Japanese food in America typically takes two extreme routes, either the traditional authentic approach or the crazy fun concepts that serve up things like dragon rolls.
But at the new Nomica by Yoshi Tome, owner of the popular Sushi Ran in Sausalito, Tome presents a middle road that draws on traditional flavors but presents dishes […]Read the full post →
High-end omakase menus continue to trend in the San Francisco Bay Area, and this past weekend I checked out the latest entry from noted Chef Masa Sasaki (Maruya) and his self-named Sasaki on the edge of the city’s Mission neighborhood.
The unassuming corner spot (across the street of the popular Flour + Water) telegraphs the […]Read the full post →
The story: Nojo opened a few years ago in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood, building on the izakaya craze for Japanese grilled eats. But the owners sold the restaurant last year to a Japanese conglomerate called AP Company, and it reopened earlier this year as a ramen restaurant with small bites.
Why I went: The […]Read the full post →
The story: Restaurateur Jonathan Moon (Blackwater Station) closed his Temescal izakaya Kushido to re-imagine the space as an Asian fusion concept, but scrapped those plans and went back to the izakaya format with his newly opened Hina Yakitori, which focuses on grilled chicken parts.
Why I went: I was working on a piece […]Read the full post →
The story: Husband-and-wife Daiki and Sanae Saito opened Kiraku more than four years ago, bringing the izakaya (or Japanese gastropub) experience to Berkeley. The location was attractive because of the cheap rent, but the food they deliver offers a refined touch to the traditional izakaya.
Why I went: I was doing some research on izakaya in […]Read the full post →
UPDATE: After nearly 10 years, Ozumo closed in November 2016.
If you just look at my recent posts, you’ll know I’ve been obsessing about ramen lately. So when I was invited to check out Ozumo’s new Ramen Wednesdays, I jumped at the chance.
Ozumo is the large Japanese restaurant in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood, with a […]Read the full post →
The story: Okane is the new izakaya by restaurateur Kash Feng, who opened the popular Omakase sushi restaurant in SOMA. Omakase was opened as a tasting menu-only dinner spot offering up chef’s choices (the English translation of omakase) while Okane, which is right next door, is a little larger but offers a more casual […]Read the full post →
It’s hard to imagine ramen to be more popular than it already is in the San Francisco Bay Area, but after dining at the new white hot Mensho Tokyo in the Tenderloin neighborhood last night, you’d think ramen has finally arrived in San Francisco.
This may be a reflection of the fact that many ramen lovers […]Read the full post →
The story: This unmarked, tiny Japanese sushi restaurant on the edge of San Francisco’s Financial District and Chinatown has been opened for about 20 years. But about six years ago the family’s son, Ray Lee, bought out his parents and took control, bringing in a new chef to man the sushi counter.
Why I went: I […]Read the full post →
As a photographer, I get excited when going out to eat when my meal is visually appealing along with being tasty.
I’m a big fan of the plates coming out from the kitchen at Iyasare restaurant in Berkeley’s Fourth Street shopping district. The restaurant’s owner/chef, Shotaro Kamio, is elevating Japanese cuisine with his […]Read the full post →
One thing I never could understand about the extremely popular Ramen Shop in Rockridge is why it never sold food in its large front bar. Instead, the space was often where crowds dwelled (granted with some well-balanced drinks in hand) while waiting for a table.
Now because of opportunity and the desire to reduce the wait […]Read the full post →
The story: B-Dama, a Japanese izakaya (like a gastropub), originally opened on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, not too far from the owners’ longtime popular neighborhood hole-in-the-wall Geta Restaurant. But after maybe two years, owners Chikara Ono and Kosuke Muranaka closed the restaurant and decided to give the B-Dama concept a second chance as a counter-only food […]Read the full post →
The story: Seems like most of the new ramen shops opening up in San Francisco lately have been second locations of established winners instead of newcomers. And the latest example is Orenchi Beyond, the cleverly named, sophisticated city version of the extremely popular Santa Clara Orenchi. The original Santa Clara location has notorious lines (sometimes […]Read the full post →
The story: Iyasare took over the spot of O Chame restaurant in Berkeley’s Fourth Street shopping district, and is the personal project of Chef Shotaro Kamio, formerly of Yoshi’s. The sophisticated Japanese restaurant features the cooking style of Kamio’s native Tohoku in Japan.
Why I went: The spot was the latest gathering for our regular […]Read the full post →
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