Ichi Sushi Ni Bar Bernal Heights Japanese Izakaya Tim Archuleta | Tasting Table San Francisco

Slide off the sushi bar and get Ni Bar's new izakaya dishes

Before Ichi Sushi moved into its new location down the street last month, Tim Archuleta spent six months building chairs for the dining room, making lights out of sake bottles and constructing two new bars.

His only break? Sixteen gluttonous days spent in Japan cataloguing all the izakaya dishes he wanted to recreate in San Francisco.

The new Ichi is three times as big as its last space, but Tim and his wife, Erin, have divided up the room into two distinct areas. "We could have seated 80 people in the sushi bar," he says, "but if you try to make sushi for 80 people, that extra love you want to give to each nigiri gets lost."

Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar's clams with pork | Tim Archuleta

Ergo, the new Ni Bar in back, designed as a waiting room with drinks and small plates.

Your resolve to hold out for sushi may be whittled away by the sanbaizu sunomono ($7.50)–pink commas of shrimp with pickled cucumber and frilly, crunchy tremella (white fungus)–and crisp-skinned fried chicken wings ($9.50), first cooked sous-vide with yuzu juice until the flesh is as tender as a ripe peach.

If you want to preserve your omakase aspirations, don't order the clams ($8.50), which come with ground pork in a ridiculously savory miso broth swirled with black garlic oil.

Because you may have to order seconds.