If you expected Sushi Ran’s second restaurant to be sushi-focused, you’d be wrong. Instead, Nomica, opening in August in the Castro, will be a Japanese drinking house — which is what “nomica” means in Japanese. (Real estate agents take note: It’s also the team’s new name for the neighborhood, which resides at the intersection of Noe Valley [No], the Mission [Mi] and the Castro [Ca].) The restaurant will be focused on Awamori spirits from Okinawa, Japan and authentic Japanese food, and the Sushi ran team (Yoshi Tome, Paul Quinn, and Mynor Morales) recruited Japanese chef Hiroo Nagahara to head it all up. Nagahara was Charlie Trotter’s chef de cuisine and has spent the last year in Japan working at Kagurazaka Ishikawa and Narisawa to prep for this restaurant. His food, with help from sous chef Adam Cruz, will be authentically Japanese, with contemporary twists, resulting in dishes like organic matcha butter and Hokkaido koji with umeboshi iwashi "anchovy” (ume-fermented anchovy).
The team wants Nomica to be relaxed, with the fine dining food they’re used to cooking. CSS Architecture is designing the 100-seat space (you may recognize their work from Volta and Twenty Five Lusk), and the restaurant will be open in August daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.