Pink Zebra Review


I love secret restaurants where you have to walk through somewhere else to get to where you’re going – Beauty and Essex in NYC, Roe in Portland and Pink Zebra in SF. I think I basically made reservations at Pink Zebra because you have to walk into a weird fake Chinese restaurant store front to get there.

If you’re going to go to Pink Zebra, make reservations for the 5-person omakase bar. If you don’t know, omakase in Japanese is basically, “I’ll leave it to you” which means you get the chef’s tasting menu. If you’ve seen Jiro: Dreams of Sushi, it’s that sort of situation. They have an a la carte menu as well if that isn’t enough food (and it was for A and I and we both are pretty solid eaters) or if you don’t make a reservation at the omakase.


Started out with goma tofu, which isn’t tofu at all – it’s made from sesame rather than soy beans.


Our first fish was big-eyed tuna.


A delicious fish that I don’t remember.

When you’re eating omakase, don’t dunk the nigiri or sashimi in soy sauce (just lightly brush it over soy sauce if necessary), don’t put a ton of wasabi in your soy sauce and it’s totally okay to eat it with your hands since it was traditionally Japanese street food. If you’re not at omakase, please use chop sticks, because nothing makes me want to stab a person with chop sticks more than seeing someone a) eat a roll and b) let alone eat it with their hands. (I’m a nigiri/sashimi the whole way kind of girl – I don’t need my fish junked up and a ton of rice).


Miso-marinated tuna.


Geoduck with dungeness crab and salmon roe (since it is typically served with shrimp roe but #allergycity.


Masaba, or really high-quality mackerel.

The sushi chef at Pink Zebra is named Ryo. He tells you about each type of fish, where it is from and will chat with you throughout the meal. Pink Zebra is the passion project of Mission Chinese chef Jesse Koides. I still haven’t been to Mission Chinese but I’m dying to go – especially because they have MSG shakers at the table and the totally non-healthy, hip part of me is seriously into that.


Poke with big-eye tuna, ocean trout and white sea bass.


Squid moments.


Ikura (salmon roe) – one of my faves!


Fatty tuna… maybe?


Sea urchin in a box.

The night we were there they had sea urchin, which raised the price a bit. Apparently it’s an acquired taste – I don’t know if I was fished-out by the point or if I just have the taste but I was fine with it. A absolutely hated it.

If you want actual good sushi and not shit you get at Nakama in Pittsburgh (#sorryimnotsorry) or somewhere equally as try-hard, go to Pink Zebra. But then again, what meal in SF is bad?

Chat with me:
Do you like sushi? What is your favorite type? Have you ever ate at the omakasae?  What food wouldn’t you try?

11 comments on “Pink Zebra Review

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Susie @ SuzLyfe on March 3, 2015 6:56 am

Good gravy sashimi heaven. I’m with you–skip the rolls, give me the good stuff. Plus I don’t really like rice in general. That mackerel is incredible! I’ve never seen anything like it! I WANT IN next time!
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Elsie @ Sharing Healthiness on March 3, 2015 7:35 am

OMG! Those sushi pieces shine like a diamond! You can really tell that they were top notch! I have never had sea urchin before. Is it too strong? Too fishy? The sesame appetizer sounds delicious :)
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Pragati // Simple Medicine on March 3, 2015 8:34 am

I love sushi, but I tend to junk it up with the rice. I’m a vegetarian and without the rice it’s basically just cucumber or seaweed. HA!
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GiGi Eats on March 3, 2015 9:21 am

Oh man that sushi looks LEGIT – but the portions are just too SMALL for my HUGEEEEE MOUTH! LMFAO!
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Stephanie on March 3, 2015 9:34 am

I’m fairly new to eating sushi, so I haven’t tried most of these items. Looks like they give you a lot of food though.
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Chris on March 3, 2015 9:54 am

This must be what it feels like for you to read my posts about CrossFit. I feel like you’re speaking in Japanese haha! I don’t really eat sushi, I don’t have any secret entrance restaurants here, I don’t really have any ninja chopsticks skills. But hey, I recognize quality fish when I see it, and I can tell you were enthusiastic by your writing, so… yay for your delicious pink zebra meal! That’s a quality name for a place, I dig it.
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Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on March 3, 2015 1:28 pm

I could definitely eat sushi several times a week and not get sick of it. This place sounds awesome, but I must say, I will NEVER eat with my hands. :)
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Sharon on March 3, 2015 2:08 pm

WOW! That sushi looks amazing! Hubby and I love secret restaurants! Will definitely check out Pink Zebra when in SF. Thanks!
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Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine on March 3, 2015 4:01 pm

I’m all about fish….but cooked, haha! The only sushi I’ve ever had was veggie ones!
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Kristine on March 3, 2015 4:12 pm

I LOVE SUSHI! And Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Must try this place!
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Farrah on March 4, 2015 4:06 am

Noms. <3 I miss sushi so much! :D Salmon sashimi is my absolute favorite. I've never to a secret restaurant, but I like the concept! :]

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