Shizen: San Francisco's Vegan Sushi Hotspot
In thinking about quintessential California food fare, one's mind MUST immediately jump to sushi. It is one of the most popular cuisines in costal regions like California, particularly for Bay Area folks, where there is a sushi spot on (seemingly) every corner.
As a self proclaimed, environmentally aware person, what is one to do? Sushi is a hard food to stomach knowing the effects of overfishing, and how plastic and other pollutants have affected our fish supplies. Farmed fish are no better, with many issues concerning both pollution and disease.
There are some sustainable sushi restaurants for the omnivores who are looking to be more eco-friendly. Mayanoki is one of the first certified environmentally aware sushi restaurants in NYC, sourcing their fish both ethically and sustainably. While this practice is fantastic, we aimed to go one step further and find a restaurant that could recreate the sushi experience, 100% vegan.
Enter Shizen: San Francisco's first vegan sushi restaurant. From their site: "We combine classic shojin and sushi techniques with local, seasonal ingredients to create healthy and flavorful dishes with a light footprint." Shizen's founders, who also created the first sustainable sushi restaurant in the U.S, Tataki Sushi and Sake Bar, recognized the inherent harm the sushi and fishing industries and created a completely vegan sushi restaurant and izakaya.
They don't aim to make fake meat products, but rather try to utalize and highlight fresh, in season produce. On their menu now: fresh corn, avocado, cucumbers, and other seasonal dishes. Learn more about this innovative hotspot here! And if you're a Bay Area local, check them out in San Francisco on 14th street!