Daigo Sushi - Smaller Is Better - San Francisco

A sushi bar no bigger than some restaurants' refrigerators

When it comes to sushi, smaller is better.

A concise menu often means fresher ingredients. The smaller the piece of sushi, the more you can concentrate on the interplay of fish and rice.

Daigo Sushi respects the small-scale ethos. The month-old sushi bar has no more than five stools, plus seven closely spaced tables.

Owner Eric Peng was last at Seiya in San Carlos, and Naked Fish before that. His short menu lists most of the standard nigiri and maki, plus a small selection of creative American-style rolls.

But the real draws are the specials, written high on one mirrored wall. At a recent meal, they included nigiri topped with Japanese mackerel ($7), with ginger paste and finally shaved scallions offsetting its oiliness, as well as sanma (mackerel pike; $7), its silvery skin scored to let the tare (sweet soy sauce) pool in the cuts, arrayed over swatches of shiso.

Raw blue prawns ($8.50) were presented alongside their deep-fried heads–long, crisp antennae fluttering in the air.

The restaurant is still new enough that it's easy to get a seat at the bar. Given the restaurant's size, that bonus may not last long.

Daigo Sushi, 2450 Clement St. (at 26th Ave.); 415-386-8008 or daigosushi.com