Yokoso Nippon is a small, nondescript place on Church Street between 15th and 16th Streets. Because the storefront has an old sign out front bearing no name (it's painted white, in fact) many people used to call it "no name sushi." But several years ago they did post a small sign inside with their name on it. Definitely not easy to find unless you know the address, which maybe used to be part of the charm.
This place has been around for years. My first visit there was in 1984. The decor has not changed much since then. Back in those days, it was very cheap, yet was considered by many to be quite good.
I have patronized it over the years, gradually noticing the fish was getting smaller and less fresh. Apparently others have noticed it too. When I pass by in the evenings, at peak times, it's not as busy. In the past there would have been a line out the door.
I went there today for lunch and was there from 12 to 1. Only one other diner came in during that time, and another person picked up a to-go order. My friend and I, with fond memories of years past, ordered the a couple of the 9-piece Sushi Nigiri, and some miso soup. The Sushi is very cheap at just over $7 per person, but definitely not fresh.
We kept eating, though, hoping the the next piece would be better. In fact, only one of the sushi pieces seemed fresh -- what a disappointment. At the end of the meal, we grimaced and swallowed the remaining glob of wasabi, similar to the way one would down an oyster covered with lots of horseradish and tabasco, remembering something I'd read about it being useful for killing some of the bacteria responsible for certain food-borne illnesses.
It's sad to see a place go downhill. But apparently it has. My question -- are there new owners, or did the old owners just stop caring?
For years, the Japanese couple who owned the place could be seen there. Very nice people who did seem to take some pride in their work, but obviously not adverse to cutting corners with cleaning and freshness.
Recently (today, for example) I've seen only people speaking Mandarin Chinese working there. In the past, I have seen them there with the Japanese couple. So they have some history with the place, but not sure if they're business partners or the new owners. Anyone who knows if this place has changed hands, please reply. Thanks...
314 Church Street 15th/16th
San Francisco 94114