A report by Dana Eastland. The team behind Tataki sustainable sushi restaurants has a new venture opening this weekend, called SHIZEN. Instead of focusing on sustainable seafood, the new project is all about sustainability in another way: the food is completely vegan. The menu offers sushi, izakaya-style grilled items, and ramen. Partner Kim Lui, a founding chef of Tataki, is the chef, and partner Casson Trenor reports that the aim in the kitchen is to give vegetables and vegan dishes the same level of attention and respect as seafood. To that end, they’ve built a sushi counter and will be offering daily specials prepared according to seasonal availability, so diners can select vegan nigiri-style choices.
They’ve also got a ramen menu, which took some doing. They’ve worked hard to develop a broth that uses no pork and are making egg-free noodles in-house daily. They’ve even managed to create “egg” and “chashu” toppings. There are also izakaya-style skewers, including a smoked bean curd version, or one with shishito peppers, plus grilled corn on the cob with togarashi, lime, salt, and pepper.
There is beer, wine, and sake in the beverage department, though the details of the list are still being worked out and the selections will be refined in the coming months. Hours are 5pm-10pm, though that may change as they learn more about the neighborhood and work out more kinks. The current plan is to open their doors by Friday January 9th, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to call ahead to make sure they’re open if you’re headed over. 370 14th St. at Julian, 415-678-5767.
The dining room at Shizen. Photo courtesy Shizen.