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Where Has All the Sushi Gone?

With the closure of Tsukiji and the temporary shutdown of Samurai, Mill Valley's once-thriving Japanese cuisine landscape has thinned in recent weeks. What would you like to see replace Tsukiji?


In 2009, Mill Valley residents were swimming in great sushi restaurants.

From downtown to the then-new , which drew a stellar review from Michael Bauer in the San Francisco Chronicle, the 94941 arguably was home to more quality sushi spots per capita than anywhere else in Marin.

But 18 months after , the Japanese cuisine landscape in Mill Valley has thinned even more recently. Tsukiji, owned by Roy Lui and Chanel Liu with Sushi Ran alum , posted a sign in early February that it was closing for vacation until Feb. 28. But now a large "For Rent" sign hangs on the front door of 24 Sunnyside Avenue. Building owner Sydney Gabriel confirmed that Tsukiji closed and the 2,000-square-foot restaurant is for lease.

Down the road finds a "temporarily closed" sign on the doors of 425 Miller Ave. home of 39-year-old , Mill Valley's first-ever sushi bar. A California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control notice posted on the door indicates that new owner Beom Joo Kim is awaiting the transfer of the restaurant's beer and wine license. The agency's website indicates that Carolyn Kikuchi, who has owned Samurau since 2006, is transferring her permit.

The cupboard in Milley is far from bare, with on Redwood Hwy., on East Blithedale, in Strawberry Village and  in Tam Valley still around.


We have two questions for you (answer in the Comments below):

  1. What would you like to see go into the Tsukiji space?
  2. Where is your go-to Sushi spot now?
Lani Hoge March 23, 2012 at 07:22 PM
My vote is to rebuild for street level access, that staircase is unwelcoming and daunting for many people when its raining.
Joan Hottenstein March 23, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Don't know if it was put up before or during the vacation closure, but the ACB also put a temporary closure sign on Tsukjii. It was there two weeks ago.
Daniel Salt March 25, 2012 at 08:20 PM
honestly, I've never been a fan of samurai in the last 8-10 years. the previous owner had it on lock. bomb rolls, fresh salad, good beer, etc. now my place is sushi ran. I know its a few minutes away but damn its good. I've cut back to three times a week though, I kinda don't want to be broke.
fritz Hottenstein March 26, 2012 at 06:44 PM
That space on Sunnyside has been cursed since Toi's Thai was in there. Agree with Lani, the front entrance needs to be revamped. not welcoming. Could be a great space with some work. As for Sushi - Sushi Ran but can't afford it all the time. Sweet Ginger in Sausalito is pretty good too
Mike S March 27, 2012 at 12:14 AM
I personally really like Tsukiji and am extra annoyed as I have unused Groupon's there. I hope another Sushi place goes in, though I have also been craving a Mediterranean restaurant downtown.


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