IYASARE
IYASARE

IYASARE

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.iyasare-berkeley.com/
  • Phone: 5108458100x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Mon-Sun 11:30am-2:00pm
    Dinner: Mon, Wed-Th, Sun 5:30pm-9:00pm
    Dinner: Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Executive Chef: Shotaro Kamio
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Hearst Ave
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from IYASARE
Inspired by the artisanal ingredients and simple, rustic flavors of his native Tohoku region, chef-proprietor Shotaro Kamio blends the obscure with the familiar for surprisingly extraordinary tastes. Craft beer, wine and sake. Seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Comfortable, casual indoor and heated patio garden seating
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
IYASARE reviews from OpenTable diners
171 reviews since July 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.5
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (138)neighborhood gem (93)great for outdoor dining (86)special occasion (84)great for lunch (50)romantic (37)hot spot (20)good for groups (11)great for brunch (9)kid-friendly (5)vibrant bar scene (4)late-night find (3)scenic view (2)notable wine list (2)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Food is superb but service is poor. I've eaten here four times and had disappointing service on three of those four occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Adventuresome cuisine
    TimBVIP
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    Very good and unusual cuisine, a blend of Japanese and California styles. Short but good wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • LOVELY FOOD; ITSY PORTIONS
    sheridanaVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    While we love the food and the presentation, the portions are quite small. Although I am a small woman, i left quite hungry after three of us ordered a good deal of food. Be aware that to feel 'full' you will wind up with a high costing meal!! Not sure we will return, as it used to be more generous with portion size
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Experience
    Tcupz
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    As usual, Iyasare was excellent. The food was delicious. Simple ingredients prepared right. The restaurant was very vibrant. It was very clean and slick. I would recommend this experience to anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unique
    IcemanVIP
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Very unique and creative food and presentation. Special deep fried flounder was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Can't get enough!
    elephatt
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    In the day, it's much more casual, and they serve this delicious sendai ramen which really is the highlight of their menu. Be forewarned that it's not your typical pork broth ramen that you'll find at most places. It's a little more delicate, but still very flavorful. And the slices of pork atop the ramen are so succulent. Probably some of the best pork slices I've had. It's definitely a little fancier, so a little more pricey - but to me, it's quality food and very much worth the price. In the evening, it gets a little more romantic, and the plates a little more decadent. We're always suckers for the black cod, the salmon, the pork charshu, and the spicy mentaiko spaghetti may be one of my favorite things to eat from anywhere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Place To Eat
    foodcriticforyou
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    I found IYASARE on yelp and it had great reviews. I decided to take a potential client out for lunch there and it sounded very busy, so I made a reservation to save us time. We got right in and were given a choice of tables to eat at. The ambiance was great and the food was even BETTER. It was very noisy in there but tolerable considering all the other pluses. I think it was because everybody was loving it, like we were. The only downside for me was my fault in that I do not like seafood and everything but a chicken plate was on the menu. I wish I liked seafood because the client and everybody around us was raving about their dishes. I definitely will recommend this restaurant to others.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous, fresh food
    cberk
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    My favorite Japanese restaurant - and I grew up with Japanese food, so that's saying a lot. Every dish I've had is amazing! The drinks are great, and the service is impeccable. I recommend it to any and all. Just overall a fun dining experience with such delicious food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 1st time but not the last
    Macadoo
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    When we arrived, my son said, "This is a place where you'll take a photo of your food before you eat it. He was right. Beautiful presentation; wonderful food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Time
    mrCotton100Per
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Wonderful date night. Food was fantastic. Dishes on the small side, but enjoyed every bite. Loved the mixed vegetable tempura dish and the pork belly was nice also.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    This is an unusual Japanese restaurant with their own interpretation of some traditional dishes. For example, their delicious tempura is nothing like traditional vegetable tempura -- finely cut vegetables are made into triangle shaped patties and deep friend and served with a delicious dipping sauce. The raw scallops (umami) with sea urchin roe are delicious, as was the Alaskan black cod, the highlight of our meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    This is a restaurant where it is possible to have a conversation with the people you are eating with. Food is excellent. Don't miss the tempura with shrimp. Outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great japanese experience
    Gastronomer1VIP
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    I went to this restaurant twice for lunch. The menu is interesting and different form most japanese restaurant, Everything is fresh and very tasty
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday Lunch
    nancy
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    My friend and I ate outside. The service was wonderful, the food beautiful and delicious and because it was her birthday we were served a complementary dessert. All in all, a special experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful Food!
    petals
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Fresh, high quality ingredients; unique combinations and flavor profiles; beautifully plated and served with care. My only suggestion is to continue to develop desserts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth a journey
    truemavenVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Iyasare is a gourmet adventure. It's reason enough for a trip to Berkeley from Marin.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • minnieVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Best new restaurant we've tried in a while. An amazing combination of flavors and textures. Loved it!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sublime Cal-Japanese Fare
    cichlisuiteVIP
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Like NoCal locavore trends, Japanese cuisine requires freshest ingredients and attention to detail to let those ingredients shine. Iyasare marries both influences to create an experience that is sublime but totally unpretentious. Can't wait to go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love Iyasare
    Yummy
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Iyasare is our current favorite restaurant. The bartender is the best. He does everything right. And the food is delicate and yummy. Portions are a little small for the price so feeding a teenage boy is expensive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • WOW!!!
    GC140FBCVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I loved this restaurant! In fact, our entire party of four loved it. We are huge fans of sushi/sashimi and knew that this would be a different experience in Japanese cuisine at IYASARE. The food was gorgeous: beautiful presentation, some unusual combinations. The Raman was wonderful! Since the lunch menu is so much shorter than the dinner menu, we will definitely return for dinner! I would love to try every item on the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Excellent ramen, lovely sitting outside. Will definitely try it again but still missing O'Chame
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lives up to hype
    Thyme2eat
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Iyasare provided an incredible, original Japanese based meal. The dishes are surpisingly filling as most of them contain seafood. One without seafood was the vegetable tempura Kakiage which was delicious. Highly recommend the black cod - silken fish in wonderful sauce, perfectly prepared. We had no room to eat dessert but they looked incredible. Service was relaxed and highly professional. Restaurant is beautifully appointed. This is a special occasion restaurant for people who like seafood prepared in a delicate, Japanese style.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Out with the old, in with the new!
    Hawkeye
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    A dear friend took me for dinner to the restaurant that was Iyasare's predecessor. I was going to take another friend there in June when I discovered that another restaurant--Iyasare--had replaced it. My initial friend was very disappointed to hear that as it had been a favorite Berkeley destination, so for her birthday this week, I decided to take her to Iyasare to check out this new restaurant. We were both surprised and pleased by the delicious food and beautiful presentation. The miso soup was terrific and the unagi don was the best I've ever had (and I am an unagi afficionado!) It's a bit expensive for lunch, but fine for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JZeeeeeee
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    We had a great experience! Would definitely return. Expensive, but worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pleasant surprise
    Simpletaste
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Not sure what to expect from this place as dishes from reviews looked interesting but they were all very tasty and delishesh. They ran out of the pork chop just as we ordered it but the waiter recommended the pork bell as an alternative and it was awesome. The dinner started late and we weren't seated until 20 minutes after our reservation but they got the food out quick. We ordered 7 or so dishes to share and they came in the perfect progression. Overall a great food experience to share among friends.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Absolutely divine!
    elephatt
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    I've been here a number of times now, and am always surprised by how much better it gets each time. I love that there's a changing menu - although when I find something I love, I am a little saddened to see it gone. But the food is just so delightful - it's clear that so much care is gone into the preparation and the presentation. This last time we went I especially loved the mentaiko spaghetti. I really had no idea what it was going to be like, but my god! It was some of the best pasta I've ever had - strewn with slices of squid, it was definitely my favorite of the night. I love the creativity they have with their food. I could on and on about it. Pricey? Yes, but one of the few places I think absolutely justifies their costs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Very disappointing after it appeared in S.F. Chronicle's "100 Best" restaurants. Overpriced, ordinary food. Caveat: I've been there only once, for lunch; perhaps the dinner menu is better. I'd be willing to give it a try.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The food was very good, but a bit "chi-chi" - trying too hard to be trendy. The black cod was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service took way too long
    Wein0422
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Third time here. Each time the food was great. This time food was average and the service took so long my wife went home! They comped me the alcohol, which was average anyway. Unfortunately we won't return
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Creative dining
    evecama
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    I thought the food was inventive and delicious. The tempura was my favorite dish of all but every dish was well worth ordering. I was also impressed with the redesign of the space that OChame occupied in the past. It has a lighter and brighter feel now. I will be returning!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • cieline
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    our server was not as good and attentive as the one's we had before. and for a special occasion as our 23rd anniversary and reservation booked way ahead of time, we were seated by the door where it was really cold and seemed to be a place where people without reservation were seated. very disappointed. maybe because we have two kids (14 and 10 year old), but i wished that they had given it more thought to make our dining more special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hit and miss dishes
    SffoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    First time visit did not quite meet our expectations. Sochu Cocktail was excellent and wine by glass selections were very good. Server was attentive but he or the kitchen failed to honor our specific request to only have one dish at a time. We were dining early so it was not necessary to try and rush us. Loved the chicken liver pate special and the steak tartare. Ocean umami was ok but not memorable. What turned out to be the best dish of the night, the agedashi silken tofu, was initially not delivered. We both hated the okonomi pancake,a mess to look at or eat. But restaurant removed this from our bill. Next time we will probably select a sushi bar instead.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • UCgrad
    UCgradVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    The food at Iyasare was a bit disappointing. The ingredients were good, but the taste wasn't memorable. My choices were severely limited by my own dietary issues so I wasn't able to order some of the items that sounded most appetizing. Modifications needed to be made in what I did order so that I could stick to a gluten free diet. Our waiter was very helpful and knowledgeable, helping me make choices that fit my needs. The ambiance of the restaurant is lovely. I probably won't go back because I'm just not a good fit for this restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Only one try so far...
    Glory
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    I've only been for lunch, enjoyed my tempura & Gewürztraminer, would go back, but would need more visits to be definitive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Place
    Hatlady
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    I have had two dinner meals at Iyasare, and have enjoyed them very much. The first time I went was on a week night, so it was quieter, but even though the second time was a Friday night and much more crowded, the food and service made up for the extra noise. I think the food is outstanding and full of interest and pleasant surprises. Have felt well cared for by the wait staff, too - they don't miss anything. I highly recommend Iyasare.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing fusion!
    Adrimac
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    This Japanese restaurant loves to put twists on the traditional dishes from Japan, like tempura fritters made from corn and okra. Very delicious and different. This is a great restaurant to go to if you want some good food with unexpected flavors. It's better if you go with a friend or two to share the dishes so you can order many to give you chance to taste it all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Dining
    DiappointedVIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    I have gone to Iyasare twice, both for special occassions. Both times, my experienc has been wonderful. Service and food are consistently excellent and cocktails are great. Servers are very knowleable about the dishes and give great recommendations. This restaurant has now become one of my favorites and I cannot wait until our next dining experience at Iyasare.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Exceptional
    SirLoinofBeef
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    This was our fourth visit and we continue to have a superb experience every time. Since the menu changes often, I can only say that you can't go wrong with any dish. It's Japanese but with a creative California fusion style. And they have a wine and Sake list that is very well matched in flavor for the food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Solid Fancy Restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Would definitely come back here for a special occasion. Dishes were extremely fancy, well-plated, and delicious. Service was solid, but they did forget our last dish. Fortunately, they deleted it from the bill and gave it to us in a to-go container - very classy move. Ambiance is nice, but somewhat strange chandeliers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • yummee
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Delicious food in a lovely setting in the middle of a vibrant neighborhood shopping area. Staff is very pleasant, the ambiance calm and understated. Noise level was moderate and the subtle décor very pleasant. I have always found the presentation of Japanese dishes a little disjointed. possibly because I have no clue as to the order in which dishes should traditionally be served. I found this also to be the case at Iyasare. This said, all the dishes were beautifully presented and delicious regardless of when they were served. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet