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Dec 23, 2008 08:50 AM

Japanese Food for New Year's?

My Japanese daughter-in-law will be here in Berkeley with us for New Year's for the first time, and we're planning on cooking New Year's food together, but I'm wondering if there is somewhere I could order some special prepared foods to supplement our efforts, that would remind her of home? Thanks for any suggestions, especially in the East Bay . . .

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  1. I know O-zoni is a must, as my wife's family (4th generation Japanese-American) always has it for New Years.

    I would go to Tokyo Fish market on San Pablo to reserve some of the stuff now as they tends to sell out fast, especially the mochi for O-zoni.

    I don't think o-zoni is something you can special order from Japanese restaurants. At least I've never seen it. The only place I can think of is Benkyodo company in Japantown, where you can pick up hand made manju and mochi for dessert.

    5 Replies
    1. re: theSauce

      Yep, I was going to recommend Tokyo Fish market too! Probably the best place to get something traditional and festive from the Japanese culture on the East Bay. Besides O-zoni, sashimi (or raw fish) is extremely popular for new year's, and that's why the prices of sushi-grade fish like tuna goes sky high around this time of year. So you might want to order a sashimi platter too if you can afford it.

      1. re: singleguychef

        Tokyo fish is where I'll be going too! Not just some of the freshest fish you will find in the Bay Area but it's also a Japanese market, and you can't beat their "deli" section - Ken-san (former owner and chef at Yokohama in Richmond) will be making a lot of the special New Years Osechi dishes for sale. Get there early - small store with limited parking, when I'm in the area I always make an excuse to stop for a 'bento' for lunch. I believe the sushi they sell is made in house by Mushashi restaurant.

        1. re: Bigshadetree


          Tokyo Fish Market
          1220 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

      2. re: theSauce

        Many Japanese markets offer osechi ryoori, which is the traditional New Year's food, but you have to order in advance and it can be expensive. Sorry, I don't know the Japanese markets in East Bay. However, I did see an ad that Delica, the Japanese "delicatessen" in the Ferry Building is selling osechi.

        1. re: Wendy_san

          I picked up the flier for the Delica osechi when I was there earlier this week (and found out they have okonomiyaki -- $5 for a small serving, but okonomiyaki all the same). The flier must be leftover from last year, because it says pick up is "12/31 (Mon)". I must say, it looks beautiful, but it's pricey -- $300 for three layers, serving 4-5 ppl.

          Maybe for that price you get an authentic lacquer box?

        1. Do not know the Japanese options for East Bay but Nijiya market in SF Japantown has a lot of different New Year's food options -- LOTS. And they even package it in "bentos" so the presentation is wonderful.

          You can get all the ingredients for o-zoni but you can also order the special dishes (I'm terrible with the names) but that one with all the braised root vegetables, you can get beautifully decorated sashimi platters, and even cookies and dessert items.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sfwork

            link 2

            Nijiya Market
            1737 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

          2. Too late, I apologize. They had fresh mochi cakes at the checkout at Monterey Market this morning. Perhaps ozoni later this week.