The Only Fish in the Sea (Sebo -- San Francisco, CA)
This is how good Sebo is: I have been so busy eating there that I haven't had time to write about it. Also, it is so painfully bitchin' that Jon now refuses to eat sushi anywhere else. At all. Including Kiss. In the words of my elementary school pals, it is wicked awesome.
When I first went to Sebo, I wasn't so in love with their servers. The sushi chefs, yes, servers no. About 20 minutes into my first visit I changed my tune. Once it was clear that we were there to throw down, our servers spread the love. I came to realize that they are probably used to dealing with a bunch of fucktards looking for their Dragon and California rolls and quickly forgave what I had perceived as a chilly demeanor when we were first seated. Now that I've visited Sebo more times than I've visited my own home in the past month, I can firmly say that the servers are nothing short of dolls.
Sebo is hip without being pretentious and small enough that you never have to worry about getting the attention you want (unlike some other places in the city that are smaller and still can't figure out how to put down the bong and serve for fuck's sake). One notable thing: Sebo is warm. As in I wear a tank top there and I'm still sweating like your mama after plumber Billy is through with her. And I'm always cold as a general rule. So come naked or don't come, ya heard?
But really, what is it that makes Sebo so magical? Well, Virginia, that would be Danny and Michael, Sebo's super talented chefs. It's actually a little fucking ridiculous that two men could simultaneously be so nice, skilled and adorable. LOVE THEM. Every piece of fish they serve is perfect or it doesn't go out. They have studied this shit inside, outside and slip n' slide.
Now sitting at a table is great on it's own, but the real action is at the sushi bar. That is because at the bar, you can put yourself in Danny and Michael's hands and get the dope ass shit that is not on the menu. Like baby bluefin tuna. BABY BLUEFIN TUNA. OK, I wish I hadn't told you that now, because it's all gone for the season. But I'm sure something equally rad will show itself in no time. The point is, there is magic at that bar.
In addition to having beautiful fishes on the menu to order as sashimi, Sebo has crafted about three custom sushi rolls. Maguro with lemon, avocado and sea salt is currently my favorite. In the sashimi department, their o-toro is so good that I started to become concerned that we would piss through our life's savings just to continue feeling the soft, silky flesh in our mouths. Snapper, sea bass, amberjack, yellowtail (and special winter yellowtail), Scallops (Hokkaido, no less!), Spanish mackeral that doesn't taste like an oil slick, Uni that doesn't taste like feet, Unagi that is not doused in barbeque sauce (as a matter of fact, good unagi tastes much like mahi-mahi or grouper), monkfish liver that tastes like foie gras. There is nothing I have been served there that I wasn't willing to put in my mouth (and after enough uni grossouts that is quite a feat).
Sebo also has some traditional salads like sunomono, along with miso soup, edamame and a few other items. And although everything there is nothing short of spectacular, I'm mostly interested in eating as much fish as humanly possible whenever I'm in there. In addition, they only us real wasabi root and high quality shoyu (but don't use to much soy lube because it will ruin the fish and piss off the chefs). If you need some dessert, they've got five star truffles for you to lick on.
If you prefer to see the world with a little buzz on, Sebo's sake selection is remarkable. I've tried 5 or 6 and I would drink them all again. It's a good thing we live close enough to walk.
One night, while talking with Danny, we discovered that he, Jon and I all went to the same college in upstate New York together. Danny and I graduated the same year, no less. I mean, really, what are the fucking chances of that? If I didn't already totally heart him, that sealed it.
Last week, while I was doing good by working with kids in juvie (really, folks, we are failing our youth, but that is another story), Jon visited Sebo THREE nights in a row. The first with a work colleague, the second for their one year anniversary and the third just for fun. On that third visit, he saw my beloved Food Musings couple AND he got to cool his heels next to Melissa, Danny's girlfriend. If you don't know who she is, you should, because girlfriend is fierce. Fortunately, I showed up at the end and got to join in the gushing.
Guess I'll have to go without Jon a few times to catch up on my fish intake. So should you.
"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld