Izakaya Yuzuki Opens Tonight in the Mission

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Renkon mochi (lotus root dumpling) and tsukune. Photo by David Pham.

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Hot sake service; photo by Rebecca Kinney. © tablehopper.com.

Due to open tonight is ~IZAKAYA YUZUKI~, a project from first-time restaurant owner Yuko Hayashi in the former Ebb & Flow space in the Mission. Yuko believes that “San Francisco is ready for real, authentic Japanese food.” The chef is Takashi Saito; his menu (you can take a peek here) includes an otsumami section, with smaller dishes ($4-$9) like spicy cucumber with sesame oil and braised beef tendon that are designed to be enjoyed with drinks such as sake. There are also four yakitori choices (like chicken meatballs and wings), plus steamed clams, chawan-mushi with uni, and chicken kara-age marinated in koji. In fact, much of the food at Izakaya Yuzuki utilizes koji, a mold that is fermented on rice (in a background statement about the restaurant, Yuko mentions that koji not only makes food easier to digest, but it’s also tastier). Izakaya Yuzuki wants to be the first restaurant in the U.S. to specialize in food prepared using koji. They make their own tofu, as well.

Seating includes a walnut bar and newly finished walnut tables, with a splash of warm orange paint on the back wall, paintings of vegetables done in the style of Japanese calligraphy on the walls, and a noren (traditional Japanese room divider). Izakaya Yuzuki will serve their hot sake in an earthenware vessel that looks like a teapot, which means no more burning your hands on scalding hot ceramic carafes. Yuko expects to be open tomorrow, and you can make reservations on Urbanspoon. Hours will be Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10pm. 598 Guerrero St. at 18th St., 415-556-9898.