First Look: Former Mamacita Now Open as Japanese-Inspired Mamanoko

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A look at the bar area and dining room. Photo courtesy of Mamanoko.

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The dining room at Mamanoko. Photo courtesy of Mamanoko.

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A look at the bar at Mamanoko. Photo courtesy of Cindy Beckman, Architects II.

I have been receiving tips from tablehopper readers about things going on in the former Mamacita space in the Marina, and it looks like ~MAMANOKO~ has softly opened in the location. Partners Stryker Scales and Sam Josi (Mamacita, Umami, Tipsy Pig, Padrecito, Blue Barn) have put together a Japanese-inspired concept, featuring an izakaya-style menu of bar-friendly bites like dumplings, tataki, skewers, tempura, sliders (including pork tonkatsu), and snacks (take a first look at the menu here).

There is also an eight-seat sushi bar they added, helmed by Taka Iwamoto, who is offering a nice selection of nigiri, sashimi, and a range of rolls, from classics (“the usual suspects,” $10-$12) to specialty house rolls ($16-$19) like the Wiki Wiki (spicy ahi tuna, tobiko, avocado, and kaiware, with albacore tuna, ponzu, crispy garlic oil, and scallions on the outside). Here’s the sushi menu for you to take a look at.

The cocktail menu features Japanese whiskies, all Japanese beers, and 20 sakes. Bar manager Tim Cosgrove has created eight cocktails (which will increase in time), including the Spirited Away, a spin on a Manhattan, with jasmine tea-infused Toki whisky, Carpano Antica, Grand Marnier, and Angostura bitters, served in a ceramic cup with an ice sphere.

Architects II is behind the updated layout and overall design, but Josi had a lot of feedback on the details (he has traveled extensively in Japan)—the team all collaborated closely. You’ll note some shou sugi ban (charred cedar, a Japanese method of curing wood) throughout, on the bar wall, wainscoting, and trim out front. The team sourced Japanese Akari lanterns from the Noguchi Museum, and there is a lot of traditional cedar as well. There are 90 seats total.

The name is a nod to the former Mamacita and means “mother’s child” in Japanese. Marina, meet your new hangout. Hours are Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10pm for now. 2317 Chestnut St. at Divisadero, 415-346-8494.