It’s been awhile since I’ve been back to Kabuto. I have probably been a handful of times, but the one time that I wrote about my dinner there, I didn’t have any pictures and I guess neither Pdho or I have been back to photographically capture how delicious the sushi is here. We took Pdho’s friend JParks here a couple of years ago, and he absolutely loved it so since he was up visiting with his entire family, he was excited to take them there.
The sushi/sashimi is pretty solid here. They offer a wide variety of fresh fish including a number of not so common sushi such as Medai aka Butterfish. What I can’t seem to figure out is that even though the Butterfish is good, it doesn’t seem to have the same rich butteriness as the one we order at Zushi Puzzle. Nevertheless, fresh sushi aside, what I really like about Kabuto are the specialty sushi creations. These are quite delicious and very creative in the flavor combinations that are used to prepared the different sushi.
I wasn’t as impressed with the Tuna Sashimi Sampler as everyone else was. I think with the exception of tuna in Japan, I really don’t like tuna very much. It just tastes very bland and uninteresting to me, much more so than any other sashimi. No matter how much soy sauce and wasabi that I coat the tuna in, I just never feel very satisfied. I’d really like to know what the difference is with the tuna in Japan that makes it taste so drastically different.
Hamachi Pear is probably one of the best, if not the best of the “specialty sushi” bunch. They take yellowtail sushi and top it with sliced pear and a Kabuto fruity mustard sauce. It’s a fantastic fusion of sweetness from the pear with a subtle saltiness from the mustard sauce that enhances the fresh taste of the fish. It really is delicious. JParks’ praise of this could not be more effusive as he went ahead and ordered 3 orders or something.
The CeViChe is a Latin take on halibut sushi where the salsa and fish are wrapped with deep fried seaweed and served with lime and sea salt. One bite (without soy sauce) sends all the flavors of a ceviche to one’s taste buds. It’s quite interesting.
The Toro Tartar was made with chopped negi toro and avocado mixed with Kabuto tartar sauce and served on seasoned seaweed and rice. The toro mixture, although very good, was pretty typical tasting of an average spicy tuna tartar, but it was the marinated Rakyo onion and deep fried shiso served on top that gave it a slightly unique twist. The salty crispness of the shiso leaf was probably the best way that I have had shiso leaves prepared.
The Albacore ’02 was seared albacore wrapped with lettuce and served with Kabuto Special Miso sauce. Although the presentation was somewhat unique, this was probably the least interesting tasting. I couldn’t really taste any miso flavor, but whatever flavor it was supposed to be, it completed coated the entire fish yet the fish tasted kind of bland.
The Foie Gras Sushi was seared marinated goose liver served with balsamic raspberry sauce. The richness of the foie gras was appropriately balanced with the right amount of rice and nicely cut by the tangy balsamic sauce. Small but tasty, just how I like it.
Overall, it was a very good dinner. Since neither Pdho nor I had been here in awhile, it was actually kind of nice to come back and enjoy the creative takes on sushi that are characteristic of Kabuto. Even though the Parks look rather bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the reality was they were all pretty tired after a long day taking in the sites around the city. It was very nice having dinner with them though, so I’m glad they fought the fatigue and joined us. Hopefully, they enjoyed it as much as we did.
5121 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94118
PAFO Ratings for Kabuto:
Ambiance 2½ stars
Food 3½ stars
Overall rating 3½ stars