clock menu more-arrow no yes
Cold-smoked yellowtail
Michael Ogata

Filed under:

Modern Omakase Restaurant Brings Interactive Dining to SF

The Shota offers cold-smoked sushi and gold-tipped chopsticks

A meal at the Shota, the Financial District’s newest omakase restaurant, begins with chopsticks. Not just any chopsticks, but a leather-bound, colorful assortment with shiny gold tips. It’s just one of many details that general manager Shar Guillermo is betting will set the Shota apart from San Francisco’s many sushi hubs.

The upscale Japanese restaurant opened last week, taking over the former City Counter space in the historic Standard Oil building. Chef-owner Ingi “Shota” Son comes with an impressive resume, including stints at Morimoto Napa, Hashieri, and Omakase — he helped open the latter as a sushi chef, and Omakase went on to earn a Michelin star.

Foie gras
Michael Ogata

The omakase tasting menu will feature 10 courses, lasts two to two-and-a-half hours, and costs $125 per person. Many of those courses are multi-item affairs — for example, guests will enjoy nine or 10 pieces of nigiri, which change frequently depending on what fish is available to fly in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market that day. While the sushi is prepared traditionally — using edomae techniques like aging, curing, and marinating — the kaiseki-style courses from the kitchen will show more of a Bay Area influence, emphasizing local and seasonal ingredients. The Shota also offers $80 sake pairings or $30-$40 tea pairings for guests who don’t drink or are just looking for something a little different.

Throughout the meal, the Shota emphasizes one-on-one interactions with guests — something Guillermo thinks is often missing from other San Francisco omakase spots. Just about every course has some sort of tableside service element. A highlight on the current menu — which changes every month — is cold-smoked yellowtail, where guests get to lift the glass lid and release plumes of smoke into the air. “It’s also a great experience to smell what cold-smoked applewood smells like,” she says.

Another unique offering is the first course. “What’s great about that is the guest doesn’t know what they’re expecting because it’s wrapped up like a Christmas present. They unravel it, and it’s this gold ball.” And in the gold ball? Foie gras, Hokkaido uni, and caviar. Quite the opening. (See this month’s menu below.)

The Shota team redesigned the space to look even more sleek and modern than City Counter, with a clean white-and-gold color palette. A lineup of decorative donabes, the Japanese clay pot, nod to tradition.

“We have a modern feeling to it — it’s not too traditional,” Guillermo says. “It’s not boring because it’s not as traditional.”

Michael Ogata
Michael Ogata
Michael Ogata
Michael Ogata
Owner and head sushi chef Ingi “Shota” Son
Michael Ogata

The Shota is open at 115 Sansome Street, with seatings at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Correction: November 9, 8 a.m.: This article was updated to show that Son was a sushi chef at Omakase, not a chef de cuisine.

The Shota

115 Sansome Street, , CA 94104 (628) 224-2074 Visit Website
Eater Inside

The Vault Dives Back Down and Reopens as a Sexy Underground Steakhouse

A.M. Intel

Delivery Giant and Uber-Allied Gopuff Will Open Its First Actual Store in San Francisco

Napa Valley’s Best Mexican Food Is Hiding in This Retro Bowling Alley

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater San Francisco newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world