The fish is clean and fresh to the point of being sweet. The izakaya dishes are simply composed, with hand picked ingredients that allow the seafood or meat’s natural flavors shine. And yes, the portions are small, and after a few courses and a couple rounds of sake, your bill will leave you a poorer, albeit well-fed, diner.
Assortment of nigiri:
Our favorites: the hotategai (scallops) are sweet and literally melt on your tongue, toro (fatty tuna), tai (sea bream) and mackeral. The fish is served at room temperature which maximizes the natural oils’ flavors.
A plate of house-made pickles (daikon, lotus root, kobacha squash, carrots) ($5) were somewhat bland, but still quite interesting- very toothsome:
Although not on the menu that night, this grilled yellowtail collar was specially made, upon request:
On Sunday nights, the menu is all izakaya-style: delicious cooked small plates. Be sure to get there early, as the more popular dishes run out fast.
Seared big-eye tuna with a tomato consomme:
A salad of big-eye tuna and okra: (a bit slimy)
Ambiance: small and minimal, with warm, polished woods. There are only a few tables, but if you are lucky to arrive early enough, find prime seating at the bar for a first-hand look at the chefs in action. (We hear that Wednesday evenings around 6 are the least crowded.)
Menu: constantly changes, so you may not find that same dish you so loved from a previous trip. And suffice it to say, do not expect to find a dragon roll on the menu, nor any such combination of spicy sauce, avocado, and cream cheese packed into a roll!
San Francisco, CA