Shizen, a completely vegan Japanese restaurant from the team behind Tataki, has opened in the Mission, taking up the long-vacant restaurant space in the swank 299 Valencia condo building and adding yet another Asian dining option to the upper stretch of the Mission (which has also welcomed Rintaro, Orenchi Beyond, and Burma Love in recent months). Partner Casson Trenor, an expert in seafood sustainability (specifically sushi), told Tablehopper that the goal at Shizen is "to give vegetables and vegan dishes the same level of attention and respect as seafood," a feat that will be undertaken by partner and Tataki chef Kin Lui.
The restaurant labels itself as a "vegan sushi bar and izakaya," boasting a sleek, minimalist interior of polished wood. Diners have the benefit of a full sushi counter, as well as izakaya-style skewers like smoked bean curd and grilled mushrooms glazed with sweet shoyu and mirin. However, the most impressive undertaking is the vegan ramen. The kitchen has developed flavorful broths without the use of pork (gasp), offering diners shio, shoyu, or spicy garlic miso broths. And their handmade noodles are egg-free, as are the "soy milk egg" and "chashu" toppings. Beverages include beer, wine and sake, though the selection may change in the next couple of months. Hours are currently 5-10pm daily, though that may shift depending on demand.