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Nov 8, 2007 01:25 PM

Japantown Guide

I have the hope of assembling a sort of archived post to which people can add good dishes at ___ restaurant in J-town - as well as what to avoid. Any tips on food-related shopping such as certain sozai at Nijiya would also be appreciated.

- Ramen broth

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    1. re: Cynsa

      maki is famous for their unique wappa-meshi, but they have lots of specials that aren't on the menu, and which they won't necessarily volunteer to tell you about when you order, so ask. some of the most memorable of these for me include their buta no kakuni, and this eggplant dish broiled with a sweet miso, minced duck sauce.

      1. re: augustiner

        oops. it doesn't make sense that i replied to cynsa's post instead of kare_raisu's. anyways, apart from japanese food..

        san wang has pretty decent jjajangmyon, or zha jiang mian.

        while it's not a restaurant, the woori korean market on fillmore and geary has good kimchi and ready made panchan.

    2. Best sushi (in order):
      Kiss - reservations *heartily* suggested (walk-ins are occasionally available, but rarely)

      Hidden gem:
      Kappa - reservations required.

      Masquerading as Japanese and to be avoided:
      Juban - billing itself as a Japanese BBQ but serving Korean kimchee sides, expensive and best to be avoided.

      Best all-around menu with stand-out fresh shrimp from the tank:


      Best noodles:

      Okay for mid-day lunch as they serve all day:

      4 Replies
      1. re: Carrie 218

        Shouldn't yakiniku places (Juban is one I suppose) serve kimchee? I mean if Ryowa ramen and Maruichi ramen in Mountain View, authentic ramen-ya's serve kimchee, I don't see why not.

        After all yakiniku was modeled after Korean BBQ.

        But Juban at least has tan-shio (beef tongue slices) which is a rare find even at most Korean BBQ places in the Bay Area.

        Agreed that this is not a cheap place.

        1. re: K K

          Who cares if they serve kimchee since it's never very good anyway?

          I kid btw.

        2. re: Carrie 218

          I disagree with you about Juban. Juban serves Japanese style yakiniku, essentially Japan's take on Korean BBQ. Korean side dishes at Juban are NOT out of place. But yeah, it's pretty damned expensive but pretty tasty. It's a place I'd recommend if a person budget allows since there's wagyu beef on the menu for grilling. Yummy.

          1. re: muimi07

            Then I was mistaken - I had no idea that Korean sides would be the norm at a Japanese yakiniku. It seemed odd for me and I appreciate the correction.

            But, yes, it is pretty darned expensive for what one gets...

        3. Mum Cafe: Shabu-Shabu (all you can eat)

          1 Reply
          1. re: liujenny

            I didn't mention it as they are not open for lunch, but it is another great suggestion for local dinners. Other dinners in the immediate neighborhood include Powell's for pricey southern food and Aunt Sheba's and Rassela's for Ethiopian.