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IYASARE
IYASARE

IYASARE Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.iyasare-berkeley.com
  • Phone: (510) 845-8100
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Mon, Wed-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 seatingContinued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Very good and interesting combinations. I've been here for lunch and dinner. Lunch was nothing special. Dinner was very special. Portions could be a little larger."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Arrangements, food, service all first rate. Special thanks to Aaron, our server. who made the evening particularly enjoyable."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "It's a beautiful restaurant, but the dismissive service and uneven but excessively precious composition of the dishes made it a less-than-ideal experience. We had the ahi, which was the best dish we had. The fish was fresh and the accompaniments were pristine. If everything else had followed suit we would have been thrilled. The vegetable tempura is really a frittata and while the flavors were good it was oily. The fish poached in oil was delightful one half of the filet, and the other half was mushy to the point of being inedible. The waitress plunked the dishes down, and picked them up without addressing us any more than she strictly had to. Not rude, but we felt invisible. The sparkling sake was delicious. Maybe it was an off night."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "My girlfriend and I celebrated our anniversary in a vibrant yet intimate local hot spot. All of the dishes were delicious. My lovie raved about the Brussel Sprouts. It was a taste explosion. I loved the seafood pancake with the flakes. We will definitely come back!"
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Food was good, but not great. Pricey and noisy. A bit pretentious. Limited menu."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "We had an exquisite dinner at Iyasare. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. Entrees were large and we could have share one entree -- with a couple of small plates in addition. The service was leisurely, but we appreciated not feeling rushed and enjoyed having time in between courses to talk. Salmon was among the best I have ever eaten. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "The food and service were great! I went one day for lunch and truly enjoyed the meal. I returned the next evening with friends for dinner. The food is creative, flavorful, cooked to perfection.... wonderful. Portions very satisfying. the knowledgeable wait staff recommended the most ideal wines to complement our wonderful food. Saturday nights can be quite busy. We came on time for our reservation, but ended up waiting for almost 30 minutes for a table. They were very apologetic and considerate,offered us sake and made us feel welcomed. We ended up being the last party to leave at the end of the evening. They never rushed us or made any comments or gestures to move us out. This place now tops our list of favorite restaurants!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "beautiful presentation but flavors underwhelming and a bit pricey. someone said that there are only 2 great cuisines in the world, french and chinese, and all other good cuisines are based on their sauces and recipes. i rather agree. i love japanese--- and mexican, but generally find that the most simple, cheapest versions are the best; the more you add in ingredients, the worse it is."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "We will not return to Iyasare!!! We waited 20-30 minutes for a table and were not happy with the food."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Prices here are generally reasonable, but the server failed to mention the price of the specials, which, in our case was $48 (!)... It was good fish, but we definitely would have opted for something else had we known the price."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "The food at Iyasare relied too much on fusion methods rather than highlighting the wonderful aspects of Japanese cuisine. That being said, almost all of our dishes, we had 11 items between the four of us, had moments of tastiness but lacked the complexity of really good food. For example, the tempura dishes (we had both) lacked crispness and the sauces were bland instead of offering the umami flavors. Part of the issue is that Iyasare blends Korean and other Asian flavors/sauces with the Japanese that produce unbalanced and average dishes. If you want real Japanese food , I can't recommend Iyasare. In addition, we visited on a Saturday night and the place was a mad house. We could barely hear our friends at the table it was so loud."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "The main danger with this place is getting really popular. The food is innovative subtle and just plain delicious I highly recommend for people that love Asian food for anyone looking for new flavor and lots of vegetables Yum! My favorite is the kakiage and the cocktails are terrific too."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Food was fine but nothing special. Service was lackluster, the servers conversation with the kitchen about the World Cup was apparently more important than greeting and offering water. Once we had contact w/ server after 15 minutes the service was lacadasical. Not inclined to repeat."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Fabulous food -- unlike any Japanese place you have ever eaten at. Attentive servers and a lovely ambiance round out the experience."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Food was fabulous. Specifically recommend the tempura. It is shredded veggies of all kinds combined and cooked like potato pancakes. Great dipping sauce. Secondly, try the black cod. The flavor was out of this world. Each plate was a work of art. We had 6 plates and were thrilled with baby sprouts, red pepper berries, sesame seeds and purred edamame. All so different in flavor and visually. Foodies, this is the place for you. If you only have an hour to dine, go elsewhere. It takes two hours here."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Having long frequented O Chame, we looked forward to Iyasare and were surprized at how busy it was after such a short time. We liked the welcome and the seating (same old booth), a little puzzled by the menu and the drinks. Waiter - hakujin - didn't seem to know too much about Japanese drinks or foods, but was very nice. The main dishes were a lot more 'fusion' than we expected, and so were the drinks, but they were very good. Service was a bit slow in noticing a request."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Loved the Ocean Umami starter. Could have had several plates of that- shiso leaf (unlisted ingredient) made the dish. Anchovy Tempura nicely battered and fried - gobo shavings yummy, but not enough beans and squash to balance out the anchovies, though. Pistachio encrusted asparagus was surprisingly yummy, scallops with it nicely seared and still juicy. The pork belly not up to snuff--a little dry, pedestrian flavor. Coffee ice cream sesame sandwich was very tasty. The deconstructed peach pie's white peaches (only 3 small bites) were amazing with accompanying basil leaf a perfect compliment; should have been served at least 1/2 the peach. Accompanying cashew butter was dry and too heavy; graham cracker clusters and cookies added nothing."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The ingredients were fresh, succulent, perfectly prepared and cooked and combined in such unique ways it indeed made the meal an adventure. The asparagus encrusted with pistachios wowed our foursome and the tempura vegetables with tiger shrimp was a favorite of all. Thanks!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The special that night, an elaborate fried crispy flounder, was just out of this world. Paired with a carafe of warm sake, it was the perfect combo. I don't know what the chefs put in it, but i was craving that dish badly the following day!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "This restaurant is like no other, it transports you to a serene Japanese town. The food is authentic, local and delicious."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The service was excruciatingly slow. Our order did not come out at the same time. Some people ate while others waited. Our entrees did not arrive until 1.5 hours after we placed our order. Serving sizes were good but ridiculously overpriced."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Unique, interesting expertly crafted dishes. Wonderful food experiences made from mundane or even icky ingredients. Prices are highish and portions are small, but compared to what? Would be a great date, except room is a little too noisy to intimate. Highly recommended for foodies or when looking for a unique experience."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "A group of 6 of us were able to share two salads, two mid-sized plates and 3 entrees, including two specials and the flat iron steak. The cocktails using sake were fabulous and the entrees were delicious. We particularly enjoyed the Kakiage tempura with and without the tiger shrimp."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Beautiful presentation, great combinations of flavors, perfect timing for serving the various dishes we ordered. A perfect choice for our anniversary dinner (or any other dinner!)."
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "We found the presentation to be amazing and the squid was the best I've ever had. However the other sishes were loaded with salt."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "We party of five return to Iyasare a second time to celebrate Faher's Day as we enjoyed the very fresh and unusual dishes. Raw fish very fresh and seasoning is terrific. The tempura pancake with shrimp is outstanding as well. Portions are small, however, given the very pricy prices!! Our favorite dessert out of four is the fresh berries with sparking sake!!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "I took my parents to Iyashare for Father's Day and it was excellent. The food was excellent. The restaurant is clean, beautiful, and quite quaint. I will return for dinner some day."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Wonderful food and attentive service! We'll definitely come back here."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Wonderful food, thoughtfully prepared particularly enjoyed the unami appetizer and fried brussel sprouts. Corvina was glorious. Service impeccable."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "imagine a most perfect meal, totally inspired and amazing food, and would have iyasare. though we would need to add impeccable and fun, very unstuffy, service. all so welcoming--staff and food. stellar experience!!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Had four dishes and each were very tasty -- cast iron pan seared scallops, anchovy tempura, hamachi, and octopus. Definitely worth a return visit! The staff was very attentive and well-versed on each dish on the menu. Plating very nice. The potato salad that accompanied the octopus seemed a bit out of place but tasty nonetheless."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "As far as Japanese cuisine goes, the food was good but certainly not above average. I am not inspired as I had hoped to be. Bay area Japanese food does not even closely compare to the food of Los Angeles."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "We came for lunch and spent two hours at the table as our dishes dribbled in. We ordered: 1) a bowl of soba noodles, 2) edamame, 3) two sashimi plates, 4) two rolls. The edamame showed up promptly. Great! The bowl of soba showed up about 10 minutes later. Great! Then the wait began. One of the rolls showed up about 15 minutes later. About 15 minutes after that, the waitress came by with a plate of carrots and cabbage to apologize, but then we waited some more. Finally, one of the sashimi plates arrived We had a bad feeling that the waitress maybe only ordered one and we didn't correct her as we really wanted to get out. After finishing the sashimi, we thought we were finished when the host brought our last roll. Strange."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Innovative yet classic...thoughtful. Experience is courteous and delightful from service, presentation, taste to quality. They run a very efficient restaurant that used to be the old ochame.....the servers are obviously well trained in the qualities of each dish and which adds to the experience. Look forward to how they evolve as every time we go, we're delighted to find yet another new twist to an already amazing creation. "
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Second visit in one week? This never happens. I loved the soba noodle soup with shrimp tempura. I feel like I finally found THE place for my Japanese noodles cravings. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Both my sister and I are food lovers and were so impressed with this restaurant which replaced Ochame. The food was tasty and exciting to eat, each plate an artistic marvel. The waitress was amazing, answering in detail any questions we might have. I have surprised how many customers were present for a weekday lunch. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Iyasare proved just as excellent in our second dining experience. Very creative dishes, especially the Uni Risotto! Typically, we aren't fans of Uni, but this was a perfect dish and the Uni was outstanding. The Chawan Mushi (sp?), was also outstanding. We opted for the Hamachi Kama instead of the fried Bronzino (which we loved on a previous visit). and it was perfectly prepared and quite large. All in all, another very good dining experience at this still new restaurant on 4th Street. "
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "Outstanding food and service. Grilled oysters and octopus, and sashimi chojang, were excellent. "
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "I was a little said when Ochame closed down but now I'm happy to have Iyasare in this spot. We ordered rock burdock and shrimp tempura, tofu salad and hamachi roll. The salad and the roll were nothing special, a little forgettable. The burdock tempura was outstanding. Definitely will be back to try the rest of the menu"
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "As other have noted the food is fantastic, the squid and the tofu were wonderful. Inside seating is way too loud, my spouse and I had to talk very loudly to hear one another. We asked to be moved outside and the host/manager launched into this circular double-speak about how the outside seating was only available for walk-ins or if we had reserved it but not for those with reservations....The kitchen only let one dish out every 20 minutes and our waiter was sweet but not good. Not sure if we'd go back, would only sit outside and would hope for better service."
    Dined on 5/25/2014