107 Caledonia Street (Near Pine)
Sausalito, CA 94965
Sushi Ran is a popular Japanese restaurant in Sausalito run by chef Taka Toshi. They describe their food as “vibrant fusion of traditional Japanese and Pacific cuisine”. Since 1986 they have been serving up top notch Japanese food in Marin. They have the standard Japanese fare you would expect, including Omakase (Trust the chef) plus lots of dinner specials and cooked items. They have an extensive wine and sake collection. You can eat in the main dining room or in the sake and wine bar next door that has an outdoor patio. Our last visit was in the summer of 2014.
Decor, Vibe – Understated Asian decor and artwork with sushi bars on both sides of their restaurant. Some tourists but lots of locals 30+, and some families were taking in the good food.
Sushi Ran Menu
Contains a wide variety of items from the usual nigiri and sashimi to cooked items. We liked the clear marking of sustainable fish as well as items from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market.
Sushi Ran Picks:
Lemon Drop ($10) was made with Japanese liquor instead of vodka. Tall, balanced and pretty close to a normal version.
California Roll ($7.50) – 6 pieces with real crab and no mayo. As good as it gets for this fusion cuisine.
Sushi Moriawase ($24) for 6 pieces. AAA grade big eye tuna, yellow tail, blue prawn, fresh white tuna & two more chef choices. This shows off chef Toshi’s talent as well as the fresh fish served here.
Sashimi Moriawase ($32.50) for 10 pieces. AAA grade big eye tuna, yellowtail, fresh white tuna & two more chef choices. Fresh Wasabi. Another tour de force of their raw fish expertise. Everything was very fresh and cut precisely.
Tentacles ($4.50) of Calamari (10) were grilled just right and had an aoili sauce that was not really necessary.
King Trumphet ($9.50) mushrooms were delicious but it was a tiny dish. Very nice texture and flavor though.
Boiled Spinach Salad ($6.50) with sesame seeds was simple but delicious. Organic of course.
Cooked shrimp ($7.50) or simple and great. You could really taste the fresh shrimp.
Hirame Sashimi ($6) or Halibut was fresh and chewy. Very good.
Sake Sashimi ($5.50) was also very good. Clean and fresh.
Dragon Roll ($16) with avocado, shrimp, fish was big and satisfying. High quality ingredients and not too much rice.
Hamachi Kama ($18.50) is the grilled cheek of the Yellowtail. Classic tender goodness and more. Very good stuff. Well matched dipping sauce.
Miso glazed black cod ($27) bloomsdale spinach, glass noodles is a signature dish and it shows. They took longer than expected as the chef recooked a new portion that finally satisfied him as optimal. The tender pieces of fish were eaten up within a minute or two.
corn coconut soup – red crab, chive, truffle (bowl $8) was nice and not too creamy. Subtle coconut flavors.
Vegetable testing – spiced roasted cauliflower, curry spaghetti squash, kimchee brussel sprouts ($12) was recommended by our server. Three small but delicate vegetable preparations. Highly recommended for vegetarians.
Vietnamese Shaking Beef – Black Angus, sweet onion, tiger lily buds, lime-pepper dipping sauce ($24) was recommended even though this wasn’t very Japanese. Definitely a very good dish with thinly sliced meat full of flavor. The dipping sauce was way too strong.
Steamed seasonal vegetables ($7) surprised us with a nice variety of four different carefully steamed selections.
Seared jumbo scallops – asparagus, crispy black bread, peas, chorizo emulsion ($19) consisted of two huge lightly seared scallops with a pink interior. While these were decent, we felt they were slightly undercooked.
Salt and Pepper Shrimp ($12) for shrimp with garlic and chiles was not as good as the pure simple shrimp
Clam Miso soup ($6) was regular miso soup with a couple clams. A little salty but not very special.
Sushi Ran had above average service with friendly waiters and waitresses. Food came fairly quick. This is definitely a place we would come to when we were in the area. Not many places in the Bay Area can match their quality and variety.
There is more to this place than sashimi or sushi. The place is very busy, but a good way to score a table here, is to show up near opening time and dine at the bar side.