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Jul 19, 2007 02:16 PM

Best Upscale Japanese in San Francisco?

We are coming to San Francisco soon and we were wondering If anyone could offer some recomendations for some upscale Japanese restaurants - it would be greatly appreciated. Preferably somewhere with things besides Sushi, someplace like Nobu with good cooked dishes as well. Our last trip we tried Azuma(sp??) but we would like to try something different this time.


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  1. Anzu could be a reasonable choice since they do quite a bit besides sushi, though I wouldn't call it traditional Japanese. Alternatively, I recall that Takara in Japantown had a good diverse menu with a number of dishes not commonly found elsewhere, though I haven't been in years.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Maple

      Thanks very much Maple, its much appreciated!

      1. re: Sobe4u

        Just so you do know Takara will not meet the caliber of Nobu.

        Another option would be Kappa in Pacific Heights for more traditional dihes.

      2. re: Maple

        I like Takara but I wouldn't call it upscale. Bushu-tei or KISS are closer to what is requested. My preference is the omakase dinner at KISS. Bushi-tei is a little too French for a Japanese restaurant.

        1. re: mc2

          Yes - I should've specified. The unique dishes at Takara are the homey kind.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Thanks for all of your contributions! We will definetly check out Ame since we are staying at the St Regis - as well as the others noted.


          1. re: Sobe4u

            Another vote for Ame. It's more California than Japanese, I must say, but definitely worth trying if you like Nobu. Personally I like it better than Nobu (or Matsuhisa) as SF boasts fresher ingredients (if not the freshest) than any other US city!

        2. You might want to consider Kyo-ya. It's not in the St. Regis like Ame, but is a very short walk away. Located in the Palace Hotel:

          1 Reply
          1. re: shortexact

            I wanted to like Kyo-ya but was less than thrilled..dried fish, tastelss dishes.

          2. Japanese friends of mine really enjoy the cooked stuff at Kiku of Tokyo (traditional). There are a few decent Yelp reviews too.

            1. Presume you mean Ozumo for "Azuma" and Kappa is in Japantown, not Pacific Heights. Ozumo is probably the closest think to upscale Nobu-like Japanese in San Francisco. I've been several times over the years and thought it was quite good three or four years ago; it has moved downscale some since then, and is not nearly as creative.

              Ozumo Restaurant
              161 Steuart Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

              Kappa Japanese Restaurant
              1700 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115