IYASARE
IYASARE

IYASARE

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.iyasare-berkeley.com/
  • Phone: (510) 845-8100
  • 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

If there is no reservation available at your desired time, please call the restaurant. We accept phone bookings for our communal table, Chef's table and patio.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
IYASARE reviews from OpenTable diners
190 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.5
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (160)neighborhood gem (109)great for outdoor dining (96)special occasion (85)great for lunch (62)romantic (45)hot spot (28)great for brunch (12)good for groups (12)kid-friendly (8)notable wine list (8)vibrant bar scene (5)late-night find (3)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Delicious
    lopolsby
    Dined on 11/24/2014
    While the food continues to be scrumptious, the service at Iyasare has not improved. We asked for iced tea but then had to ask twice more before we received it. Eventually, my friend's hot tea was served by a man who appeared to be a manager. In their defense, they were extremely busy but still... The service has been lackadaisacal on quite days as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Fantastic
    veryhappydiner
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    I wish i still lived in Berkeley. I'd have lunch here daily. I loved O'Chame and now love this charming restaurant that has taken its place. I've been three times in the last two weeks.. Most unusual and delicious food..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Seafood yes, ramen meh
    ccfood
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    I love Iyasare, especially their magic with fish. But this was a lunch visit, and the ramen was just ok (especially compared to Ramen Shop)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Inventive food- some great, some not
    Willingandappreciative
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Okonomi Pancake was a great combination of flavors and textures. Buta-Charshu was exactly what one expect a good pork dish to taste, the clamps tends to be dried, but the flavor is fantastic. Agedashi Tofu has a great accompaniment of veggie and broth, but the tofu was just barely warm; the contrast of the crunchiness of freshly deep fried tofu with a steamy hot soft center was not found here Hamachi Crudo, was very fresh, a thin cut of fish with a good sauce. Ocean Umami was an interesting combination, but too scarce to be experienced for its full flavor. We would have loved to taste the uni more, but there is only a hinted amount. The dish was artistically presented, but it is just too precious, and it set the tone of the dinner. Overall, we left quite full and satisfied enough. The server was helpful and arrange the order of our food very well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Try Iyasare for a perfect lunch
    NB61
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed an excellent lunch at Iyasare. The baby kale salad with apples was delicious, as was the CHICKEN KARA-AGE (fried chicken) with slaw. But the show-stopper was the KAKIAGE TEMPURA burdock root / yellow onion / sweet potato / shungiku / shiitake / bonito soy broth, with the black tiger shrimp. This was so unexpected I hesitate to describe it. Just take a chance and order! It's a very pretty space, pleasant service, and wonderful food. We can't wait to have dinner here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Iyasare specializes in small plates
    Lovetoeat
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Iyasare specializes in small plates. Not many and not really enough to eat unless you have at least three or more. Lunch for two is about $65 with tip. There are few additions to the menu and since opening last December the manu has been static. It is an interesting restaurant but the chef should vary the menu more.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Our black cod was served mushy, the consistency of mashed potatoes, rather than firm the way it is supposed to be. the kitchen should have noticed that the preparation was substandard. However, the dish was served nonetheless. Our waiter was responsive and offered to prepare another piece, but reported that the kitchen felt that the fish was substandard and took it off the menu. the staff and management were very responsive and waived the cost of one of the two cod entrees we had ordered. They should have removed both entree prices from the bill. But the kitchen staff should not have served the fish in the first place. Other than that bad dish, the food is inventive, well presented and tasty. However some of the entrees, (the kobe beef and the daily special at $48 )are too expensive and not good values for the price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good food
    StevAVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    good food and assorted choices but portions small so hard to share overall nice place for lunch
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • stellar food
    Fish
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    We took a friend out for her birthday and Iyasare was a winner. Incredibly fresh and innovative cuisine. Great service. Delicious dessert. It is a great restaurant for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • too expensive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    food was scarce and the prices where high, while the doog was pretty good I don't think it justifies the insignificant quantities served
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A delightful fun meal
    xtrmtrkVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Every course was beautiful and delicious. The foundation for the food is obviously Japanese, but I loved the California and french influences. I'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • inventive and ambitious menu
    scoles
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    * BEET CURED OCEAN TROUT - unbelievable - the star of the meal - tasted like sashimi * OKONOMI PANCAKE - bonito really strong - just ok but presentation was cool with bonito flakes “alive" * UNI RISOTTO -ours was a sea urchin - very heavy on sea urchin flavor - wasn't crazy about * Kakuni - shochu & sweet braised pork belly/ soy cured egg/ spinach - pork belly broth was great; everything else pedestrian * Unagi & Belgian Endive salad w/ roasted beet puree - puree was nice and unagi great but salad not really dressed * Kakiage Tempura - another pancake - this was tasty Drinks: Semillion - very good but light on pours Tokyo Drifter - good but not great - a bit light
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • eat2liveVIP
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    One of our party was gluten intolerant. Our waiter marked up the menu for us by checking the items on the menu that were safe (a lot of choices). We had a sumptuous meal with extremely attentive help.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Innovative Cal-Japanese Fusion Find
    winewisedon
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Excellent cuisine served by a knowledgeable staff. Great pacing even on a busy night. Good wine list augmented by an outstanding offering of sakes. Beautiful plating of high quality seafood and meat dishes. Desserts are not overlooked and are a fine way to end the meal. Can be noisy when full. Outside seating even on brisk evenings is pleasant due to the abundance of gas patio heaters. A great addition to the East Bay dining options.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FoodloverVIP
    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
  • This place has everything.
    Glory
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    2nd time for lunch, this time some salmon and a delicious grüner veltliner, fresh and crisp, perfect for the light food. It is such a relief to find a restaurant where one can talk. A quiet, relaxing ambience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 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
  • DIFFERENT BUT VERY GOOD!
    OpinionatedVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Enjoy the meal very much, unusual flavors and textures. Worth while for the adventurous and experienced eater.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • 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