My two favorite foods are pizza and sushi (though not together), but I may have found my favorite combination ever– sushi and tequila at Hecho in San Francisco. Hecho has the best sushi that I’ve ever had in San Francisco. Hands down. I don’t think I’ve ever had such fresh fish before. Please do not believe the 3 stars on Yelp. This restaurant truly deserves 5 stars.
While definitely not a cheap meal, I am willing to pay more money for high-quality food. That’s what you get at Hecho. The menu is simple: sushi, otumami (small plates) and yakimono (skewers).
The owner, Joseph Manzare, traveled back and forth from Tokyo while coming up with the concept of his restaurant. An Italian-American from the Bronx, his passion and love for Japanese food truly shines when you talk to him. My friend Sarabeth and I have eaten at Hecho twice now and both really enjoyed the food. Plus, Sarabeth lived in Japan for a year so I trust her judgment when it comes to “good taste.”
When you go, feel free to ask the sushi chefs what is live or fresh. They’ll be more than happy to recommend a few dishes for you. Sarabeth and I have eaten the agedashi tofu, Himalayan hamachi and the pork belly yakimono. The agedashi tofu was fried perfectly (the batter wasn’t too thick) and the pork belly yakimono is a little bite of heaven (teriyaki-glazed and served with a little bit of mustard). The standout dish was the Himalayan hamachi. The dish was cured yellowtail with thin slices of dried, candied jalapeno and lemon oil. As if that wasn’t impressive, the fish was served on a gorgeous salt rock. The longer you kept the hamachi on the rock, the saltier it would get.
In terms of fresh fish, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but Sarabeth and I were amazed by the kurodai (black snapper). The chef took a torch and lightly seared the fish, making it melt in your mouth. I was in love.
I do not pretend to be a tequila or sake connoisseur, but Joseph gave us some really good tequila and sake while we were there. Also, he has over 80 different types of tequila at his restaurant and the man also owns Tres Agaves; he knows his tequila. While you’re there, be sure to order the 7 spice margarita. Instead of lining the glass rim with salt, they actually line it with shichimi togarashi (7 spice powder). I could not get enough of this margarita and its spicy kick.
Moral of the story: if you truly love sushi and appreciate fresh fish, go to Hecho! Order yourself a 7 spice margarita too, and you’ll be on Cloud 9.