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Patricia Chang

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Gold Drips Down the Walls at Robin, Hayes Valley’s New Sushi Spot

It’s moody, stylish, and unlike most temples of raw fish

Robin isn’t a traditional sushi restaurant, a fact most diners will ascertain the second they step into the Hayes Valley space. The 1,250 square foot restaurant is the dynamic reflection of chef Adam Tortosa’s vision for the place, a driving factor behind the menu and vibe.

It’s also a curated look at the work of local artisans, from the walls to the plates and chopsticks. The walls are particularly arresting, painted a dark gray and adorned with gold resin drips from the ceiling. Decorative artist Caroline Lizagarra, who’s also done work for neighboring Nightbird and The Riddler, poured the drips by hand, a technique she’d never tried with that medium. The rose gold extends to the cement floor, where Lizagarra filled cracks with metallic resin, an homage to the Japanese technique of kintsugi.

Walls by Lizagarra, woodwork by Terra Amico
Patricia Chang

Lizagarra’s final contribution is the bright and colorful bathroom; the floor is composed of pennies that Tortosa and his parents laid themselves.

Color-splashed wallpaper at Robin’s bathroom Patricia Chang
Logo by Jordan Ma
Patricia Chang

The logo, created by Jordan Ma, is emblazoned in pink neon that greets diners as they enter the room. Behind the sushi bar are tiles from SoMa’s FireClay Tile, made from recycled post-industrial glass.

Patricia Chang

Elsewhere, SF artist Ferris Plock’s off-beat depictions of pop-culture icons in the style of Japanese wood block.

Ceramacist Jered Nelson of Jered’s Pottery custom-created many of the dishes for Tortosa, who was heavily involved in the process. The blonde wood sushi bar and darker dining room tables were done by Terra Amico.

Read more about everything that went into the making of Robin, including more details on makers, and how much it cost to get the doors open here.

When Robin debuts July 6, it will be open seven days a week from 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

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