By Megan Gillette
Hidden behind the wasabi-colored facade with red, block, strip-mall lettering is one of this town’s true gems. I hesitate to write about it because Yellowfin Restaurant is small and still enough of a secret that you can get in and out for a fabulous lunch in under an hour.
While the interior is modest with a understated and elegant, if not Zen-like, quality, this really puts the food on the pedestal it deserves. The sushi is sublime. It always tastes fresh and is served at just below room temperature so the flavors can develop in your mouth. Raw fish isn’t for everyone, and some are leery of it so far from the sea. Most sushi restaurants I’ve encountered get two shipments a week, Tuesdays and Fridays. I try to order the sashimi around that schedule.
Although I’m a creature of habit and typically order one of the sushi bento boxes, the salmon teriyaki lunchbox with tempura, edamame, steamed rice and miso is always a treat. The Chicken Udon soup will cure any cold and the Ramen noodle soup with a variety of meat, seafood and veggies is delightful for a change of pace (if you’re far enough removed from the Ramen-days of college to enjoy it again). The seaweed salad with very thin slices of cucumber is also a favorite.
I’ve brought friends and family from Manhattan to San Francisco for lunch here, and they’ve all raved. The kids have been invited on special occasions and felt very welcomed with high chairs and praises of cuteness. The lone waitress is incredibly friendly, happy, efficient and always remembers that I like the low-sodium soy sauce!
This has become my absolute favorite lunch date spot. However unassuming it may be sitting in the back of the County Market parking lot on Kirby and State, it is surely the pearl inside the hoary oyster.
Verdict: Feast! This is for high-noon dates and meetings at their best. Enjoy the clean flavors, relaxed atmosphere, and don’t worry about chopsticks turning into swords and little mouths eating all of the edamame.
Megan Gillette is a mother of two active little boys — FIT kids (Foodies in Training). In her “spare time” she is a senior graphic and web designer at Wolfram, a real-estate broker with TeamKay at Keller Williams, and a real-estate maven for the family holding company. Megan is in constant pursuit of perfect food, exciting dining experiences, and farm-to-fork meals with her husband and personal sous chef, Kurt.