The Only Sustainable Sushi Bar in North America
That is just what Tataki Sushi & Sake Bar in San Francisco is believed to be.
The tiny, seven-month-old restaurant serves only seafood that isn’t overfished, farmed without proper management, or contains high levels of mercury and other contaminants.
Find out more about why business partners, Chef Kin Lui, Chef Raymond Ho, and Casson Trenor (a sustainable fisheries expert) decided to open such a restaurant by reading my story today in the San Francisco Chronicle Food section.
Tataki, the site of a former Subway sandwich shop, grabs your attention right when you walk in. A Monterey Bay Aquarium “Seafood Watch” pocket guide, which lists best and worst sustainable seafood species, is front and center on every table. A copy is also tucked into every take-out menu.
Oct. 22, Tataki will be the site of the official launch of three new, ground-breaking sustainable sushi guides created in partnership with the aquarium, Blue Ocean Institute, and Environmental Defense Fund. Each will include information on as many as 60 different seafood species commonly found on sushi menus.
Want to do the right thing? Then, you’ll stop eating unagi, bluefin toro, hamachi, octopus (tako), monkfish liver (ankimo), farmed salmon (sake), imported King crab (kani), imported albacore tuna (shiro maguro), and sea urchin (uni) from Maine — all of which are unsustainable, according to the aquarium’s new guide.
But a restaurant such as Tataki proves you can be sustainable and still serve impeccable sushi. Local line-caught albacore stands in for bluefin, its flesh so rich and velvety, you never feel deprived. Farmed, well-managed arctic char sits in for farmed salmon here. Farmed, sustainable barramundi stands in for wild Atlantic fluke, which is caught by trawlers that catch a lot of other species unintentionally, Trenor says.
A “Golden State” roll is a tribute to California: Crowned by 24-karat gold flakes, its filling of albacore, organic avocado, and spicy scallops with minced Granny Smith apple is all grown and harvested locally.
Tataki also offers an extensive list of vegetarian rolls. After all, as Trenor rightly notes: To eat sustainably is not only to eat sustainable seafood, but to eat less of it, too.