Ijji (Sushi) – Lower Haight, San Francisco

Ijji

252 Divisadero Street

Ijji, from the owners of Saru Sushi Bar, is yet another sushi joint riding the wave that is crashing into the Bay Area.  Serving nigiri only in the edomae style with most of the fish coming directly from Japan, Ijji is competing in the “high end” space where one piece will set you back $7-10 on average.

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Iyasare – Berkeley, CA

Iyasare

1830 Fourth Street
iyasare-berkeley.com

Iyasare opened in late 2013 as part of the Bay Area Japanese food explosion that is going strong in 2016. The restaurant immediately received critical acclaim, earning a Bib Gourmand award in 2015 (not renewed in 2016).

What is unique about Iyasare is that they are not a cookie cutter Japanese restaurant.  They do not serve sushi, ramen, or the standard grilled/fried izakaya fare. instead, they take Japanese ingredients and flavors, and prepare dishes in a California-Japanese fusion way.  The result is innovative and often delicious.

Drinks

We started off with a cocktail and a pour of sake.  The cocktail was the daily special, a bourbon based beverage.  The sake pour comes with the overflow vessel to show generosity.  Depending on who your pourer is, you can get more or less “generosity.”

Iyasare_01_Cocktail

Iyasare_01_sake

Uzaku – Grilled Unagi

with Japanese eggplant, shitake mushrooms, ginger bulbs, tamari rice vinegar

Iyasare_02a_Uzaku

Iyasare_02b_Uzaku

The first dish we had was a saucy eel with some explosively flavorful mushrooms and eggplant.  The eel was soft and tender.  The wasbi added a nice spice compliment.

Ocean Umami

hokkaido scallop, ikura, sea urchin, fermented wasbi leaf, nori ponzu

Iyasare_03b_Ocean UmamiIyasare_03a_Ocean Umami This was my most highly dish of the night based on the description, ingredients, and previous photos I saw. The presentation lived up to the billing…it sits beautifully on the plate. The flavor was good but it did not have the impact I was expecting.

Octopus Terrine

black miso garlic, swooping farm lemon balm, romano beans, pickled okra, leek ash

Iyasare_04_Octopus Terrine

This dish wins for most unique and unexpected item for the night. The terrine was slightly gelatinous with a soft flavor that contrasted nicely with the rubbery chewy octopus.  The miso paste added a nutty component.

Mentaiko Spaghetti

spicy cod roe, reef squid, kaiware, shiso, garlic-ginger butter

Iyasare_05_Mentaiko PastaAnother delectable dish that is in a close race with the unagi as the best of the night.  The mentaiko added a creamy kick to the pasta that left me wishing that we ordered two.

Mediterranean Sea Bass

sea bass, uni, ikura, nori

Iyasare_06_Sea Bass

The off menu special of the day was a sea bass, deboned and served whole topped with similar ingredients as the Ocean Umami. The fish was meaty and juicy while the dashi-ponzu sauce was a mild, zesty compliment.

Fudge and Cheesecake Mochi

Iyasare_07_Mochi

Dessert was six bite sized mochi balls.  Three fudge with a chocolate topping and three cheesecake with a strawberry hat. Both were light and refreshing; a satisfying end to the meal.

Iyasare is innovative. The Japanese flavors and ingredients are mostly there but the style and result as distinctly not traditional Japanese. The result is a well executed hybrid  of Japan and California that stands out amongst the flood of sushi houses offering edomae style omakase.

Iyasare changes the menu frequently enough that a return visit would not be a repeat visit at a price point that is in line with what should be the expectation in the Bay Area.

Acquerello (イタリア料理)Nob Hill サンフランシスコ

Acquerello

1722 Sacramento Street
acquerello.com

今年に入って、新年会やら何やらで全然ブログを書けていなかったので今年初めてのブログです。今回は、今年のバレンタインディナーという名目で行った、サンフランシスコにある「Acquerello」というイタリアンレストランについて書きます。このレストランは、最近流行りの超創作料理レストランではなく、クラシックなイタリア料理を生かした創作イタリアンレストランです。しかも、うちの旦那曰く、最近行ったレストランの中で一番のお気に入りらしいです。

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Acquerello – Nob Hill, San Francisco

Acquerello

1722 Sacramento Street
acquerello.com

With the recent the gastronomy boom in San Francisco it is easy to overlook some of the stalwarts that have been paving the way over the last couple of decades.  At the center of these classic institutions is Acquerello – the Michelin two star Italian juggernaut  that is worthy of every accolade received. Acquerello was, in short, one of the best meals we have eaten…ever.

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é by José Andrés(日本語版)

é by José Andrés

3708 S Las Vegas Blvd
ebyjoseandres.com

かなーり、ブログを書くのをさぼっていたので、1ヶ月くらい前の話ですが、私の誕生日がてら、ラスベガスに行って来ました。そしてその際にずっと行きたかった「é by José Andrés」に行ってきました。このレストランはJosé Andrésが手がけるレストラン「Jaleo」の中の一角にあるレストランなのです。しかも、このレストランは1種類のコースメニューのみがあり1回に8名しか入れないのです。その為、予約プロセスがとても変わっています。まず、90日前からの予約開始ですが、電話やオンライン予約ではなく、Eメールのみで予約が可能なのです。ってな訳で、90日前からちゃんと予約の準備をして、90日前に予約のEメールをしました。すると、予約フォームと共にEメールが返って来るので、そのフォームに入力後正式に予約完了となります。そして、何週間かした頃に噂通り、郵送にて本当にゴールデンカラーのチケットが送られてきました。こう言う面白みのあるレストランはいいですねー。

E_00_Ticket

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é by José Andrés – Las Vegas, Nevada

é by José Andrés

3708 S Las Vegas Blvd
ebyjoseandres.com

Behind a closed door in the back of Jaleo, the lively paella restaurant in the stylish Cosmopolitan hotel, hides the eight seat counter that is é by José Andrés.  Run by a world renown chef and featured in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown Las Vegas episode, é by José Andrés is a temple of molecular gastronomy, served course by course by course over a three hour span.

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Saison (セゾン)

Saison(セゾン)

178 Townsend Street
saisonsf.com

私たち夫婦の中では9月と言えば、結婚記念日なので、今年も行きたかったレストランの1つである「セゾン」に行ってきました。今年日本に行った時に東京にある「神楽坂 石かわ」に行ったのですが、そこのシェフが「先日サンフランシスコに行った時にセゾンに行ってすごく美味しかった」と言っていたので、サンフランシスコに住んでいるからには是非とも行きたいと思っていたので、この日をすごく楽しみにしていました。それでは、1品1品ご紹介していきます。

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Saison – SOMA, San Francisco

Saison

178 Townsend Street
saisonsf.com

If you follow the blossoming Bay Area food scene, by now you have surely come across the name Saison and Chef Joshua Skenes. Saison holds two prestigious honors – it is one of the four Bay Area Michelin three star restaurant (along with The French Laundry, Benu, The Restaurant at Meadowood) and is hands down the most expensive meal in the region.  Lucky for us we had an anniversary to celebrate and decided to take the plunge, willing to put the high expectations to the test.

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アレクサンダーステーキハウス Soma, San Francisco

アレクサンダーステーキハウス

448 Brannan Street
alexanderssteakhouse.com

旦那のバースデーディナー(結構前の話なのですが、ブログを書くのがかなり遅くなってしまった)ということで、肉好きな旦那はこの「アレクサンダーステーキハウス」を選んだので、行ってみました。もちろん、何度もレストランの前を通り掛かったことがあったので、一度は行きたいと思ってましたけどね。笑

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Zuni Cafe – Mid Market, San Francisco

Zuni Cafe

1658 Market Street
zunicafe.com

Zuni Cafe is a historical landmark in the San Francisco dining scene. In a city that is flooded with new, trendy, ‘foodie’ dining spots, Zuni has been consistently pumping  out cult level classic dishes for nearly forty years.  After a lengthy period of time on our waiting list, we finally made it to this San Francisco staple.

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M&V's Eating Adventure