Wednesday, March 21, 2007


22 Peace Plaza
Suite 202
(Miyako Mall, Japantown)
(415) 921-2000

Japanese in Japantown (If that's not unique, what is?)

There are many Japanese restaurants in San Francisco. This is one is better than most that I've tried and has some distinguishing features. The first distinguishing feature is the tank of live shrimp outside the entryway. The second is that the boss and all but one member of the waitstaff speak Japanese (as opposed to Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, English, or Spanish) . The third is that the set meals start off with two dishes of pickled vegetables and a cup of a savory custard. (Set meals are $18.50 for a two-item one and $23.50 for a three-item one ... I think.) In all the Japanese restaurants I've eaten around the world -- Japanese restaurants in California, Hawaii, Beijing, Taiwan, and British Columbia -- I've never had those two types of pickled vegetables nor the custard. The pickled vegetables were new, but I didn't particularly like them. I liked the custard. It was served steaming hot, had julienned fish cake and mushrooms, and some broth sitting under the thick but fluffy egg-custard surface layer. The set meals also come with miso soup, white rice, and a scoop of ice cream.

My friends, who eat Japanese food often, complimented the quality of Takara's sushi. Even with my brutish palate, I could tell that the sashimi was better than the average SF Japanese restaurant. My half-Japanese half-Korean commented that their green tea was good.

The restaurant's disposable chopsticks are made from bamboo, so they don't split awkwardly and asymmetrically like disposable chopsticks made from wood.


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