I live in Sausalito and visit Sushi Ran a couple of times every year. I have been to Japan more than a dozen times, and know great sushi. Sushi Ran has better sushi and sashimi than 98% of Japanese restaurants in the US, but falls slightly below the level of the top sushi bars in Japan. Maybe the variety of ultra-fresh fish is just not available here as it is in Japan.
Where Sushi Ran really shines is with the rest of its menu, which on the surface looks ordinary. The seaweed salad is excellent. The grilled squid is different and better than any I have ever tasted, with smoked citrus sabayon and pepper powder. The miso glazed black cod mixes freshness and subtle flavors in a profound way. The Hawaiian Ahi Poke is reliable delicious. Last evening we tried the curry spaghetti squash and spiced roasted cauliflower sides. Both showed combinations of flavors and complexity that one usually does not associate with sides. Check out the list of rolls, like the kaisen futo-maki roll, or the negihama roll, for something different and really tasty.
The wine list is fine and the sake list is even better. Sushi Ran is always crowded and often noisy. (I have been there when "Happy Birthday" was sung 5 times for different tables.) There are several separate seating areas, including a sushi bar and an outdoor plastic-enclosed patio. The service can be a bit slow and inattentive at times, and the order in which plates arrive may be a bit random.
Is it good enough to take the ferry across from San Francisco for dinner? Yes, even if you have to pay for a taxi back after the ferries stop.
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