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May 26, 2012 08:29 PM

Japanese food in San Francisco

Hello fellow chowhounds,

I've been living in SF for about 10 years now, and I'm a hardcore Japanese food addict. I go to Japan about once a year, mostly to eat my way through Tokyo. Wanted to share my top 5 Japanese restaurants in SF (city limits only) and ask for recommendations from fellow chowhounds.

My top 5:

Koryori / Kaiseki:
Kiss Seafood

Kappou Gomi

Aka Tombo

Honorable mention: Kirimachi for ramen - I've only been once but their tonkotsu ramen was by far
the best I've had in the city, and was actually south bay worthy. Will go back this weekend for another taste.

Still haven't found okonomiyaki, soba, udon, tonkatsu or yakitori places that really satisfy me. Any recommendations?

What are your absolute top 5 favorite Japanese restaurants in SF and why?



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  1. Adding to the plea for okonomiyaki reccos in SF Bay Area -- we have no good ones left in Vancouver, have resorted to making my own. Moddan yaki even better!

    1. When in need of comfort food, I head to Eiji for their oboro tofu.
      317 Sanchez St
      (between 16th St & 17th St)
      San Francisco, CA 94114

      2 Replies
        1. re: Cynsa

          I was just there yesterday afternoon..very fresh Sashimi, wonderful home made tofu with a floating brown translucent sauce....AND their phenomenal giant strawberry wrapped in homemade mochi!!

        2. i also like kappa and okina a lot.

          sawa in sunnyvale is definitely worth a trip if you've never tried it. it is a sashimi feast place. last time i was there he served me line-caught never-frozen tuna from oma. his sake selection is impressive.

          i like some of the dishes at maki in japantown, but the place has had some serious service issues recently. i've had their inaniwa udon, unagi, and tonkatsu there several times, and enjoyed them.

          i like ino for sushi, but i'm sure you've tried that before.

          i've enjoyed chirashi and tempura recently at kamekyo in cole valley, but that is more of a convenience thing.

          i'd also love to find great homemade soba in sf.

          1. Yuzuki's good.

            Ippuku in Berkeley for robata. They're doing fresh housemade soba for lunch on weekdays, haven't been able to try it yet.

            1. I like Kappa, Kiss and Ino, but Tekka is my favorite. Its quite delicious and fresh! Its really small, but upon my visit last year they took reservations for omakase. I believe it was $60 per person.

              For yakitori - Oyaji is not bad, but I haven't been able to find anything that comes close to Sumika in Los Altos, especially for the chicken thigh.

              I'm not a fan of Kanpai in Palo Alto, but the nabeyaki udon there is good.