I love Japanese but not sushi...
...which is not as contradictory as it may sound. I'm not a fan of fish, and the combination of that with rice/nori/raw veggies rather bores me, but I love love LOVE Japanese comfort food: tonkatsu, chicken katsu, oyakodon, unagi over rice, omurice, udon...you get the picture :)
I've been craving these for a while, but every Japanese review I look up ends up discussing the sushi! Anyone have any recommendations for getting a good bowl of meat over rice (or udon--not ramen, but udon) in the EAST bay? (I know of some places in SF, but I'd love to get a restaurant or two closer to home)
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I think Rikyu on College also does unajyu, tempura, teriyaki and such, but they do also have sushi. Although I've never tried these items (I had sushi), I heard from the owner's wife that the chef was trained traditionally and was very skilled in making cooked Japanese items.
Doesn't Kirala also offer a lot of robata items as well?
2100 Ward St, Berkeley, CA 94705
Rikyu Japanese Restaurant
5335 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
Norikonoko serves terrific authentic homestyle food. The place is run by an old couple. I recommend getting the daily specials. It's a bit on the pricey side but well worth it. Near Berkeley campus on Telegraph between Blake St. and Parker St. If you've been to Kui Shin Bo in SF Japantown, it's similar but with no sushi and instead, they do robata.
Norikonoko Japanese Rstrnt
2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Very cheap and tasty, and actually run by Japanese people (there are lots of Korean-run Japanese places nearby): Geta. They are a sushi joint, but the katsu is tasty, and the udon is simple but delicious. And so so cheap! Don't expect much ambience, though.
Geta Japanese Restaurant
165 41st St, Oakland, CA 94611
Norikonoko's great. Charming little place.
Kirala does good robata and their butterfish is tops, but the wait is ridiculous. We were going to go there last night but at 8:45 there was still a long line. We went to Kansai instead (Korean-run Japanese).
Mitama's cooked food is good.
3201 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705