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May 8, 2007 09:38 PM

Best japanese in SF for bday dinner?

Doesn't have to be fancy, just fabulous. It'd be great if it has more then sushi. Thanks.

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  1. I haven't been in town long enough/eaten in enough places to make claims about the "best" yet; but we have had lovely experiences at Koo in the Inner Sunset on Irving. They have to flight sushi but excel at cooked dishes. its also a very classy place with a great atmosphere, good service and, if memory serves, a better than average wine list for such a place. I'm sure you'll get some ofther recs as well.

    Ebisu is fabulous for sushi (can't speak to their non-sushi dishes) but they're closed for remodeling this month. They're running some version of their operation across the street at Hotei (its on 9th ave in the Sunset) but I don't know exactly what that means.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ccbweb

      just an fyi: ebisu is not closed. we were there on tuesday for a great dinner.
      i forgot to ask when they would actually be closing. :(

      1. re: stuckinschool

        Huh, are they in fact still planning on closing to rennovate? We've actually been wanting to go back to Hotei (great noodles) but haven't been since we thought Ebisu had moved in.

        1. re: ccbweb

          Which noodles do you recommend at Hotei? So far everything has been dreadful.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Hehe, you took the words right out of my mouth. I haven't dared to step foot in there again. Have things improved recently?

            1. re: shortexact

              We were impressed with the cold somen noodles and the Shoyu ramen. We've only been there once, about a month ago, so I can't speak with ongoing expertise here.

      1. I don't know if there are any Japanese restaurants in SF that I would deem fabulous, although Kappa (mentioned here) could be but I have never been there so I can't say. It's very expensive, however. We had dinner the other night before the Film Festival at Fuku Sushi (1581 Webster inside the Kinokuniya Building in Japan Center), a place that has been there for years and I had never been to. The atmosphere has a nice elegance and there is a large menu of small plates. I especially liked the miso-grilled hamachi we had and the sushi and sashimi tasted very fresh. Yaki nasu (grilled eggplant) was also quite good as was the yakitori. This place reminded me of some of the better places you can find in the South Bay. They also have tatami rooms (at least I noticed one), but they may only be available for large parties.

        For the record I have been underwhelmed by both Koo and Ebisu, though I haven't been to the latter in many years. It always ends up on many Best lists and I never understood why it has been so lauded.

          1. re: lrostron

            I think Ozumo might actually be a good choice for the OP in terms of having a good atmosphere for a birthday dinner as well as plenty of space (in case there is a sizable group of people involved). There is also quite a bit more than sushi on the menu, and that was another trait the OP was looking for. The food is at least decent, and it depends what you're looking for, but I can't ever imagine myself using the word "fabulous" to describe Ozumo's food.

          2. For more than sushi, Bushi-Tei is my next place to try for the right occasion. Here's the search result with several reports.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Great food but not technically Japanese -- more fusion a la Ame, in my opinion.

              Concur with Fuku and would also heartily recommend Toraya on Fillmore.