370 14th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Plant based cuisine satisfying even Carnivores.
Why did we dine here? – Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya has remarkable 4.5 stars on Yelp. With the plant based revolution booming, we just had to try this spot. We’ve returned for take out.
Our last visit was in Summer 2021 during the Pandemic. Indoor/outdoor dining with masks when not actively eating/drinking. Service has slipped due to staffing issues (no surprise). Waits are still there.
Shizen was created as an experiment in ocean conservation through responsible dining. They’ve been doing this for a while and have massive lines even on a Monday pre-Pandemic. Pre pandemic: The Yelp waitlist opens at 5:30, we instantly made a reservation and still had to wait 90 minutes.
We liked it enough to return for takeout, during the Pandemic. No lines for take out!
Insider Tip – When indoor dining returns. Go early
Cuisine – Japanese, Vegan
Location – San Francisco Mission District
Opened – 2015
Service – Shizen had far better service than we could envision. The restauarant is small and hectic. Nice menu recommendations and the food came fast.
Verdict – Shizen blew us away. We did not expect much, but were surprised how good the food was, even for omnivores. A must visit spot for Vegans and Vegetarians. Nearby Cha-Ya is a little more traditional Japanese, with a shorter menu.
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Yes. 1 Hour? Yes.
Shizen Signature Dishes – Open Invitation, Surprise Ending
Shizen’s Menu is very large. Many options from appetizers to ramen to sushi rolls and more.
Shizen Food Picks:
Shizen Margarita ($10) uses soju that is not as potent, but still made for a well balanced drink. 8/10
Kin-San-Gria ($10) is slightly fruity and also good. 8/10
croquettes ($9) sweet potato, onions, carrots, celery had 5 perfect deep fried nuggets. Crunchy on the outside and soft inside. 9.5/10 – Summer 2021 this dish was removed from the menu.
Beet Salad ($11) gluten free – mixed greens, arugula, roasted golden & red beets, roasted cauliflower, sliced orange, toasted pumpkin seeds, citrus ginger dressing is good but with the other stuff on the menu.. You would normally get stuck with this at a traditional spot. 7.5/10
Spicy Miso Garlic Ramen ($15) comes with bean curd chashu, bamboo shoots, tempura mushroom, grilled mushrooms, nori, and green onion. Wow, this dish has hearty broth, tender noodles, and chashu that blew our mind. Very filling, so order with care, there are so many other delights. 9/10
Spicy cold ramen salad ($11) was served during the Pandemic. Next best thing to real ramen. 8.5/10
Open Invitation ($15) pumpkin tempura, spiced burdock, shredded tofu, tapioca, avocado crema, renkon chips is one of this popular rolls. A nice blend of textures and flavors. 9/10
Proud Peacock ($15) cucumber, avocado, shiitake, eggplant, tofu, pickled mango, roasted peppers, seaweed pearls tasted almost like California roll. Another good one. 8.5/10
Hidden Agenda ($14) tempura eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, carrot, yellow onion, garlic aioli, sweet soy sauce has an also crab like texture. Wow. 9/10
Secret Weapon ($15) marinated eryngii mushroom, avocado, spicy shredded tofu, pickled jalapeño, pickled pineapple, sweet shoyu, habanero sauce is for spicy food lovers. 9/10
Colonel’s Pipe ($14) smoked beets, cashews, creamy tofu, asparagus, avocado, sweet mustard, orange zest. Sweet, messy, but worth it. 9/10
Mushroom Yakimono ($9) had several varieties and hit the mark. Bigger than expected. 8.5/10
Avocado Nigiri ($8) was great finger food. Very fresh, quick slurp. 9/10
Shiitake Nigiri ($8) was also a nice simple veggie dish. 9/10
Tempura ($9) was also a large portion with carrot, eggplant, asparagus. Eggless tempura batter! 9/10
Mochi Donuts ($9) were the weakest dish of the night, but still decent. 2 dipping sauces. 8/10
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Garlic Edamame ($6) is ok, other items are more special. 6.5/10
Lily Flower Curry ($10) has strong medicinal curry flavor. 7/10
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Kale Kimpira ($7) was too salty. 3/10
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