to near S Giovanni but they are pretty standard, not amazing. There are also SushiSushi (Via di Pallacorda 12-12a) and Sushihouse (Piazza Teatro di Pompeo 3) and that awful stuff at Daruma (multiple locations).

  2. Amanda August 31, 2010 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    That all looks AMAZING. I’ve been missing sushi like that here in Rome… where do you go here when you’ve got a craving for some raw fish?

  3. Angie September 3, 2010 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Hey Katie,

    I’m actually in San Francisco for about a month for work and am trying to get in as much eating around town as I can while here. I have a list going already but are there any places that in your opinion are musts? Zushi Puzzle, btw, looks awesome!

  4. Katie September 4, 2010 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Zushi Puzzle was awesome. Book in advance and ask for a seat at the bar. I was at the 1 and only seat next to Roger the chef and i loved it. Definitely check out Zuni Cafe’, The Slanted Door, RN74, and Boulette’s Larder in SF and make time for Oakland (Pizzaiolo and Bakesale Betty, for example). Enjoy!

  5. LatteTeacup April 1, 2014 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    What a surprise to find that you have a review for Zushi Puzzle! I’m quite a fan of your Rome section. (I used it for my last Rome trip!) While searching for Puzzle, I stumbled upon your blog (again). Puzzle is pretty good and I especially liked their Butter Fish and Uni. However, if you come back to SF, I’d recommend Sushi Ino (grouchy chef but authentic sushi experience with guarantee of fish quality) and Alexander’s Steakhouse of their amazing Wagyu beef & Japanese/American fusion appetizers (Hamachi shots!). BTW, Per Diem has homemade fresh pasta (order the Bucatini!) – I would love to know what you think of it!

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