Great Japanese hot pot?
It's my partner's 40th birthday, and she has requested sukiyaki. So where can I find the best sukiyaki in the SF-Berkeley-Oakland area? It doesn't necessarily need to be prepared tableside, but I'd like it to be really fine beef and carefully prepared broth. She's crazy for sukiyaki, so that's what I'm looking for--not any nabemono. (And I love it too when the meat is buttery and the mushrooms are full flavored and the broth is the perfect balance of sweet and salty--mmmmmmm.)
I was thinking Ozumo, but reviews make it sound overpriced and annoying. It looks like Yoshi's has removed sukiyaki from its menu.
I should also mention that we'll have a couple of vegetarians in our party, so we'll need to take that into consideration, too.
Any recommendations? Many thanks!
About 2 years ago I had the most authentic Sukiyaki at Takara in SF Japantown. They not only cooked it tableside but also cooked the beef first in the cast iron pot (literally yaki) then poured the sukiyaki sauce over then cooked the veg. Maybe a year+ ago they changed ownership (still Japanese owned), but I would still call ahead and ask if they prepare it the same way. If so, that's your best bet, versus some not as authentic or overly sweet and salty versions elsewhere (precooked mini pot that might have too many onions and carrots and chewy beef).
Takara should be able to accomodate vegetarians, assuming the menu has not changed and they still offer things like their wappameshi (virtually identical to what Maki serves but cheaper and slightly bigger portion) which I believe there's a "mountain vegetable" version. But do check if they season anything with fish broth if that's a no no.