A new omakase restaurant, Sushi Shio, is now open in the former Tawla space in the Mission (206 Valencia St.)
It's the latest restaurant venture from the Mins Group, which also owns the Mission's Sushi Hon and SoMa's Sushi Ondo. All three spots offer omakase-centric Japanese fare, though Ondo's leans towards Japanese-Korean fusion.
Shio's menu is more like Hon's, said James Liao, director of marketing for the company, but with a twist. Chef Alex Kim allows diners to select some of the 12 types of nigiri on the $115 omakase menu, as well as request their preferred salt and heat/wasabi levels.
"Shio" is Japanese for "salt," which Liao says is one of the most fundamental components of Japanese cuisine.
“We want to treat everyone’s preferences," he said. "I think people want to eat what they ask for."
The omakase features 12 pieces of nigiri, with many fish sourced from Japan, and four non-sushi courses (including dessert). Some courses have local ingredients, like Sacramento caviar and microgreens from San Francisco-based X-Street Farms.
Those who don't want to opt for a full-scale omakase can do a 10-piece sashimi tasting for $50, or a five-piece salmon tasting for $23.
There are also small plates and rolls available a la carte, like yellowtail with yuzu and truffle dressing ($15) or Mexican fatty tuna with osetra caviar ($18). Roll options include standards like a shrimp tempura or rock 'n roll ($7-8), as well as higher-priced signature rolls like the $16 Valencia roll, with yellowtail, avocado and walu.
For dessert, there's cheesecake or kinako (roasted soybean) panna cotta ($7). Beverage director Leoh Goong offers customizable pairings of different light wines and sakes, as well as a selection of beer.
Liao said the group is excited to open another restaurant in a different corner of the Mission.
"We’ve always loved the Mission," he said. "It has always has a good culture for food science, and it's very walkable."
With 48 seats, Sushi Shio is currently open from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. six nights a week (closed Mondays).
Seating and hours could change early in January, so Liao encourages readers to follow the restaurant on Instagram for updates.