Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
Published on June 20, 2017
'Robin' To Bring Contemporary Japanese Cuisine To Hayes ValleyPhoto: Teresa Hammerl/Hoodline

As we reported in April, a new sushi restaurant is heading to 620 Gough Street. Now, the new spot, Robin, has announced its opening date for July 6th.

Chef Adam Tortosa is still preparing his newest creation for the opening day, but neighbors can already take a glimpse at the mosaic behind the bar through the windows. Created by FireClay Tile, the mosaic is made of handmade, recycled tile in light and dark coral and accented in black.

Robin will offer an omakase experience at the bar and in the main dining room. With the offerings, Tortosa is hoping to encourage patrons to have an ongoing conversation with their sushi chef.

At Robin, Tortosa, a former sushi chef at Akiko’s, will serve local ingredients such as rosy rockfish from Fort Bragg and Uni from Monterey with house-made condiments, including umeboshi (pickled ume fruits) and blood orange kosho (pepper) on Jered’s Pottery tableware.

Tortosa also brought in decorative artist Caroline Lizarraga, who also previously worked with other Hayes Valley restaurants like The Riddler and Nightbird.

Lizarraga accented the gray walls with drips of rose gold resin. In a nod to the restaurant's focus on Japanese cuisine, she also used the centuries-old technique of kintsugi to fix the restaurant’s cement floors, filling cracks with rose gold resin instead of covering over them.  

As guests enter the space, a neon-pink version of the Robin logo created by Jordan Ma will greet guests, and the walls of the restaurant will feature artwork by San Francisco-based artist Ferris Plock.

These guys will be staring you down while you eat #robinsf

A post shared by Robin (@robinsanfrancisco) on

Bay Area wood craftsman Terra Amico is responsible for the restaurant’s woodwork, including the alderwood sushi bar and the dark wood dining room tables. In contrast to the darker tones of the restaurant, the bathroom is painted a bright white with puffs of vibrant color, with a floor made of pennies.

Tortosa himself has been trained as a sushi chef under Los Angeles master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi, where he spent four years. Tortosa secured a position as a chef at Uechi’s signature restaurant, Kiwami, and also assisted in running some of Uechi’s other locations. Later, he worked at Michael Voltaggio’s Ink and opened 1760, from the Acquerello team, here in San Francisco.

Robin’s menu features unique, modern interpretations of Japanese favorites, such as milk bread toast with torched lardo and smoked maple syrup, and sesame noodles with shaved black truffles and Japanese chimichurri.

For dessert, Robin will offers two soft serve flavors that will change seasonally, including green tea with olive oil and sea salt and house-made umeboshi.

Beverages includes wines, Japanese beer Hitachino on draft and sake by the bottle and by the glass, with help from certified sake sommelier Ana Nguyen. Another sommelier, Andrew Nelson, assisted with the wine list curation, focusing on a selection of Champagnes as well as German and Austrian varietals.

For those interested, Robin is currently also hiring for a sous chef, sushi chef, line cook, prep cook and dishwasher. "Much experience" with sushi or Japanese techniques is not required.