Small Business

Ocean Fresh: New Ingleside Restaurant ‘Kaisen Don’ Inspired by Tokyo Fish Market

Will Carruthers/Ingleside-Excelsior Light

Ocean Avenue’s latest restaurant is inspired by the restaurants surrounding Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, the largest wholesale fish market in the world.

Larry Leung founded Kaisen Don, his first restaurant, after visiting the fresh seafood restaurants on trips to Japan with his wife, Pei Yu.

“In Japan, they build a lot of restaurants around the fish markets to feed the fishermen,” Leung said. “Everything’s fresh. We’re trying to recreate that.”

After working at his father’s auto repair store for many years, Leung trained for six months at a sushi restaurant in Hayes Valley.

Kaisen Don is located at 1939 Ocean Ave. The space, which seats 20, was “just the right size” in a neighborhood where Leung once lived. It was formerly the home of Rainbow Desserts.

A bouquet of flowers from Ocean Cyclery, the restaurant’s neighbor, sits on the checkout counter.

The restaurant will primarily serve Chirashi Don, informally known as “sushi in a bowl.” Salmon rolls are a specialty.

Leung did a soft opening on Saturday, Nov. 11, and is tweaking his service based on customer feedback this week.

Early reviews on Yelp are largely positive.

“Ingredients are so fresh and yummy that will definitely bring us back,” one reviewer wrote after the soft opening.

The restaurant will open full-time on Monday, Nov. 20, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 9 p.m.

Kaisen Don is located at 1939 Ocean Ave. and can be reached at (415) 859-9081.

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