The cult-favorite sushi pop-up looks ready to get its long-sought-after brick and mortar.
If you love sushi and have $185 to spend, there are few better options than Sushi Salon’s 18-course omakase meal. The operation has a devoted following for its wild and creative array of sushi and a technique of preserving fish by spiking their spinal cords with wire. It has been operating from Berkeley’s Fish & Bird Sousaku Izakaya.
Joji Nonaka and Anna Osawa, who worked at Alameda’s highly regarded Utzutzu before opening Sushi Salon, had been looking for a physical location for some time. According to a beverage-license notice in the window of 4008 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, next to Arthur Mac’s and the MacArthur BART station, they appear to have found it in Oakland. The former States coffee shop is a small space, so it will be interesting to see how Nonaka and Osawa will fit their restaurant in, and whether they will offer to-go meals like they have at Fish & Bird.
There is no menu yet, but if the fish selection is anything like Nonaka’s Instagram, it could be incredible. The chef frequently posts photos of sea creatures that have landed on his cutting board, such as Japanese Rubyfish from Kanagawa, Azurio tuskfish, dopey-looking Unicorn Leatherjackets, and a “Red frog crab” that is “a crab, but it walks back and forth.”
If sushi fans need another reason to get excited, the restaurant also uses Wakayama prefecture soy sauce made with 300-year-old techniques like boiling soybeans over wood fire, as well as “static-fermented” vinegar from a 130-year-old Kyoto brewery.