Sushi Salon, a cult omakase pop-up, plans a brick and mortar in Oakland

If you love sushi and have $185 to blow, there are few better ways to go than the 18-course omakase meal at Sushi Salon. A pop-up that’s been operating from Berkeley’s Fish & Bird Sousaku Izakaya, the operation has clenched a devoted following for its wild and creative array of sushi and a technique of preserving fish by spiking their spinal cords with wire.

Joji Nonaka and Anna Osawa, who before founding Sushi Salon worked in Alameda’s highly regarded Utzutzu, have been searching for a brick-and-mortar for a while. Now it appears they’ve found it in Oakland, according to a beverage-license notice in the window of 4008 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, next to Arthur Mac’s and the MacArthur BART station. The former States coffee shop is a small space, so it’ll be interesting to see how Nonaka and Osawa will squeeze their restaurant within, and whether they’ll offer to-go meals like they’ve been doing at Fish & Bird.

There’s no menu posted yet but if it’s anything like Nonaka’s Instagram, the fish selection could be incredible. The chef regularly shares photos of sea creatures that have landed on his cutting board, like Japanese Rubyfish from Kanagawa, Azurio tuskfish, dopey-looking Unicorn Leatherjackets and “Red frog crab” that is “a crab, but it walks back and forth.”

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