ADVENTURE: Settling in at the sushi bar at Robin for some omakase! // CRAVE: That a5 Wagyu beef nigiri!
After opening 1760 and perfecting the art of sushi at Michael Bauer favorite Akiko’s, chef Adam Tortosa is opening a hip hangout for omakase lovers in Hayes Valley called Robin.
Grab a seat at the bar for a customized experience—you choose how many dishes to try (and how much dough you want to blow)—or order a la carte in the dining room. Either way, prepare for a one-of-a-kind meal that blends local ingredients with housemade Japanese condiments for fun, and of course seasonal, flavor combinations. You might chow on salmon belly with whipped tofu and tomato confit, or seared Wagyu with foie gras “snow” and freshly ground Half Moon Bay wasabi.
Like the fresh eats, the place has happening vibes: Bay Area hip hop beats stream through the speakers, while rose gold details, bright mosaic tiles, and an Instagrammable neon pink sign make the interior worthy of your attention. You might dance in your seat until late into the night.
Chef Adam Tortosa walks his guests through each dish, offering interesting tidbits about the ingredients and providing a personalized dining experience.
Thin slices of New Zealand snapper are a refreshing, light bite to start the meal.
There are eight different kinds of uni on hand. Here, Tortosa combined two ingredients from Baja: raw sheepshead fish—which, interestingly enough, has sharp, small teeth for noshing tough prey…much like the rich, buttery uni perched on top.
Robin is all about the unexpected ingredient combinations that can take a meal to the next level. Nigiri topped with a slice of fig? We think yes.
There’s just something about nori crackers that can make a dish. Being topped with succulent cubes of Wagyu tartare, Asian pear, and a bit of uni doesn’t hurt either.
The nigiri is the real deal—this crimson morsel comes from the shoulder of a Japanese farm-raised Bluefin tuna.
Robin often put each fish to whole use, incorporating different parts into various dishes. While this tuna’s shoulder was used for nigiri, slices of its belly make up this yummy plate.
We’re keeping things rich! This nigiri showcases a fingerling potato chip topped with caviar and aioli.
In a surprising change-up, chilled sesame noodles are topped with luxurious truffle shavings and a Japanese twist on chimichurri for a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.
One of our favorite dishes of the night: torched salmon belly with a light dollop of whipped tofu and tomato confit.
Bring on the uni! This uni is served in its own salt water and paired with golden caviar for a decadent bite.
If you could taste heaven, we’re pretty sure this would be it. Seared pieces of A5 Wagyu are topped with a heavy sprinkling of foie gras “snow,” a dash of lemon-soy, and wasabi grown in Half Moon Bay.
This article was originally written and photographed by me for 7×7 and can be viewed here.