Balboa Sushi House closes after owner passes away

Balboa Sushi House (402 Balboa) is now closed.

Balboa Sushi House (402 Balboa) is now closed.

Reader Derek sent us the sad news that a local sushi restaurant, Balboa Sushi House (402 Balboa) has closed its doors after one of the owners passed away.

A note on the door explains the closure to customers:

    Dear beloved customers,

    James, my father who has run Balboa Sushi House for last 19 years, has passed away on March 10, 2016. As you may [be] aware, James’ wife cannot open this restaurant without him.

    I that you, all of the customers are like family to my father and mother. I would like to thank you for your love to my parents and the restaurant. We will be closed.

“Me and my folks had enjoyed Annie and her husband James company and cooking numerous times so when I passed by and saw this note it really hit close, ” Derek told us.

“Annie would always greet everyone with her warm smile and laugh while James would whip up tasty meals in the kitchen. Eating there felt as though you were going home for the holidays with family.”

Our condolences to Annie and her family.

Sarah B.

The note on the door for customers.

The note on the door for customers.


  1. This is awful news! Sushi places are all-too-common, but this place was very special. Annie is such a sweetheart – always so warm and gracious. Deepest condolences to her.

  2. Oh, this is terrible news! Poor Annie, she is the sweetest person and always so delightful to see, plus the sushi there was top notch. Man, this is a awful loss, Balboa Sushi anchored the neighborhood. Deepest condolences to Annie and her family.

  3. Oh, no…how sad. Been going there for years and Annie is such a wonderful person. Such sadness….

  4. So terrible. Annie is like family. We will miss them so much.

  5. To say that this is heartbreaking would be an understatement. Balboa Sushi House was a warm and welcoming spot that made you feel like you were simply over at Annie and James’s place for dinner. It was always a joy to glance around that magical room, discovering new plants and trinkets on each visit. The food was a treat, simple and straightforward sushi that always hit the right spot. I don’t think I’ve encountered anyone as friendly as Annie is; all it took was one visit for you to forever be seen as a regular in her eyes. The Inner Richmond has lost a treasure.

  6. Anna and James were like family to us…we were weekly visitors to this place that felt like home

  7. This place will forever be in my heart. When I moved to the city, this was a great place to visit for a quite lunch. Anna and James were always so welcoming and kind, it was a great stop in before hitting Golden Gate Park for a stroll. I’ll never forget this place, or Anna.

  8. Here is a video of Annie singing a few years ago. I thought it would be nice to share. James and Annie are such beautiful souls and I visited their restaurant many times over the past 15 years since I have lived here. I love them and am sendimg the kindest, warmest wishes. My heart hurts to know James is gone and that I cannot stop by for balboa sushi on a whim, to listen to the classical music playing and feel as though I’m in a jungle, or inside an aquarium, and be greeted by Annie’s warmth. Sad day.


  9. No! I noticed that note on the window while driving the kids to school the other day, but thought (hoped!) they were just taking a much-deserved vacation. Condolences to Annie and the family, we had so many wonderful meals there. Such a loss for the neighborhood.

  10. Thanks Moni Cash – I added that video to the post, it’s very sweet.

  11. Sending love to Annie. We will miss you both so much!
    Love, Karen (tuna tekka don), Ian (bento no. 5), and Baby Anna (miso tofu)

  12. If anyone know Annie’s contact number or email, please let me know. They are like family to me. I am so sad it happened like this… My email is kimsh1128@gmail.com

  13. How can we help??? Annie and James are the kind of people, no friends, that our family cherishes and who make community. Sad sad news…. how can we help Annie and family?? I will spear head. Fundraiser???? My email is romaeve73@gmail.com. Let’s support our friends. Robyn

  14. I am so very saddened by this news. We ate there 1-2 times each week since they opened, and they always welcomed us, as they welcomed everybody, with open arms and warm smiles……they will be sorely missed….I would love to help do something for them.

  15. Annie I’m so sorry for your loss. James and Balboa Sushi House will be missed. I’ve been going here for over 18 years now and will miss this place.

  16. sad.
    this was the best sushi i had in SF
    and always felt like home
    when eating there

  17. Oh Annie. I just found out about James today and I am so sorry. My heart is with you and your son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter – all whom we got to meet as you shared your family with us, even over the internet when they weren’t here in the US. My heart breaks with your loss. If there is anything you need, any way I can help, please please don’t hesitate to ask. You all have been to important to me since I moved to San Francisco 12 years ago –

  18. Oh Annie ! I’m so sad ! I send you my love ….. I just can’t believe it .

  19. Annie emailed me yesterday to let me know that she flew to Korea on Sunday, April 3, with her son and his family, to begin a new chapter in her life.
    Although the restaurant windows are now bare and covered up, I will always remember the many wonderful flowers and colorful artwork inside.
    Thank you Annie and James for your years of friendship. I will never forget you and the Balboa Sushi House.

  20. Very sad news. Annie was who I saw most since she worked front of house and greeted with such warmth and genuine friendliness. She would always give me and my partner a big hug whenever there. Sending her and her family our sincere condolences and best of luck as she ventures this new chapter of her life.

  21. I live less than a block away and Balboa Sushi House was my default place. Not that I went a lot. But often enough over the last 20 years that Annie would recognize me. I am so sad this lovely place is gone. And feel even more for Annie and her family. Best of luck for the future.

  22. We are so sorry to hear of the loss of James, Annie is so wonderful and our hearts are aching for her and her family.

  23. Annie, I am so very sorry!! James was such a wonderful man. The two of you made Balboa Sushi House into a 2nd home for me and so many people in the neighborhood! You are such a loving person, Annie and I am so very grateful for our talks over the years and your wisdom and compassion with regard to Sherri’s health issues! You will always be in my heart, Annie!

  24. I just returned from a trip and heard this news. I am so sad. It seems like just yesterday we were there. My deepest condolences, Annie. You are in our hearts forever.

  25. I am heartbroken for Annie! She and James will be sorely missed…

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