For the first time ever, the Sushi Ran team is expanding, opening a second restaurant in the Castro. Called Nomica, the Japanese drinking den will open next week (day depending on city permit approval) with a baller menu (in full below) of Japanese plates with contemporary twists. The Sushi ran team (Yoshi Tome, Paul Quinn, and Mynor Morales) recruited Japanese chef Hiroo Nagahara (Charlie Trotter, Narisawa) and sous chef Adam Cruz to head it all up. There are familiar dishes, like beef tartare and karaage chicken, and then some really baller items like foie gras ice cream and whole chicken in brioche with miso butter, shiso chimichurri, and chicken essence, meant for four people and requiring 24-hour notice (take that, 60-minute Zuni chicken). Prices are still being worked out.
To go along with the food are Awamori spirits from Okinawa, Japan. Awamori is an alcohol made from long grain indica rice, similar to shochu, and it has not yet been available in San Francisco. At Nomica, the bar program is based around it, with cocktails focused on the spirit.
The vibe of Nomica is more relaxed than Sushi Ran — the team is putting a strong emphasis on making it a raucous, fun environment — which makes sense for a drinking-focused restaurant, and it shows through the mostly walnut and cypress wood space, designed by CCS Architecture/Cass Calder Smith, with big booths and bright red stools at the large, 25-seat bar.
Nomica opens next week, daily from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., with plans for an impending weekend brunch.