Sushi, sashimi headline menu at San Bruno’s Gintei 

The new year brings Gintei to San Bruno. Sushi and sashimi are the headliners, available from the raw bar à la carte, as a 10-piece “chef’s choice” omakase set for $28 or a 20-piece experience for $50. Maki mono rolls include the “Negi Toro” with green onion and tuna; the hometown-themed “Bruno Roll” with spicy tuna topped with scallops and tobiko is another special roll. A small appetizer menu features hot and cold izakaya-style items, such as hearty beef tongue stew, crispy chicken karaage and lobster served three ways _ in miso soup, deep-fried and as sashimi. As each night brings many specials, the menu is only a starting point. Gintei also is among the select few Peninsula spots serving San Francisco’s own Humphry Slocombe ice cream, with bizarre and exotic flavors the likes of white miso or “matcha doodle” (green tea and corn flakes). The 40-seat restaurant, taking over the former Tribu Grill, boasts a minimalist and brightly lit atmosphere that’s as clean and pristine as the toro and ikura served. 235 El Camino Real, San Bruno; (650) 636-4135.

South San Francisco

In other sushi news, Tokyo Sushi & Bar is now among the eateries in the extensive dining complex at South San Francisco’s Westborough Square. Raw fish selections are plentiful, including the escolar and hamachi (as sushi or sashimi). Select prepared rolls are offered, but diners also may design their own rolls with up to seven ingredients or create their own bento boxes or a multi-course a la carte meal. But that’s only a sliver of the menu. Starters include tempura, grilled salmon collar and a salad with three types of seaweed. Also offered: beef tartare with raw fish, salmon teriyaki and assorted yakitori and kushiyaki skewers. Ramen bowls are served at lunch. Tokyo’s décor is different from calm, intimate atmosphere typical of a sushi spot. Flat-screen television and a lively ocean-blue sushi bar complement an open, almost glamorous main dining room.

2278 Westborough Square, Suite 201, South San Francisco; (650) 808-9898

San Mateo

Inside a former Taco Bell, Apple Fritter is a modern-day version of a mid-20th century American diner, with emphasis on baked in-house doughnuts (ranging from traditional jelly-filled varieties to a bacon maple bar). The morning also brings scrambled eggs and cleverly named dishes _ spins on classics such as the “Toothfairy” (cinnamon-coated French toast) and the “Brunch-urrito,” a nod to the former tenant. For lunch, burger options include “The Luther” (a burger with a glazed doughnut bun). More than a dozen creatively topped and assembled Niman Ranch beef burgers are on the menu, along with chicken and veggie versions. A “Rachel” (Reuben with turkey), a vintage tuna melt and other sandwiches complete it. Don’t forget the frappes (milkshakes) for the full diner experience.

1901 South Norfolk St., San Mateo; (650) 346-3189.

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