Sake + Spirits
[caption id="attachment_27672" align="alignnone" width="640"]JunI Photo via Ju-Ni[/caption]

This week, The Michelin Guide released its much-anticipated list of awardees of its coveted stars. As of this year, the Bay Area has six three-star (the highest grade) restaurants and a total of 55 starred restaurants across the region. Three new one star-winners are notable to us at Umami Mart because of their Japanese focus, or, in one case, its Japanese-influenced menu style.

Ju-ni


Two of the new one Michelin star winners are sushi restaurants in San Francisco: Ju-ni and Hashiri. Ju-ni is located in the Western Addition, on Fulton near Divisadero. It was opened by Chef Geoffrey Lee (formerly of Sushi Ran and Akiko's) and business partner Tan Truong in February of this year. Ju-ni means 12 in Japanese, and refers to the 12 seats at the sushi bar. Every four guests at Ju-ni have their own personal chef, who creates a 12-course omakase (chef's choice) experience right in front of diners' eyes. The menu is seasonal, with about 90% of the fish used coming from Tokyo's famed Tsukiji Market. Guests can expect to spend $90 for their meal, with additional a la carte options for an extra cost.

Hashiri


In Japan, hashiri refers to the start of a peak season, a time when chefs have access to the best and freshest ingredients. So is the focus of Hashiri, an uber-posh kaiseki (tasting menu) restaurant, located in Mint Plaza in Downtown San Francisco. The sister restaurant of its Daikanyama Tokyo location, Hashiri features sushi meticulously prepared in the traditional Edomae style through a contemporary lens under the direction of Executive Chef Takashi Saito, from Shimane, Japan. As with Ju-ni, Hashiri imports its fish from Tsukiji Market. But Hashiri prides itself on being a Bay Area restaurant, too, and so it sources produce from local farms. The 12-course keiseki is $250 a person, but costs more for those who choose to sit at the sushi counter.

Mosu


And finally, there's Mosu in SF's Fillmore District, which opened across the street from State Bird Provisions in February of this year. While it does not focus solely on Japanese cuisine, Mosu explains its menu through the filter of the Japanese tasting menu, calling it "contemporary American kaiseki-style with Asian influences." Offering a $195 tasting menu, this 18-seat restaurant was opened by Sung Anh, a Korean French-trained chef, who once worked at Urasawa in Beverly Hills, as well as The French Laundry and Benu. At Mosu, Anh blends Korean, Japanese, and Chinese ingredients and flavors, using French techniques. And in case you're wondering, the name "Mosu" refers to the Korean pronunciation of the flower, Cosmos. Or as my mom calls it, "Cos-mosu."