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Tekka Japanese Restaurant
Japanese Restaurant$$
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537 Balboa St San Francisco, CA 94118
537 Balboa StUSCASan Francisco94118
(415) 221-8455
$$Japanese Restaurant, Sushi Restaurant
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Review Summary
19 reviews
5 star
19 reviews
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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The sushi chef/owner prepares each piece to order at this cash-only venue with no printed menus.- Google
People talk about sashimi platter, sashimi combo, fish is fresh, house rules and no forks
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Lisa Ma's profile photo
Lisa Ma
reviewed 4 months ago
This is my favorite mom/pop sushi restaurant in SF. It's a hole in the wall owned by this hardworking older couple. The place is tiny with 11 seats so expect a long wait. The first seating is 6pm and the second seating at 8pm. The reason why people go to such lengths to wait for food is because the sushi is amazing. The sashimi combo is my favorite ... large pieces of sashimi so unbelievably fresh that it melts in our mouth like butter!
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Catherine Chang
reviewed 8 months ago
A true hidden gem. One of my favorite sushi bars in SF. Before I write anything else, I have to say that this is NOT the best sushi I've ever had. It's the experience that makes this place somewhat magical. By experience, I don't mean attentive customer service (actually quite the opposite sometimes) or a luxurious meal. What makes this place special is the atmosphere. It's cozy. A one man and wife operation. Seated at the bar, you get to watch in anticipation as the chef starts to prep your meal. Generally the customers are friendly. It's especially fun when you get to talk to some of the kooky regulars who have been coming for years. Some pro tips: 1. They only seat twice a day Monday-Thursday (apparently Fridays are for regulars or private parties only), once at 7PM and once at 9PM. There are only 10-12 seats available per seating so go EARLY. I recommend getting there by 6 to get 7 PM seating. I've had less trouble getting in for the 9PM seating. Usually getting there by 8:40 will guarantee you a seat. 2. They will not seat a party larger than 4. I recommend going with just 1 or 2 friends anyways. It's more of an intimate experience anyways. 3. Order the sashimi platter. It's big enough to feed two people. Add a nigiri or two and some other small dishes and you should be very full. 4. The fish on the nigiri are HUGE. The size of your iphone - no, I'm not exaggerating. 5. Be social! The friendly regulars usually get some extra special love and dishes from the chef, and they are sometimes happy to share if you strike-up a good conversation. 6. Oh, and prepare to be there for at least 1.5 to 2 hours!
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nicholas chamandy
reviewed 6 months ago
Great sashimi platter and service. A must if you love authentic Japanese.
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Jim Lui
reviewed 7 months ago
The size of a San Francisco studio, this gem might be passed by everyday if there weren't a faithful line waiting for it to open every week day. It's actually not that hard to get one of the ten seats inside. Once inside you're greeted both by husband and wife. Sushi chef slices the fish in front for all to see unless you're sitting behind the counter to his right side. I want to call them slabs of fish actually. Big bang for your buck!
John Barbey
reviewed a year ago
At first glance you'd think this was some hole in the wall joint. Alas, you're wrong - again. Tekka is the second home of the sweetest Japanese couple that makes the best sushi this side of the Mississippi and the other side. The better half spends her time in the kitchen cooking wholesome warm Japanese dishes to order while you're up front and personal with the master chef watching him cut up your favorite fish. Get there early and wait outside cuz this place seats 11 max.
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Lydia Sugarman's profile photo
Lydia Sugarman
reviewed a year ago
I vaguely remembered reading about Tekka Restaurant when we found ourselves on a dark stretch of Balboa (as opposed to a dark stretch on every other street in SF) and the restaurant where we'd planned to eat had decided not to open this Wednesday night. We spotted this little place, there were two empty chairs but one was at the bar, the other at the one odd table. Fortunately, everyone there that night congenially invited us in, scooted to make room, and we sat at the sushi bar. The sushi chef was focus on cutting big, luscious slices of super fresh fish. Menus came. Sake was ordered. And, we waited.... A bowl of edamame arrived to make the wait a little easier. All orders are taken in order, so we waited.... Finally, after the other 8 people had totally pigged out, we got our sashimi plate, two pieces of eel nigiri, and tuna takato (sp?). I've never seen such a generous plate of sashimi with a nice serving of seaweed salad on the side. The freshest tuna, squid, octopus, scallops, yellowtail, etc. in beautiful pieces twice as big as anywhere else. To say it was generous is an understatement. The eel was the freshest I've ever had as was everything else. Of course, the two bottles of chilled sake didn't hurt! What an incredible experience! We got sooooo lucky that the other resto was closed, that Tekka was open, that people generously made room for us! When we finally left, there were enough people who'd been waiting outside for about 45 minutes to fill the restaurant again.
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