Daigo Sushi: What Fresh Sashimi Should Look Like

  Posted by - May 5, 2014 - $$ (20-50), NightTime, Restaurants, San Francisco

With my recent move back to SF, it’s been quite a challenge to find an authentic sushi restaurant in San Francisco. Over the course of the years, I’ve learned that Japanese cuisine should be a fun dining experience where you can joke around with the sushi chefs, make concoctions of your favorite flavors, and order as go at the sushi bar.

Before, when I thought of my favorite sushi restaurants, I thought of places with really really bomb rolls.

Then…I was introduced to the likes of Sushi Ota & Sushi Gen, two the best sushi restaurants in California & on Yelp’s “Top 100 Restaurants” in the U.S.

Shortly after, I realized 3 things they both have in common: great service, freshness of the fish, and a very very small selection of sushi rolls.

 Daigo Sushi in San Francisco is a worthy outlier.

Tucked away in outer Richmond, sits this tiny little gem with some of the freshest sashimi you’ll ever find in the Bay Area. With rent prices being so outrageously high in SF, I’m glad we ventured out from the 7×7 grid in the city. They have a small restaurant that seats six people at the sushi bar, and a total of 7 tables.

Whenever I go to a new sushi restaurant. I’ll test their Salmon & Hamachi for “freshness.”  Both are pretty standard and are hard to mess up.

If you can’t tell that it’s not fresh, it’s not worth going to anymore.

First off, it should never be “fishy” tasting or smelly.

Second, it should never be stringy.

Here’s what it should look like:

(photos are NOT enhanced so you can see the quality of the fish)

Salmon & Hamachi

photo 2

Hotate “fresh scallops”

photo 2(1)

Kanpachi (front)


Hamachi Carpaccio (yellowtail)

with jalapeno, onion, and garlic ponzu sauce

This dish isn’t “authentic” but it’s damn good and I  get it every time!

photo 3

“Hamachi Shot”

OK. This has got to be one of best shots I’ve ever had.

They use finely diced hamachi, chopped onion, raw quail egg yolk, crispy rice balls (crumbs),

sliver of avocado, pinch of fish eggs as garnish, and truffle ponzu. YUM!

Sweet Shrimp “amaebi”

In order to preserve freshness, the chef prepares the shrimp by defrosting and running it through water. He then meticulously washes and dries the shrimp till it’s ready to eat.

Then you have the option of frying the shrimp heads or putting in a miso soup.


Lightly battered shrimp heads

photo 1

Miso soup with shrimp

photo 4


This was my first time trying this and it was recommended to me by the owner. The conversation began like this:

Me: What’s good today?

Owner: I noticed you don’t like anything with a strong fish taste, we have some really fresh halibut that you might enjoy.

Now that is some attentive service! and he was right.


I’ve been here about 7-9 times in the past 2 months and I LOVE the attentiveness of their servers. My cup of tea is never empty, and they have my sides of siracha & lemon wedges ready before my asking for it (it’s going to sound weird, but I really like eating sushi with siracha, tiny hint of lemon, and low sodium soy sauce).

Although there are places with really great sushi rolls, you shouldn’t judge a sushi restaurant by the quality of their rolls –> but by the freshness of their fish. If you’ve never experienced sitting at the sushi bar, talking to the sushi chefs, or ordering as you go- whatever you want, whenever you want. TRY IT!

Let me know how it goes!



PS: If anyone has a good recommendation for a sushi spot in SF…  uhm what’re you waiting for? SPILL!


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  • Don September 22, 2016 - 5:21 pm Reply

    looks like they only do delivery now: http://www.daigosushi.com/


  • gmabhez June 11, 2014 - 12:38 am Reply

    Try mikado sushi by 16th St and bryant st.

  • J McCown May 13, 2014 - 10:02 pm Reply

    Hi Cyn,

    I have a few questions for you. I was wondering if you could send me an email so we can correspond that way. Thanks!

  • hana May 13, 2014 - 4:18 am Reply

    Try Get A in Oakland near kaiser hospital.
    Its small It has only 5 tables and bar area but they have the best sushi and yet very affordable.

  • Tom May 10, 2014 - 6:15 pm Reply

    Nom Nom Nom! I’m down to give this place a try!

  • BYinSF May 9, 2014 - 9:41 pm Reply

    Umm looks great i want to go! My best sushi restaurant is maruya:)

    • CynEats May 9, 2014 - 10:04 pm Reply

      For sure check them out! I’m so obsessed, i’m going back again tonight lol. I’ll keep Maruya in mind next time : )

  • Mica May 8, 2014 - 12:52 am Reply

    You should check out Roka Akor! It’s a fun place to go with friends and they have a bar/lounge at the bottom of the restaurant.

    • CynEats May 8, 2014 - 6:52 pm Reply

      Thanks! I’ve actually been there once, but only for their drinks. I’ll have to check out the food next time : )

  • Huston May 7, 2014 - 8:45 am Reply

    wow! That looks seriously good.

  • Frankie May 6, 2014 - 9:46 am Reply

    What is the address?? I need to come here asap!

    • CynEats May 7, 2014 - 7:04 pm Reply

      2450 Clement St
      San Francisco, CA 94121
      b/t 26th Ave & 25th Ave in Outer Richmond

      And here is the phone number to make your ressies: (415) 386-8008

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