A Small Yet Mighty Sushi Sanctuary Rises on Polk

And It Just So Happens to Be Perfect for Dates

By Joe Starkey ·
None 11 Photos Kuma
What's the coolest thing you've accomplished with a good friend?

A 1000-piece puzzle of the Alps? Not murdering each other after a week-long camping trip?

How about opening Kuma, a tiny new date spot on Polk that's the fully realized dream of two longtime friends, one of whom was a sushi chef at Pink Zebra?

That last one might be a stretch. Either way, it happened, and it's open now.

Note the wood panels charred in the traditional Japanese preservation technique, Shou Sugi Ban, as you and that date enter the cozy space sans reservation since they don't take those. So liberating.

Grab a pair of seats at a table underneath the wooden screens fashioned in Hayes Valley before turning to the menu, which prioritizes using local fish over importing from afar. Along with your usual sushi favorites, they've got "Tasting Spoon" options like snow crab with cucumber, plus special rolls like the Hey Girl with tempura shrimp, tuna, avocado, spicy mayo and Unagi sauce.

Pair all of the above with a beer like Echigo from the hometown of one of the owners. Or something from the curated, constantly rotating sake list.

Or both since everyone's working so selflessly for your enjoyment.
Joe Starkey

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.


1040 Polk St
(at Post)
San Francisco, CA, 94109


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