When Blowfish Sushi opened its doors back in 1996, San Francisco’s sushi scene looked very different that it does today (how many folks said “omakase” without stumbling back then?), and when it closed this past April, its owners said they would be switching focus to their growing empire of ramen restaurants. Eight months later, that focus is changing again, it appears. Blowfish is back as of tonight, with a menu that includes several of the same items from its 90s-era spot.
The new Blowfish is located at 2193 Mission Street, a spot at the corner of 18th Street that’s been home to a rotating cast of venues in the last few years. Since 2012 it’s been a wine bar-ish spot called The Corner, then became the Perch, Weird Fish, Dante’s Weird Fish, Urban Fish, Tawara Sake, and, most recently, Hell’s Ramen. That’s a lot of turnover for seven years.
Since the Tawara Sake days, the location has been in the hands of Blowfish’s Jason Teplitsky and Ritsuo Tsuchida, which explains how it could go so quickly from Hell’s Ramen to Blowfish in just a few weeks. In fact, construction is ongoing in the spot, a spokesperson for the restaurant tells Eater SF — but that won’t stop Blowfish from opening its doors tonight, with a more formal grand opening expected some time next week.
The menu is “classically Blowfish as the Blowfish you have always enjoyed,” the spokesperson says, and it’s true that the logo and menu of jam-packed rolls — yes, the Super Dynamite (yellow tail, salmon, and chive tempura-fried and served with “spicy sauce”) is back — feels very familiar. It remains to be seen if the return of a decades-old sushi spot will end the shake-ups at that corner of Mission and 18th, and if, in this age of Michelin-starred sushi tasting menus, there’s still a place in San Francisco’s heart for (as its full name says) Sushi To Die For.
Blowfish’s soft opening kicks off from 5:30-10:30 on Friday, November 8. Hours thereafter are 5:30-9:45 Tuesdays through Thursdays, 5:30-10:30 Fridays-Saturdays. See the full menu below: