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
184 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (136)special occasion (92)neighborhood gem (92)great for outdoor dining (81)great for lunch (46)romantic (36)hot spot (26)good for groups (14)great for brunch (13)kid-friendly (6)vibrant bar scene (5)late-night find (4)notable wine list (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • 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
  • A tad bland
    shellech
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    The dishes were beautiful and interesting sounding, but were surprisingly bland. Certain elements were delicious, such as the red peppercorns on one dish, but didn't blend together as a delightful whole. Two dishes had amazing broths that didn't permeate the main event (cod in one case) and without a spoon to slurp it up or construct an integrated bite, was sadly left pooling on the plate. We wanted to love this place, but left disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Felt rushed
    lovesoupVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    We had a reservation for 7:45 but our table was not ready until about 30 minutes later. However, that was not a problem for us as the host kept us informed that the patrons had paid their bill and were just lingering over conversation and he gracioulsy seated us at the bar. Cocktails were fantastic. But, once seated, our food came very quickly and we felt pressured to leave by our waitress...perhaps she felt compelled to make up the time lost by the previous lingering guests. My food was great (beet marinated trout and then scallops) but orders by others in the party were not memorable.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Iyasare pleases
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    My daughter and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the patio. The peach salad was perfect. The miso/ramen noodle dish was delicious. The tea selections were lovely as was the green tea ice cream.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unique japanese food
    Lovetoeat
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Arrangements, food, service all first rate. Special thanks to Aaron, our server. who made the evening particularly enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Maybe an off night?
    Claudia
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    foodiebythebay
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    Food was good, but not great. Pricey and noisy. A bit pretentious. Limited menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Superb birthday dinner
    jrose8691
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The best meal ever!
    Evieeatswell
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pass the seasoning and the camera
    MonsieurBongout1
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JanS
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We will not return to Iyasare!!! We waited 20-30 minutes for a table and were not happy with the food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good, but beware of specials!
    eatouttoomuch
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • extremely noisy, food ok
    nycsfdiner
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic