Shizen Restaurant Review written by Culinary Guide, Corinne Sykes
Vegan Sushi?! You betcha. And it’s delicious, to boot. Shizen, from the folks that brought you Tataki, treats vegan sushi with the same care and sustainability they bring to their seafood-centric Tataki menu.
The Place: Sleek wood panels with air plants and recessed lighting creates a minimalist, calming, zen atmosphere in which to partake of the beautiful and artful food within. Almost like a zen museum, showcasing the elaborate specialty rolls.
The Dishes: Truly it’s the specialty rolls that shine brightest at the Mission’s new vegan sushi spot. The vegan ramen deserves honorable mention, but is clearly outstripped when the rolls hit the table. You’ll want to plan for many return visits to work your way through the dozen or so tantalizing specials. The Open Invitations tops the list (literally) and is a great place to start. Plenty of satisfying small plates accompany the rolls and ramen, including Izakaya-style skewers, a la vegan: skewered mushrooms, et al. The sweet potato croquettes were an easy win with me, delicious, crunchy bites to balance the spicy garlic miso ramen. But the beautiful vegan roll won me over for favorite dish of the night.
Key ingredients: rice, mushrooms, sweet potato, pumpkin, ‘crab,’ burdock.
Other Menu Musts: Go for the rolls, but don’t miss out on the vegan ramen – a fabulous balance of warming, spicy broth (I went for the spicy garlic miso), with tasty mushrooms and house made noodles. Beer, wine, and sake are all options to accompany the meal.
Little Known Facts: While partner Casson Traynor may be in expert in seafood sustainability, he and chef Ken Lui seek to gain as much respect for vegetables with this new endeavor. Alan Tse’s beautiful A-frame wood interior certainly sets the scene for highly respected food.
Insider Secrets: Shizen features a full sushi counter inside, in addition to ample table seating. Watch out for the tree-stump stools, though, no back support might make for an uncomfortable dinner if you don’t snag the booth side 🙂
The Details: Open Invitation Roll: $13
Croquettes $6, Asparagus robata $6, Mushroom robata $6 — (or 3 for $15).
Spicy Garlic Miso Ramen $12
House warm sake $6.5
370 14th St, Mission District San Francisco