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Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 27 reviews )
Contact 415-678-5767

370 14th St (at Valencia, Mission District), San Francisco, California, USA, 94103

Vegan sushi bar and izakaya, opened Jan 2015. Offers sushi and Japanese food in small plates in a unique dining set-up with matching wood beams and tables. Open Mon-Thu 5:00pm-10:00pm, Fri-Sat 5:00pm-10:30pm, Sun 5:00pm-10:00pm.

Category: Vegan, Japanese, Take-out

Reviews (27)

First Review by AshleyLorden

Fantastic luxury vegan food - Edit

A great vegan fine dining restaurant for special occasions.

Our waiter recommended the shizen shiitake and it was delicious. The ramen is some of the best I've ever had.

We ate at Shizen at 5pm on a Tuesday and it filled up within an hour, so I would recommend arriving before 6pm.

My only teeny complaint is that they played top 40 music the whole evening. It really didn't match the vibe of the place or the quality of the food.

Pros: Delicious food, Excellent ambiance

Cons: Expensive- hard to eat there every day :(, Bad music

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Vegan Sushi Heaven - Edit

This place is delightful. The food is excellent, the staff knowledgeable and friendly, and the atmosphere hip and inviting. I brought my coworker who is not vegan and she was equally impressed with the food. We were especially impressed with the ramen and the several sushi rolls we ordered. It really proves that "sushi" means so much more than just raw fish! This place is a must visit for any vegetarian or vegans in SF.

Pros: Excellent food, Impresses non-vegans, Very friendly staff

Cons: Small venue - may have to wait, Expensive (but totally worth it)

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still great! - Edit

This was our second time at Shizen as we live in LA so only get to partake when we are visiting SF. Let me say now, that if you are in SF and feel like splurging on one vegan meal, Shizen has to be the place to go. The food is just amazing and creative and tasty, from the Ramen to the Goyza to the Tempura and of course the Sushi. Being Vegan, Sushi is one of the flavors I miss, so Shizen really scratches that itch. But I imagine that even non-vegans would enjoy the flavor. One word of warning though, they don't take reservations and the wait on weekend nights can be long. We waited 90 minutes for a table. But, it was worth it, and I wouldn't say that about many restaurants!

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Best sushi I've ever had - Edit

Wow! This place is just incredible. Their speciality rolls are just out of this world. And it's really not expensive for what you get. I ordered 5 different rolls and 3 starters (plus dessert) and me and my boyfriend just loved everything. This is a must for every vegan who loves good food.

Pros: delicious rolls , cheap , good service

Cons: can't book a table

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Meh. Decent sushi but a bit too expensive for me - Edit

Full review: https://www.carobcherub.com/shizen-sushi-review/

The main reasons I only gave Shiizen 3 stars is because I wasn't a fan of the atmosphere or the prices and many of the reviews hyped the food up to be better than I thought I was.

This restaurant just isn’t for two practical, money-conscious people who eat at normal speeds (i.e., us). I’d prefer a cheap restaurant where the bathroom doubles as a utility closet, the waitress speaks broken English and they serve authentic food.

What we ordered:
-Nameko Mushroom Miso Soup: Balanced between simple and complex. It had a distinct umami flavor from the fermented miso and the mushrooms. I appreciated that the soup wasn't super salty from the miso. 4 stars

-Shizen Shiitake: Turned out to be my favorite dish. Overall, an interesting flavor and texture combination. The sauce was sweet and tasted similar to teriyaki sauce. 5 stars

-Yuba Nigiri Sushi:The yuba sushi was bland. The best part of the yuba sushi was the wasabi and konbu shoyu sauces. 3 stars

-Smoked Bean Curd Nigiri Sushi: Wonderful. It was a perfect balance of sweet and spice. It reminded me of a gingerbread cookie. 4 1/2 stars

-Eggplant Nigiri Sushi: Visually and technically, the eggplant sushi was the most impressive. The eggplant actually looked flaky. Unfortunately, not much flavor other than smokiness. 3 1/2 stars

-Futomaki Uramaki Sushi: all 6 ingredients sang in harmony. All the flavors combined really well. It's difficult to describe.

Pros: Beautiful presentation, 100% vegan sushi, Innovative recipes

Cons: Loud music, Long wait time (no reservations), Pricey

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Amazing - Edit

Best food and ambiance I've seen at an all vegan restaurant in SF by far. Great, classy spot for a special occasion or place to treat yourself.

Pros: 100% vegan, serves alcohol, good service

Cons: crowded due to small space

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Good but I've had better - Edit

I'll admit that this place is good, but I've had better: Beyond Sushi in NYC.

That being said, they have an extensive menu, and the service is really good. There's ample seating, even for busy times. The food is also very fresh and delicious.

Pros: All vegan, Varied menu

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fantastic! - Edit

I was lucky enough to try this place yesterday, even though I almost didn't go because they don't take reservations and I heard there's often a long wait. there was no wait, Friday at 630pm, but did notice some as I was already eating.
I ordered gyoza which was good to start, but not best ever, but the spicy garlic ramen was excellent. That would have been enough but I also had 3 of their sushi dishes as well. These were all beautifully presented and absolutely delicious. This place rivals Shojin in L.A., though much more adorable, and the food wasn't nearly as salty, which I loved. Wish I lived nearby, I'd eat here often!

Pros: fantastic food, not too salty

Cons: busy, little loud

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Truly out of this world vegan sushi! - Edit

I had been looking forward to eating at this establishment for months and I was not let down!! The food is so original and unique. Unlike any sushi I've come across, quality and character. I wish I didn't live on the other side of the country!

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Don't eat Japanese food anywhere else in SF - Edit

Once here you will experience serious awesomeness. Especially eating the sushi, edamame beans, sea weed salad the stuffed mushrooms.

Next time I'll try the advanced Sushi rolls.

/Food explorer

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Everything here was amazing, and this may have been the best meal of my life, and I am old!
We started with the okra nigiri, and I have no idea how they made it that soft. It wasn't stringy or undercooked!
The croquettes were the best sweet potatoes I have ever tasted. They were smooth and sweet, with a crunchy browned crust.
The soy ramen was just perfect. Made from scratch noodles that weren't too squishy. It had mushrooms, tofu, and seaweed in it. Perfect if you were under the weather.
We had the California roll and Philadelphia roll, and each roll melted in our mouths. One of the best things my tongue had ever tasted, until we ate the dessert.
Only one option, but there didn't need to be another. It was ice cream with fried bananas. It had a mountain berry compote attached with it, and each scoop of ice cream had flavor bubbles. I don't know if it was tapioca or ice, but it didn't matter. My taste buds exploded and I left my heart at this restaurant.
If you hear about me on the news, it's because I started camping out back so I could visit everyday.
It deserves more than five stars.
The best place EVER.

Pros: everything

Cons: small space, tables tight, wait time, they don't take reservations

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We went twice during a three day trip, and would have continued dining there if we had stayed for longer. Incredible food. Mouthwatering

Pros: Excellent Food, Good value

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Great place - Edit

Shizen was busy on a Saturday night, but we got our food promptly and it was excellent. The wait staff was very helpful with first-timers who were unfamiliar with the menu and they helped us choose a delightful meal. It is such a pleasure to dine at a place where they understand vegan food and offer a wide array creative choices. An excellent value.

Pros: Simple/sophisticated decor, Excellent food, Good Value

Cons: seating is a little tight

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ichiban - Edit

Authentic vegan sushi experience in San Fran at #Shizen - We went with the spicy garlic miso Ramen, vegetable tempura, edamame, a few rolls and the mushroom plate. Yes, we're highly satisfied! #VeganPro

Pros: many options , fulfilling

Cons: uses white rice

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Amazing. - Edit

We went there in about a week ago and had spicy garlic miso ramen, scarlet smile, plot twist and flying colours and it was one of the best meals of my life.
The ramen and scarlet smile were absolutely amazing and I wish there was a place like that in UK where the only vegan sushi you can get is an avocado or cucumber roll.
I'm dreaming of that gorgeous heavenly ramen as well.

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Game Changer - Edit

This is my favorite place in San Francisco. Don't bother with the regular sushi menu (which is fine), go straight to the specialty rolls which are amazing. My favorites are the Open Invitation, Body and Soul and the Scarlet Smile. I also love the Goma Ae (boiled spinach) and the croquettes. The food is sublime! The decor is also beautiful and the wait staff is friendly and efficient, though it does get crowded so sometimes you need a little patience. But just sip on some lovely sake and chill! It's worth it.

Pros: Fabulous food, Reasonable prices, Lovely decor

Cons: I can't eat here as often as I want!

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OK I give them credit - Edit

First of all, it is good that they try to make sushi that is creative and tasty without using meat or dairy, and the "fake meat", they claim, is soy-based and locally made. My problem was that they advertise brown rice on the website and on the menu, but it is not available, not at all, anymore. Secondly, a little too much salt and soysauce, and way too much sugar for me. The diner at the table next to me asked if they could make gluten-free tempura, nope; but it doesn't hurt to ask, does it?
Updated from previous review on Saturday April 25, 2015

Pros: Vegan, creative, tasty

Cons: no brown rice, too salty, too much sugar

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One of the Best Vegan Restaurants in SF - Edit

With Cha-Ya and the recently closed Minako, the mission district had plenty of options for vegans looking for great Japanese food. Since the opening of Shizen, I haven't felt the desire to go to either of those restaurants. In nearly all respects, it outshines any other Japanese food I've had in San Francisco.

Shizen has all of the standard sushi you'd expect to find at a vegan restaurant, but go for the specialty rolls that are beautifully presented and bursting with unexpected and tantalizing combinations of flavors and textures. This is nothing like the sushi you'll find at other Japanese restaurants.

The ramen is perfect on a cold day with a rich broth, noodles and meaty tasting slices of smoky tofu. Salads are fresh and perfectly dressed.

Shizen is one of those restaurants where I'm faced with the dilemma on repeat visits: I want to eat the dishes I've had before, but also want to try new ones. After four or five visits, there isn't a single dish I've tried that I would not happily order again.

Service is top notch for the most part. The only fault I could find is that they currently only have one dessert selection. Shizen is currently working on a menu update and it would be great if they expanded the dessert offerings. Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday April 21, 2015

Pros: Great food, Unique & creative specialty sushi rolls, Good service

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amazing - Edit

I thought it would be hard to top the vegan sushi place in New York, but shizen is just incredible. I went with 2 big meat eaters and they claimed it was the best restaurant they ate at in SF! Very creative, great presentation, and utterly delicious. Highly recommended!

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So freaking good - Edit

Omg, I can't even take it, this place. It's too much yum. It's better than any sushi you've ever had ever. I think a fish-eating person might not even realize there's no fish. This place serves up enormously creative and delicious dishes. It's pretty affordable, too.

They don't take reservations and the place was packed when I got there. I suspect people don't know it's vegan, they just think it's an awesomely hip, yummy new sushi place.

The only thing I'd warn about is that if you are going to this place with an alcoholic who is in recovery, you may want to beware. We got a dish that had one piece in it that was spicy, while the rest were not. It came with a shot of sake in the middle. Whoever gets the spicy piece gets the sake. That's definitely a cute and fun idea, but since it is not indicated on the menu, I feel it could do harm to folks in recovery.

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So Very Yummy - you won't regret it! - Edit

OMG this place was amazing! Went with my omni friend and he was impressed. We ate so much- spicy ramen, the hidden agenda special roll, the body and soul special roll, gyoza, shizen shiitake mushrooms, the grilled asparagus, and the mochi. Everything was delicious and so beautifully presented. We were stuffed! For that level of service and presentation the price was reasonable. I can't wait to go back again!!

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My new favorite in San Francisco - Edit

My new favorite restaurant in San Francisco and one of my favorites ever. Shizen has been open just about a month now. I am still dreaming about this meal one week later. It is tastefully and minimally designed (but not stark in the least). A warm and inviting place to dine. The atmosphere is great and the staff is friendly. The manager especially was fantastic, accommodating and knowledgeable.

The menu is one of the most creative I have ever seen. I was blown away by the variety of choices, the breadth of ingredients and the combination of flavors. (I will list below what I can remember of what we ordered, though there was more.) Everything is presented beautifully. Stunningly so. Every new item brought with it incredible delight. Nothing disappointed. Nothing. And just when we thought they couldn't do better, they did. This food is amazing and easily satisfied a party that included vegans, vegetarians and carnivores. All I want to do is go back and eat there again.

Some of what we had...
Beet salad
Asparagus Robata
Sweet Potato Tempura Roll
Body and Soul
Scarlet Smile
Professor Puzzle

Pros: Food, Menu, Atmosphere

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Classic Japanese in a classy space - Edit

Shizen brings a variety of classic Japanese dishes (ramen, izakaya/small plates, sushi) to the table; the element of creativity is making them entirely plant-based. There's a fair amount of imitation on the menu, from "eggs" in the ramen to "cream cheese" and "mayonnaise" in the rolls, to "crab meat" all over. There are also the favorite vegan dishes from Tataki, a related omni restaurant -- vegetable tempura, avocado/ cucumber/ shiitake/ sweet potato tempura rolls.

The restaurant has an intimate feeling, with almost all furniture and decoration being natural wood, 6 seats at the sushi bar and room for about 40 in close-together tables. I thought it was lovely but could also imagine it turning into a super loud echo chamber if full of people.

Menu includes a few cocktails, sake, wine and beer along with the array of food selections. No dessert menu. My partner and I got 3 small plates, an uramaki roll, a special roll and 2 drinks for around $60.

Service was nice, although obviously the waiters were new since they've just opened this week.

As a vegan person, I sometimes don't enjoy eating things that closely resemble animal foods I would normally avoid. Unfortunately that happened here -- some of the dishes we ordered left me with a "fishy" feeling in my mouth which I did not like. I bet that is a great feature for bringing mixed groups or tentative vegans here. For me, I will go back and order dishes featuring planty flavors next time :)

The location is sort of in between a few neighborhoods -- not far from anything but not in a busy center either. I would probably pay for parking rather than leave a car in the street in the evening around here for security, but it's not unsafe to walk from public transit either.

Pros: Classy, pretty interior, Interesting food, Nice service

Cons: Loud

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