When a chef-about-town like Joseph Manzare opens a Tokyo-inspired restaurant with tequila, people notice. And there's no question food-focused San Franciscans have made the trip across town to try the now six-week-old Hecho, difficultly situated beside the Crocker Gallery down on Sutter Street. Manzare, a formerly closeted Japan enthusiast, has recruited the pedigreed Masaki Sasaki to head up the kitchen, Jim Zack to envision an impressive Mexico-meets-Japan decor, and 80 or so tequilas to fill out the back bar; but there's no telling if it's enough to populate the space as it needs to be night-after-night. Let's see what the early Eaters have to say about it all.
The Fish News: Chowhound's Melanie Wong chimes in on the sushi "Pretty good rice and generous with the sea urchin roe, but the Murasaki uni (sea urchin) sushi, $5 each, were only B- quality." On the contrary, Yelper Sarah P. raves, "the fish was fresh and some of the best I've had recently." Chip. B goes on: "every roll and fish slice was spot-on. I really dug that mackerel; perhaps the best... I have tasted, and I love me some mackerel." [Yelp, Chowhound]
The Tequila News: Yelper Liam B. informs that a tequila specialist poured tableside, and gave "some background info for each tequila, without being pretentious or overbearing." Jeanne C. adds, "the margaritas were perfect" though Virgina Miller mentions "The tequila menu is another plus though the selection is not so much for the hardcore, made up mostly of well-known brands." [Yelp, Perfect Spot]
The "Don't Forget About The Sake" News: SFoodie's Lou Bustamante reminds their "premium sake list promises to be truly impressive... [and] the selections look like they'll complement the mix of Mexican and Japanese flavors perfectly." Chowhound's Wong tried the Kome Kome low alcohol sake: "Too sweet for my taste, yet I could see its appeal." [SFoodie]
The Seating News: Inside Scoop prefers the bar, where you're "guaranteed to learn something about sake or tequila." The Bold Italic was seated upstairs in a "huge open room with vintage Japanese pop culture posters" which they noted "would be a great space for private parties." On the flip side, Yelp's Ruggy J. says downstairs, "the tables are ridiculously tiny here." [Inside Scoop, The Bold Italic, Yelp]
The "Where's The Bathroom" News: Yelp's Manabu M. describes, "the restrooms are located on the basement level of Galleria Park Hotel so if you are very drunk, you won't be able to reach or even if you get to the restrooms, you won't be able to climb the steps on your way back." [Yelp]
The Portion Size News: Yelp's Leah E. thinks $4 is "pricey for 1 nigiri but the freshness is so pronounced! They melt in your mouth and [are] meant to be savored." In Virginia Miller's early report, she adds, "all is prepared with care, though when a bill totals over $100 for two and you leave hungry, it’s not a good thing." [Yelp]
The Service News: Lynda A./Yelp grumbles "waiter's were over attentive at times... Barely done eating and they would dive in a remove our plates." Manabu M. of Yelp sounds the hottie alert on a Reese Witherspoon look alike at the hostess stand and Matt T./Yelp admits, "I might have developed a bit of a crush on the [her]." Back to business, Miller reports "service and execution is already on the right track." [Yelp, Perfect Spot]
The Ambiance News: Melanie Wong of Chowhound says "The brightly lit [sushi] bar is deeper than typical and with the extra distance from the sushi chef, my view to the prep counter was impaired and perhaps more importantly, was also a social barrier to interacting with the sushi chef with the same ease." Leah E. of Yelp calls it "Japanese, minimal and handsome." And Yelp's Caroline B. adds, "I love Tokyo and it felt like being in a cool bar in the small streets of the Daikanyama district where its private." [Chowhound, Yelp]
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