Delica Sushi Bar

By Virginia Miller

At lunchtime, downtown workers swarm like bees at Delica, the Japanese delicatessen in the Ferry Building, for a quick fix of sublime sushi, what Patty Unterman calls “lush, California-inspired Japanese food to go." But around six in the evening, the place morphs into a top-tier San Francisco sushi bar, serving fresh, wild fish and what must be the most creative Japanese tapas this side of Tokyo. Owner Yasuhiro Iwata orchestrates this nighttime culinary makeover with ease, exchanging the bento boxes and seaweed salads for seared albacore with truffle sauce, and a gently pickled sardine Nanbansuze that dances with flavor. The after-work, five-seat sushi bar at Delica seamlessly integrates Japanese dishes with ingredients from other Ferry Building purveyors, such as Gruyère from Cowgirl Creamery, which ends up in the baked oysters, and bread from Acme that turns into panko. Best of all, you don’t have to rush back to work at night, all the better to enjoy a premium sake sampler, complete with buzz.

sweet seats

It's all about the five-seat sushi bar. Make sure to reserve.

chew on this

Iwata's father started the Delica rf 1 chain in Japan.


Sushi Bar
Mon.–Sat. 5 PM–10 PM
closed Sunday

price range

$5 (deep-fried tofu) to $48 (12-piece omakase sushi)