San Francisco has dozens of Japanese restaurants offering fresh sashimi. But Sozai, owned and operated by my friend Mari Takahashi, is decidedly different.
“Sozai” means “Ingredients” in Japanese. In her Sozai offerings, Mari combines centuries of Japanese culinary knowledge with tasty natural ingredients to create her own, original California cuisine that enables her customers to taste the ingredients, rather than “smothering the taste with Teriyaki Sauce.”
She calls her restaurant “Izakaya” — a traditional Japanese restaurant where people go to have drinks with food, and Izakaya is getting popular here. I call it Japanese Tapas and tasty Sake. You’ll call it delicious. Her offerings include:
• Edamame Hummus with Pita Bread (Vegan)
• Shiso Bruschetta (Vegan)
• Chicken Croquettes
• Tuna Tartar in a Cucumber Cup
• Salmon Ceviche in an Endive Cup
• Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Nigori Cream Sauce
• And much more, including Sake With Cream!
I just attended the Grand Pre-Opening Dinner last night at Sozai Restaurant and Sake Lounge — and EVERYTHING was superbly prepared and presented. I can’t recommend Sozai highly enough! If you live anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, you’ve got to check it out for yourself.
The Grand Opening is Wednesday, September 12. If you can’t wait that long, call Mari’s Catering and she’ll arrange a sushi party or other fantastic foods.
Currently, 80% of Mari’s catering business is Sushi. “We have done several Sushi stations at private parties and a Sushi making party for Bridal Shower the past couple of weekends,” she adds. “For catering, we do Sushi on site, sending Sushi chef out to events. There are tons of Sushi restaurant, but they don’t send chefs out because they need to work at their Sushi bar.”
Mari also says, “For our catering, we specialize in authentic Sushi and California cuisine with traditional Japanese flavors using organic produce. Our food will delight your senses as it nourishes your body.”
So true, and Sozai is the place to be nourished with sashimi and sake.
A: 1500 Irving Street (at 16th Ave), San Francisco, CA 94122