New Izakaya Opens in Berkeley

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Flickr photo by Umamimart.

After months of trying to get some info on an upcoming downtown Berkeley yakitori place, finally the Umami Mart blog gets the story (cheers to Grub Street for unearthing the piece). Thanks to Umami Mart’s informative blog post, the majority of detail-gathering about this new joint, ~IPPUKU~, is done: it looks like there is quite the menu of close to 50 shochus (with 24 on tap); chef-owner Christian Geideman was previously at Ozumo in Oakland; and the 600-square-foot space has a Zen aesthetic, designed by master temple builder Paul Discoe—he used East Bay street trees that he milled at his West Oakland sawmill. It has a great look; and there are enclosed booths, along with small tables with pillows (horigotatsu—shoes off), and the bar is standing room only (tachinomi). Some last-minute details I received: the chicken they use is pasture raised, and comes from Gleason Ranch in Bodega and Soul Food Farm in Vacaville—the kitchen then breaks the chicken down into 20 different cuts and grills it over imported binchotan (white charcoal made from Japanese scrub oak). You can look at pictures of the space and the food (including agedashi tofu and bitter melon tempura) in this Flickr feed. Open nightly 5pm-11pm. 2130 Center St. at Oxford, Berkeley, 510-665-1969.