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“One of the best restaurants in California”
Review of Sushi Ran

Sushi Ran
Ranked #4 of 79 Restaurants in Sausalito
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Sushi, Asian, Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Turney & Pine
Palo Alto, California
Level 6 Contributor
291 reviews
151 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
“One of the best restaurants in California”
Reviewed March 18, 2014

To call Sushi Ran "a sushi joint" is to call Guy Savoy, Paris, a "local bistro". There's a reason that this place is well-attended by locals and that the weekend nights are full - namely, one of the most imaginative restaurant menus we've seen anywhere. This place is no ordinary sushi joint, and if you're looking for a cheap bowl of noodles, go somewhere else. If, on the other hand, you want to really impress your date - and you're willing to tolerate a waiting time on a weekend night, or to sit away from the sushi bar - then come to Sushi Ran. We made the mistake of showing up on a Sunday at 5.30 and were told (politely) that we'd have to wait.

The restaurant is separated into two parts - a smaller part, with a small seating area near or at the sushi bar, and a small backroom for families - and a larger part, which has an actual alcohol bar and more seats, but is much noisier. So, if you're a couple, do what we did: make an early reservation for a Monday night, and ask to sit near the sushi bar, the most prestigious seats in the house.

The dessert menu is worthy of a top-tier French restaurant. We tried three desserts- all delicious. The ginger cake was delectable, the Bananas Foster superb, and we can't even remember the third choice, except that it was great! The sake menu is extensive. The green tea is bottomless. The wasabi is freshly ground - completely different from the "tube wasabi" you get elsewhere. Our server was excellent - a young woman who wore no name-tag. Be aware that the sushi bar has its own exclusive menu of pricey rare fish sushi for those seated at the actual sushi bar, in addition to all the other choices. The general menu is eclectic. We had (among many other things) carrots in a cream mint sauce; superb. We also had some maki sushi and all was high-quality and inventive.

This place is quite expensive, but for good reasons. Where else can you get this quality of food in a place where casual clothing is acceptable?

There is no dedicated parking, but some street parking is available. Suchi Ran sits on a back street that runs parallel to the main street of Sausalito. There are several other restaurants nearby - Thai, Indo-Pak., genuine thin-crust pizza, etc. A 10-minute walk from the ferry docks in downtown Sausalito. If we lived in downtown SF, we'd probably ferry here just for the food.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ScienceTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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480 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
452 reviews
152 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3,419 helpful votes
“Good but not overly impressive.”
Reviewed February 23, 2014

I am not sure whats the whole hype about, yes they do sell fresh and good sushi but it is overly overly overly priced! $4 for a hand-made sushi. I honestly dont think I will go back again even though the sushi were good. I am very sure you can find some other cheap sushi places with the same standard of sushi quality. I suspect the whole reason why it is so popular and constantly getting good reviews was because this is situated in a very touristy spot in San Francisco and when everyone is in a good mood, they give good reviews about everything they eat.

Have to admit the only thing that i am really satisfied was the service from the waiters. Guess they have to provide good service to get the tips at the end of the night? Nope, I will not recommend my friends to visit the restaurant because it is overpriced. Its definitely a one-off thing. Also remember they do take bookings and you have to pretty much book in advance to get seats. Totally not worth it!

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  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank TravelQueenie365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 6 Contributor
233 reviews
187 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“A transformative experience”
Reviewed February 19, 2014

The best sushi I've ever had, period. A friend took me and gave me a few pointers: don't use soy sauce/seasoning because the sushi is already perfectly seasoned, put the piece fish-DOWN in your mouth, drink only water or tea with it, avoid the 'junk-food' California-roll type stuff. It's not cheap, but worth every penny. Dinner is apparently better than lunch (more fish variety).

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank IvanCDG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
207 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“More Than Just Excellent Sushi”
Reviewed February 14, 2014

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.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The best Japanese Restaurant”
Reviewed January 15, 2014 via mobile

Everything in this restaurant is a must try. I give their staffs 2 thumbs up for their fast and efficient service. I will surely eat here next time I am in Sausalito.

Thank pinkaliciousph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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