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30 Years by the Fireside

Mill Valley’s Robata Grill & Sushi celebrates three decades with an old favorite.

Robata Grill & Sushi

Robata means "by the fireside” in Japanese. This seemingly counterintuitive moniker (Robata is known primarily as a sushi restaurant) refers to the centuries-old country-style cooking of northern Japanese fishermen, who would cook their catch over an open fire, then share among themselves by passing food on oars from boat to boat. If you’re interested in a similar mode of dining, just pull up a chair at Robata’s counter, where the staff does their best to replicate the experience. “Our menu honors the robata tradition of sharing and sampling; appetizer-size portions allow you to feast on a variety of authentic dishes,” says owner Fred Obayashi. “Also popular for sharing is the profusion of the freshest seafood from our sushi bar, which has served Marin’s most discerning sushiphiles for over 30 years.” Founded by the late Jim Tasley and helmed for the past 14 years by chef Shinji Kawasaki, who hails from Osaka, Japan, Robata prides itself on its traditional Japanese cuisine and faithful patrons.


Poki Salad

Serves 4



4 teaspoons Japanese soy sauce

2 teaspoons sake (rice wine)

2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce (Vietnamese chili sauce)

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

10 ounces sushi-grade tuna (yellowfin, aka ahi)

2 teaspoons chopped green onion

2 teaspoons tobiko (flying fish roe)

4 shrimp chips or crackers of choice


To Prepare

1. Combine soy sauce, sake, Sriracha sauce, sesame oil and garlic in mixing bowl.

2. Chop tuna into ½-inch cubes and place in mixing bowl with sauce.

3. Add green onions and tobiko and combine ingredients carefully.

4. Place in mold or serving bowl and serve with shrimp chips or crackers

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