Amakara: A User’s Guide
Authentic Japanese | Inventive Rolls | Premium Rice | Traditional Kitchen Dishes
Starter: grilled edamame with olive oil and garlic salt
Sushi: Klondike Express specialty roll with crab, tempura shrimp, scallops, avocado, and three kinds of tobiko
Kitchen entree: chasu ramen with seaweed, egg, kikurage, and garlic
Dessert: tempura apple ice cream
What People Are Saying:
“Amakara doesn’t look particularly Japanese, with its polished stone floor and big leather dining chairs, but the food is the genuine article [and] the sushi here is superior. We loved the red tuna and its upscale cousin, toro.” — Diablo Magazine
Dublin’s Patch readers named it Best Sushi Restaurant
The blog Around Dublin claims “At the core of Amakara’s success is their fierce commitment to quality,” down to the brand of rice they serve and “incredibly generous” portions.
Prime mealtimes often come with a crowd and a long wait, so if you’re in the mood for a less hectic dining experience, consider an earlier-than-usual dinner or a later-than-usual one.
Afraid you’ll miss the big game? Don’t be—there’s TV screens on almost every wall.
Kikurage: an ear-shaped mushroom with a soft, jelly-like texture and mild flavor, commonly used in Japanese cooking
Tobiko: flying fish roe; its red-orange color and crunchy texture make it a popular garnish for sushi
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Work up an appetite by playing a few frames at Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl
After: Burn off your meal during a public skate at Dublin Iceland
Dublin's Sahara Market is a well-organized and well-stocked grocery store, providing you with all of your food and beverage needs.
When the heat gets the best of you, water is more important than ever. Cool off no matter where you are with a bottle from Sahara Market.
Sahara Market offers a range of classic and signature breads, all of which are fresh and baked to perfection.
This fresh produce here is so tasty it will change the way we think about healthy eating.
When you need a quick meal after a long day of work, a TV dinner from here is sure to fill you up in a jiffy.
For dairy lovers out there, this store does dairy right, so make sure to pick up some on your next trip.
When you want to cook chicken to juicy perfection, you're going to want to advantage of the oil offered here, and what's more? They also offer vinegar to transform your other creations.
If pasta is what you're in the mood for, swing by Sahara Market and pick up some fresh noodles.
Keep your energy and mood up all day long with a tasty coffee or refreshing tea from Sahara Market.
Chicken, beef, sausage, and more are all available from this fine establishment for your cuisine.
This fixing adds that little something extra to any baked good, so include it in all of your favorite recipes.
Catch all your omega-3 fatty acids! Fish are delicious and nutritious, so start planning your next seafood platter.
When you're pulling long hours at the office, you don't want to come home and spend hours slaving over a hot stove. Fix that potential problem by exploring the frozen food options offered here.
These tasty and nutritious snacks will help you push through your long workday.
If you're looking for beverages that will handle all your hydration needs, look no further. This drink will refresh, renew, and refuel your energy.
Sahara Market understands what it's like having no time at all. That's why they make sure they're well stocked with the canned foods that help save you time.
When you need a little more flavor in your life, spruce up your daily meals with some spices and seasonings from here.
Cereal doesn't have to be boring! A breakfast box is a great addition to your morning, packed full of flavor and crunchy delight.
Parking is accessible and not far from the store.
Just remember to make room in the trunk. Sahara Market is sure to fill your car with only the best groceries in Dublin.
Six Things to Know About Denica’s Real Food Kitchen
Equal parts bakery, café, and breakfast joint, Denica’s now serves its creations at three locations: Dublin, Walnut Creek, and Livermore. Denica’s road to such popularity has been a sweet one, both because of its fresh treats and the husband-and-wife team that founded it. Read on to learn more about this family-run business.
The Cookie Man and the Cake Lady run the show. That is, James and Denica Freitas, whose paths crossed years ago as James was making a name for himself with homemade cookies and Denica was doing the same with cakes.
Those homemade cookies are still baked to order. They come in 14 distinct varieties, from chocolate chip to the ever-popular double-chocolate orgasm. Denica’s ships them, too, hand-placing them one by one into signature blue-and-brown boxes and sending them to fans across the globe.
Don’t miss the cinnamon rolls. On par with the cookies, these giant treats are baked fresh every morning and always sell out. Thankfully, you can call ahead and reserve one.
It’s not all about the sweets. The lengthy menu also includes breakfast burritos, omelets, and scrambles and artisan sandwiches for lunch, including a french dip with housemade roast beef.
It opens early. Really early, if you’re headed to the Dublin location, which opens its doors at 5 a.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. on weekends. The Livermore and Walnut locations aren’t far behind with hours starting at 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., respectively.
Sign up for the Brownie Points Club. The benefits of doing so start immediately with a free entree just for joining. After that, special discounts and rewards pile up with every visit.
Traditional Indian cuisine can be found at Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin, a spicy gem in the heart of Dublin's Dublin area.
Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin is a jackpot for those looking for low-fat and gluten-free meal options.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Gather the whole family for a trip to Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin — everyone will find something to like (even the pickiest little eater) on the menu here.
Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
Tap into the free wireless Internet at Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin.
Make the most of the warm summer months by dining outdoors in Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin's beautiful outdoor seating area.
Reservations are available, so give the restaurant a call before you head over for the fastest seating.
Jeans are just right for a meal at Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin, which embraces a casual vibe.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin also offers catering.
Score free parking at the lot adjacent to Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin.
Make use of the safe and efficient bike parking at Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin.
Meals at Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin usually set you back about $30 per diner.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are all accepted.
The menu at Haveli Indian Cuisine - Dublin includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner — stop by for your favorite meal.
Kick back and enjoy flavorful tacos, burritos and chips and salsa at Casa Orozco.
Feel satisfied but not stuffed with Casa Orozco's gluten-free and low-fat alternatives.
You'll find a wonderful selection of drinks from this restaurant's full bar to top off your meal.
Take the kids along too — this restaurant is a great spot for families with food that even little ones will love.
For some fresh air during the non-winter months, dine outside on Casa Orozco's patio.
Casa Orozco is a fine restaurant for those with large and small parties.
Reservations are offered, so call ahead to lock down your table.
Throw on your favorite T-shirt and head out the door — dining at Casa Orozco is all about comfort.
Or, take your grub to go.
For the tastes of Casa Orozco from the comfort of your next party, the restaurant also offers catering services.
Drivers will jump with joy when they find out about the free parking in the lot next door.
For those who prefer to travel by bike, Casa Orozco is a great option due to its generous bike parking options.
Casa Orozco s fare is so good, you ll want to sample everything on the menu (and with its middle-of-the-road prices, you can!).
At Casa Orozco, you can pay with any major credit card.
Casa Orozco provides morning, afternoon, and evening service, so you can easily find time to dine.
Pay Casa Orozco a visit and enjoy a relaxing night filled with flavorful Mexican cuisine.
Casa Orozco serves up some of the best Mexican fare in town, so head on over today and treat yourself to some authentic eats.
Just-right juicy steaks are the norm at Outback Steakhouse, a five-star worthy, fan-favorite steakhouse.
Healthy eaters will enjoy Outback Steakhouse, a local restaurant filled with healthy eats and gluten-free options.
Unwind with a glass of wine or cocktail with your meal — this restaurant has a wonderful selection of drinks to accompany your dinner.
Parents, bring your kids along to this restaurant, where you'll find a family-friendly menu and ambience.
Gather up your friends, coworkers or family members and head to Outback Steakhouse for a group meal.
When the weather is nice, hurry to Outback Steakhouse to grab a spot on the patio.
Tables at Outback Steakhouse are available first-come, first-served, so be sure to show up a bit earlier on busy weekends.
Diners who appreciate a no-frills environment come to Outback Steakhouse in jeans and a hoodie.
You can also have Outback Steakhouse cater your next event.
Just through the door at this restaurant, you can claim your food. No delivery required.
Diners can take full advantage of the free parking in the lot next to Outback Steakhouse.
Make use of the luxurious bike racks at Outback Steakhouse.
Meals at Outback Steakhouse are incredibly tasty and reasonably priced around $30.
For the be-all and end-all of steakhouses, people can't stop talking about Outback Steakhouse. Try it today and judge the sky-high ratings for yourself.
So treat yourself to a nice dinner for a change and indulge in a tasty steak from Outback Steakhouse.
Most Top Chef finalists launch their restaurant careers right after their time on television ends. Not Casey Thompson—she spent seven years after season three traveling, all the while thinking hard about what she wanted in a venue. She met farmers, built relationships, and finally opened Aveline (plus its cocktail bar sibling, The European) in June. As the result of so much careful planning, the restaurant truly embodies Casey’s vision, both in the space and on the plate.
One key part of that vision? Pigs. Casey loves to use almost every part of them, including the head. In honor of Aveline’s recent launch, we asked her about her fondness for pork, her cooking philosophy, and some of her go-to spots in San Francisco.
GROUPON: One ingredient that crops up on the menus at Aveline and The European is pork. Specifically, pork from the pig’s head—pork jowl, pig cheek, pig ear. What do you like about this ingredient?
CASEY THOMPSON: In general, I love any animal that tastes good from head to toe! As a chef, it’s really beneficial for me to use different parts of an animal that might otherwise be underutilized. It keeps costs down and provides guests with the opportunity to try things they may not otherwise try.
There is a lot more marbling in these parts than you might think, and there are a variety of different textures in specific parts like the ear.
G: Do you think that pig face is trending right now?
CT: I don't know. I try not to pay too much attention to what’s “trendy.” I just want to make food that tastes good, and if it means using parts of an animal that are unfamiliar to most people and [then] educating people about them, I’m happy to do so.
G: If someone hasn't tried any part of the pig’s head, where should they start?
CT: I think a good place to start is with pig cheek—it’s rich and it braises perfectly! Confiting a pig cheek [at home] is easy. The most difficult part is probably finding the product, but your local butcher can help with that.
G: Are there other pig dishes in San Francisco that you like?
CT: The pork at Kokkari is unreal, and Namu Gaji does a pretty impressive job too!
G: Aside from cooking with pig parts, you’re also an advocate for sustainability and the environment. Where does that passion come from?
CT: I have a job that impacts the environment, and as such, I have a duty to make sure that my staff and I do all we can not to add to the overwhelming issues we’re already facing.
I am also a firm believer in good husbandry. All animals deserve to live a good life, especially if they are giving us theirs for nourishment. It’s our responsibility as humans to recognize that.
G: Some of your dishes have original ingredients with a cool, earthy vibe. I’m talking about the "ham snow" and "chicory soil" on Aveline’s menu. Can you tell us more about these?
CT: Environmental elements in a dish add interesting flavors. The chicory soil contains nori, breadcrumbs, candied cashews, and chicory—all pretty earthy, you’re right. Now, the ham snow is highly technical stuff: we freeze ham, grate it over cold amberjack, and call it snow!
G: You’re also creating the menu over at The European, your bar-and-lounge project with Adam Wilson. It seems like the snacks have more of an updated comfort-food feel. Is The European the other side of Aveline's coin?
It absolutely is! There is a secret kid side to me with that menu and, really, it’s us having fun. I do think we have the best burger—it is so good. I want people to use both spaces! Come and eat at The European!
G: To close out, can you share some of your favorite San Francisco spots to grab a bite?
For coffee: Réveille Coffee Co.
For breakfast (and guilty, greasy pleasures): San Jalisco
For lunch and dinner: Kokkari, Kin Khao
For after-hours drinks and eats: Rye, Tradition, Le Colonial
For outdoor dining: The Ferry Building, Slanted Door, Cavallo Point, Coqueta
This interview has been condensed and edited. Photos courtesy of Casey Thompson. The European photo by Andi Fisher.
When you live in a city with so much scenery, eating inside can feel a bit stifling. Here are five beautiful restaurant patios in San Francisco that allow you to order in the great outdoors.
Mission Rock Resort (817 Terry Francois Blvd.)
The restaurant group that owns South Park staples MoMo’s, Pedro’s Cantina, and Pete’s Tavern overhauled Mission Rock Resort in late 2012. Now, it’s a bayside escape with plenty of deck seating, calming ocean views, and easy parking. Try bites from the raw bar or fried seafood for lunch, brunch, or happy hour.
Foreign Cinema (2534 Mission St.)
The most popular tables at this Mission stalwart are in the romantic covered patio. In the evening, artsy or retro flicks are projected on the patio wall while sound can be played through drive-in–style speakers at each table. The movies, however, are a secondary draw compared to the Californian-Mediterranean food.
Waterbar (399 The Embarcadero S)
Waterbar is a perennial Top 100 restaurant, so you can bet on some memorable seafood with views of the bay, the Bay Bridge, and the Bay Lights—not to mention $1.25 oysters every day before 5:30 pm.
Bar Agricole (355 11th St.)
Opened by a collective of the city’s best bartenders and sommeliers, Bar Agricole is led by master drink maker Thad Vogler. Unsurprisingly, its cocktails are just as good as its seasonal food. The space’s award-winning design features plenty of redwood, concrete, and glass, plus a spacious patio that’s covered and heated during the winter months.
Biergarten (424 Octavia St.)
Biergarten takes its name literally—its only seating is outdoors, where all of its Bavarian-style street food is served from shipping containers converted into a kitchen and bar. Brews can be ordered by the half- or full-liter, but considering the long lines, it’s best to get the larger of the two before you squeeze into one of the communal picnic tables.
Photos courtesy of Mission Rock Resort, Foreign Cinema, Waterbar, and Bar Agricole; Biergarten photo courtesy of BarFlySF.
Sushi is not hard to come by in San Francisco, but so much variety means that finding the perfect sushi spot can be a challenge. Here are our picks for the five freshest, most innovative sushi restaurants in the Bay Area.
1. Cha-Ya (762 Valencia St.)
Vegetarian sushi anyone? While that may sound like an oxymoron, Cha-Ya is redefining what sushi means, veggie- and vegan-style. It’s cash-only here, and the wait can be long, but the food is inventive and the service is great. Even meat eaters should enjoy the Cha-Ya Roll: tempura-battered asparagus, avocado, yam, and carrot with Cha-Ya’s special sauce.
2. Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant (2154 Mission St.)
Never tried fried “veggie eel” before? This place has you covered, and it accommodates most dietary restrictions. There’s a vegan menu, a gluten-free menu, animal-product-free tempura, and sushi made with brown rice.
3. Roka Akor (801 Montgomery St.)
The presentation at Roka Akor is out of this world: sushi served on a landscape of salt rocks, ice, bamboo boxes, and light (that’s right, your sushi plate will glow). The tasting menu is a must-try and incorporates a wide range of different fish.
4. Tsunami Sushi Panhandle (1306 Fulton St.)
Tusnami’s classic california rolls are half off during happy hour, but the restaurant is most famous for its combination rolls. Try the Mama San with tempura shrimp and spicy tuna or the Magic Mushroom roll with salmon, snow crab, and enoki mushrooms. Also, consider adding some zing to your meal with sake or wine.
5. Akiko’s Restaurant (431 Bush St.)
Located in Union Square, Akiko’s serves up superfresh sushi—the menu changes daily based on the availability of ingredients. The kitchen focuses on serving sustainable, organic, seasonal, and local fish at high-end prices. The omakase menu will run up to $100 per person, but for sushi die-hards, it’s worth it. If you’re not feeling fish, there are non-sushi items on the menu, too, including teriyaki meats and udon soups.