Japanese Restaurants in Hayes Valley, San Francisco


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  • Domo
    Press Box: Domo To call Domo “intimate” is a bit of an understatement—the restaurant houses one wraparound counter at which patrons sit. But the cozy confines haven’t stopped diners from stopping by for acclaimed sushi rolls and fresh nigiri. Read on to discover what makes this Hayes Valley hideaway so special: “The secret's out about this tiny, unembellished foodie paradise. And it's no surprise: über fresh sushi at affordable prices plus long waits to boot make for a killer combo.” – Michelin Guide “Those who prefer a crunch will love the firecracker balls, with the spicy tuna rolls breaded, fried and drizzled with spicy mayo and eel sauce. They're decadent but delicious - we expected to have leftovers but we finished wanting more.” – SFGate “Aside from ingredient-driven sushi basics, Domo boasts razzle-dazzle maki like the Sexy Mama Roll (broiled asparagus, tobiko-topped salmon, yuzu cucumber) and Ankimo: monkfish liver w/ ponzu and scallions.” – Thrillist “In a multicultural vein, Domo offers a small selection of crudos. Tastes rather than full courses, they're presented in porcelain soup ladles and might include spicy tuna with sriracha, sesame oil, cilantro, and avocado; and uni . . . presented with avocado, wasabi, soy sauce, and sea salt.” – San Francisco Bay Guardian
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    511 Laguna St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Otoro Sushi
    Five Things to Know About Otoro Sushi Born and raised in Japan, head chef Fukuji Sugai trained for years before settling in San Francisco. As a result, Sugai-San’s restaurant, Otoro, represents a unique “fusion of California and Japanese cuisine.” Read on for more about this popular Hayes Valley spot: The restaurant’s name is also its best ingredient. Otoro refers to the fatty portion of the tuna belly that’s widely considered the highest-quality tuna available. Though it may not be in season, otoro tops the sushi, sashimi, and specialty-roll sections of the menu. They serve more than just raw fish. A whole section of the menu is devoted to Japanese-style tapas dishes, which range from tempura prawns to grilled squid. Veggie options abound, too, including maki rolls like the Vegetarian Caterpillar—cucumber and Japanese pickle topped with avocado. In Japanese, “Cheers!” is Kanpai! Remember it, because you might find plenty of opportunities to toast thanks to the diverse drink menu. Along with wine and Sapporo beer, the list features three categories of sake, from the easily drinkable junmai to the full-flavored daiginjo. Lunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lunch items include hot entrees such as beef, chicken, or salmon teriyaki; bowls of rice topped with curry chicken or fresh tuna; and classic servings of udon or miso soup. It’s probably best to get a reservation. So said one Mapplr user, who noted it was even “packed on a rainy Sunday night.”
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    205 Oak St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Nojo
    Nojo: A User’s Guide Yakitori Cuisine | Relaxed Atmosphere | Farm-Fresh Ingredients | Communal-Service Style Sample Menu Yakitori: the Tsukune chicken skewer with egg-yolk sauce Entree: chawanmushi—an egg custard with yuzu, shiitake mushrooms, and chicken Vegetarian: fuyu persimmon, daikon, and baby carrot salad with bamboo sea salt To drink: any of 10 authentic sake selections Inside Tips You won’t have just one server, instead everyone is your server because they work as a team under the Japanese philosophy of kikubari. Hop in a cab, bus, or unicyclist’s knapsack to get there because street parking is often difficult. Call ahead if you’ve got a group because there’s a limited number of reservations for parties of up to 10, and if you’ve got more than that, you’ll have to e-mail. Press Box “Where to go if you want exceptional food and don't want to pay too much . . . ? Nojo should be at the top of the list.” – San Francisco Chronicle “And the satiny, half-furled petals of squid, which had been sautéed with fingerling potato coins and tendrils of tart purslane in a opulent sake-butter sauce? Really effing good.” – SF Weekly “The batter of the tempura-fried fava beans is so light that it doesn't seem to impact the flavor but adds a crunch that sets off the natural goodness of what it's cloaking.” – SF Gate Vocab Lesson Yakitori: bite-size pieces of seafood or meat that chefs grill on skewers. Kikubari: to “pay attention to other people,” the assumption being that you are part of a community and should understand the desires of others before they need to voice them. While You’re in the Neighborhood Before: Soak up the creative cultures of Saudi Arabia, China, and Japan among others at the Asian Museum of Art (200 Larkin Street) After: Catch a performance of The Marriage of Figaro or another classic show at the world-renowned San Francisco Opera House (301 Van Ness Avenue).
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    231 Franklin St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Sushi Zone
    Sushi Zone: A User’s Guide Fresh Sushi and Nigiri | Vegetarian Rolls | Open Sushi Bar Sample Menu Appetizer: mussels on the half shell Maki roll: mango hamachi Vegetarian sushi: avocado Side: edamame Where to Sit: Try to get one of the few seats at the bar, where customers can watch the sushi master at work. Inside Tips Remember to bring cash since Sushi Zone doesn’t accept credit cards. Plan on a long wait; lines often stretch out the door. Luckily there are several bars nearby to kill some time in. Vocab Lesson Hamachi: young yellowtail, popular in sushi. Sashimi: sliced raw fish or meat that, unlike sushi, is not served with rice. While You’re in the Neighborhood Before: Shop for antiques in styles ranging from art deco to Danish Modern at Another Time (1710 Market Street). After: Explore the contemporary paintings, sculptures, and installations at Fouladi Projects (1803 Market Street).
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    1815 Market St
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Izakaya Roku
    facet: Main type: Traditional locale: en_US title: Izakaya Roku facet_type_id: 567a05d0-5f2c-1032-bf7f-8448c300e97f html_text: |- In the tradition of Japanese izakayas—sake shops with tapas-style menus—Izakaya Roku serves an extensive menu of small plates. The menu opens with simple snacks, such as edamame and garlic toast, before introducing seared fish and five kinds of carpaccio. There's tempura and ramen, of course, but also stews with everything from pork belly to sake-steamed clams. The menu even includes surprising takes on American drinking food such as a pair of pizzas, although they're neither covered in pepperoni or delivered to your table by car—instead, they're topped with mushrooms and cod-roe sauce or miso chicken. The traditional izakaya in Japan is a cozy, neighborly place, and Izakaya Roku would fit right in among them if it ever decided to pack up and take a vacation. "Now, this is an izakaya," the San Francisco Chronicle's Janny Hu noted approvingly, advising guests to "order up and just enjoy what comes to the table." Neon signs, amber lighting, and handsome wood paneling fill the corner shop. Signs showing the day's specials flutter over the bar, hastily painted onto white paper as though the chefs' imaginations were working faster than their hands could move.
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    1819 Market St.
    San Francisco, CA US
  • Sushi Delight
    For the freshest fish and the tastiest rolls, check out Sushi Delight. Low-fat and gluten-free options are featured on the menu as well. Sushi Delight diners can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here. Bring your whole brood to Sushi Delight, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together. Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Sushi Delight offers catering. For those in a hurry, the sushi spot lets you take your meal or snack to go. Sushi Delight patrons can pull into a space on the street when searching for parking at the Market St location. Prepare to spend about $30 per person when dining at Sushi Delight.
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    1946 Market St
    San Francisco, CA US

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