Yeah, yeah, I know. Another izakaya. But this one is different, really. Izakaya Yuzuki in San Francisco’s Mission District may be one of the trendiest types of restaurants to pop up in one of the trendiest parts of town, but this place is serious, going so far as to make their tofu and miso in-house.
I met here one evening for a reunion dinner with friends, and we started with the Kyoto-style local vegetables. Light and slightly piquant, these were the perfect palate cleanser for our meal.
Next we shared a plate of simple, unadulterated sashimi. Raw fish isn’t the strongest suit of your average izakaya, but this was an exception. Buttery tuna and rich salmon left me wishing for more.
I was quickly distracted by the seared waygu beef tataki that came next. Served with miso sauce and onion salad, this was one of our heftiest dishes, and among the quickest to go. Speaking of quick to go, my personal favorite dish here was the chawan mushi with uni, an egg-y, custard-y dish so comforting that it was gone before I had a chance to snap a photo.
Next came the grilled mackerel, which was too bland for my taste. I typically love mackerel, but I would have preferred a more flavorful fish here.
Next up: shrimp and root vegetable tempura served with green tea salt, one of Izakaya Yuzuki’s most popular dishes. We loved this so much we ordered it twice.
We finished our meal with the grilled omusubi, a crispy rice dish topped with shoyu-flavored vegetables. A solid end to a solid meal.
True to izakaya form, the servings at Izakaya Yuzuki are small, so keep that in mind when ordering. Our party of four went through nine or ten dishes, and amazingly, it wasn’t too much. Still, not all izakayas are created equal, and Izakaya Yuzuki is clearly paying attention to the details.