Food

A Top Sushi Contender Rises in Hayes Valley

Its Name Is Robin, and You’d Do Well to Take a Date There

By Joe Starkey ·
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Photo: Albert Law
There are two different levels of sushi spots.

Level 1: Robin.
Level 2: All other sushi spots.

Perhaps you’ve been able to surmise which level we’ll be discussing today...

Robin is now taking reservations for a Thursday opening in Hayes Valley. Robin is two years in the making and being brought to you by a chef with an Akiko and 1760 pedigree who spent four years training under a master sushi chef. Robin looks like this.

You and your date will enter and immediately notice that the place quite literally drips gold. The walls are decorated with rose gold resin that’s been dripped down for dramatic effect.

Settle in at the coral tile-backed bar for some omikase magic, or head to a table and go the a la carte route. The menu has five sections: “Lean Fish” like starry flounder with Meyer lemon and blood orange kosho, “Fatty Fish,” “Not Fish” (think Wagyu steak with foie snow), “Dishes” like sesame noodles with Japanese chimichurri, and “Hand Rolls.” Nothing named Godzilla or Dynamite, we promise.

Oh, and since you asked, they’ve also got an extensive sake selection curated by an actual sake sommelier.

Please hold your applause until the dining experience has concluded.

Joe Starkey is the tallest person in the room 90% of the time. He enjoys liquors that aren’t smoky, dive bars that are, and has a vague dread that someone, somewhere might be having more fun than him.

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