If it weren't for these restrictions, I wouldn't post this, because we don't want to help make the place impossible to get into. But you, dear reader, should take the opportunity, because this is excellent sushi in a way that is very American while also respecting the essence of Japanese sushi.
On the plus side, the room is very calming. There's plenty of space for your chef, yourself and your neighboring couple. (Good luck getting a reservation for more or less than two.)
As for the sushi itself -- well that's the reason you go.
|Daniel melts miso butter on kegani (hairy crab)|
Insider tip: at the beginning of the meal, they offer a supplemental course of three more nigiri for $34. We said we would wait until the end of the meal and I'm glad we did, because it turns out there's a menu of nigiri supplements and the ones I most wanted weren't in the pre-order set.
We've been to most of the top sushi restaurants in San Francisco and this is the best one yet (with apologies to the previous incarnation of Maruya before the chefs quit). Maybe we sound like high rollers, but we thought the price was reasonable compared to other high-end sushi.
As for sake, I ordered by the glass and went with Dewazakura Dewasansan Junmai Gingo, a longtime favorite, crisp and wine-like, as well as Kirin-Zan Junmai Ginjo, dry and refreshing. My wife had Riesling and regretted it. But she didn't regret the sushi, not one bit. She might regret this blog post if we can never get in again, though. Sorry! But I can fix that, to wit:
|Salmon roe topped with shaved frozen monkfish liver, a signature dish|
Note to restaurant critics: Keep judging sushi places on dessert!