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Restaurants, Sushi Japantown
3 out of 5 stars
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/ David Danzig Two perfect pieces of toro on a special gold plate at Isobune.

Isobune may not garner top honors among critics, but it's undoubtedly the most entertaining sushi spot in the city. The original sushi boat restaurant opened in 1982, delivering high quality, affordable sushi to diners via dishes set on small wooden boats that circulate on a canal around the bar. The tradition continues in the Japan Center mall, where you'll find boisterous crowds plucking plates of colorful sushi creations out of the water and toasting the chefs with shots of sake. Each plate pattern has a different price and the plates are tallied at the end of your meal. This is a great place to introduce kids and novices to the splendors of sushi.


Venue name: Isobune
Address: Japan Center, 1737 Post St
San Francisco

Cross street: between Webster and Buchanan Sts
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am–9:30pm
Transport: Bus 2, 3, 38
Price: Sushi: $8–$25
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening

Isobuni has deteriorated greatly since its founder opened this restaurant way back when.  He has since passed away and left the running of it to his heirs which are running it into the ground.  The quality of the fish used to be top-notch and the prices were very reasonable for the portion size and quality when he was alive.  The current owner has raised prices while lowering size of portions and quality dramatically, and the crowds when I have been there were miniscule by comparison to the wait that used to be.  The restaurant looks shabby made even more so by the second or third-hand chairs with rips in the seats that are too low for most to reach the sushi as it goes by. You also can no longer communicate with the sushi chefs as a high barrier has been installed between customer and chef. The restaurant serves ice cold eel in their various rolls and allows things like fried soft-shell crabs to go round and round endlessly until cold. I totally disagree with the above post in that this is no longer a place to introduce kids and/or novices to sushi.  I suggest finding a sushi bar that cares about quality in every respect. 

There is no longer any splendor at Isobuni.