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Jun 24, 2013 12:24 PM

Gyu-don / Gyudon / Beef Bowl in San Francisco?

I fell in love with gyudon from going to Yoshinoya while I lived in Japan. We used to have a Yoshinoya in the FiDi, but it closed a while back, and the only place I know that serves it is Sanraku at SFO. Searching in Chow and Yelp and MenuPages hasn't helped, because when I call those places they don't have it on the menu. I even went to Japantown and asked a bunch of people in various shops and hotels and everyone just shrugged and had no idea where to find it. Why is gyudon so freaking hard to find?

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    1. The place on Kearny that used to be Ebisu (I think it is now called Tenmatsu) sells it and it's pretty good.

      I never really liked the quality of beef at the Yoshinoya in SF. I think this place is better.

      2 Replies
      1. re: calumin

        I found Tenmatsu on Kearny, thanks - I'll try that! Ebisu was also on my list, didn't realize they changed.

        1. re: calumin

          It wasn't just the quality of the beef. The Yoshinoya's in the US serve much saltier, less sweet gyu-don. I couldn't believe the difference after having it both in Japan and here. Even the Chinese ones (I tried one in Shanghai) were better than the US ones. We've got a couple of Yoshinoya's down here in the South Bay, but I just don't go to them because of the over-salting.

        2. Not quite the same, and not in San Francisco, but Sumiya has a nice 'gyu-suji don'...

          Prices noted might be outdated, but the dish is still being served... Friends had it last weekend... :)

          1. You can get Yoshinoya packets at Nijiya Market in Japan town (in frozen food section). And it looks like this

            Yes, you have to have your own rice, but they taste exactly the ones that they served at their shops.

            Thats what I usually get when I miss Yoshinoya :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: ichiro

              Sadly, the Nijiya here in Mountain View does not carry Yoshinoya packets. They do have Ajinomoto gyu-don which comes with rice in an 11 oz. serving for $3.99. As if to make it up for that, the deli in the Mountain View Nijiya does have their own "beef bowl" with a side of miso soup for $4.50. Surprisingly, that's closer to the Japanese Yoshinoya flavor than the US Yoshinoya restaurants. A bit drier than Yoshinoya and Nijiya's red ginger was actually salty. So close, yet so far. ;-)