Ryoko’s

Do you like Skrillex with your sushi? No? How about A Tribe Called Quest? Either way, I hope you like your nigiri with a heavy dose of bass, because Ryoko’s in San Francisco’s Union Square is part industrial strength speakers, part sushi restaurant.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. Still, the first time I visited Ryoko’s for dinner, I was not prepared for the house dj spinning his tunes at full blast, and right in the center of the crowded restaurant at that. This is good in my case if it’s Tribe, but not so much if it’s Skrillex.

Agedashi tofu

Let’s talk about the food, though. On this visit, my dining companions and I started with a plate of agedashi tofu: slightly crispy on the outside, and oh-so-soft and molten on the inside. A healthy dusting of bonito flakes held us over while we waited for our sushi.

Toro nigiri

Maki sushi

Our plate of toro nigiri was tasty and fresh and the slabs of tuna felt more like butter than meat. Our maki sushi was a treat, too, and while the yellowtail was on the bland side, the futomaki were just right.

Dining at Ryoko’s can be hit or miss depending on what the dj is playing and what iterations of sushi you order. And oh, be prepared for a wait. Very prepared. Ryoko’s may be a bit of a dining gamble, but it’s a popular one at that.

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