A California native, Chef Adam Tortosa is the owner of the Hayes Valley’s hippest sushi bar, Robin. After earning an international business degree from the University of Southern California, Tortosa geared his professional intentions towards a career in the kitchen. He sought out a coveted apprentice position under Los Angeles Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi and after months of observing, as well as practicing knife skills at home on box after box of cucumbers and daikons, Adam was permitted to handle a fish. “Every day for about a year, I was just in the back, gutting and scaling fish, and it was another year before I was allowed near tuna,” he recalls. “The experience taught me to be patient, to love the details, and to respect the product. That upbringing is the basis of everything I am now.”
Tortosa spent four years under Uechi and assumed a chef position at his mentor’s signature restaurant, Kiwami, while also assisting in running the kitchens at several Katsuya locations. After working under Chef Uechi and a short time under Chef Michael Voltaggio at Ink restaurant in West Hollywood, the time came for Adam to further push culinary exploration and travel north.
Adam moved to the Bay Area to lead the kitchen at 1760, the acclaimed second concept from the Acquerello team, which opened in August of 2013. After two years at 1760, Adam decided to revisit his passion for sushi and joined the team at Akiko's in January of 2015. While working under owner Ray Lee and furthering honing his sushi skills, it didn’t take Adam long before dreams of his own project began to brew. In November 2016, Tortosa set out on yet another journey but this time at the helm of the ship. He has set out on his own venture, Robin.
With Hayes Valley as its backdrop, Robin’s menu is comprised of hyper-seasonal fish from Japan all the way to the California coast with a hard focus on local pairings and pristine elegance. With recording artists like Tupac and Notorious BIG supplying Robin’s energy and ambiance, there is surely no other sushi restaurant quite like it.