1830 Fourth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710Neighborhood:
JapanesePrice: $30 and under
- 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
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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
IYASARE - Best Restaurants in Berkeley ›
IYASARE reviews from OpenTable diners
208 reviews since April 25, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (151)special occasion (105)neighborhood gem (99)great for outdoor dining (78)great for lunch (51)romantic (39)hot spot (26)great for brunch (15)good for groups (13)vibrant bar scene (7)notable wine list (6)kid-friendly (5)late-night find (4)Show More
- Absolutely divine!OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 8/20/2014I'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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 8/19/2014Very 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.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/17/2014The food was very good, but a bit "chi-chi" - trying too hard to be trendy. The black cod was very good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service took way too longWein0422Dined on 8/16/2014Third 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
- Creative diningevecamaDined on 8/16/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- cielineDined on 8/15/2014our 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- hit and miss dishesSffoodieVIPDined on 8/15/2014First 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- UCgradUCgradVIPDined on 8/14/2014The 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.
- Only one try so far...GloryDined on 8/12/2014I've only been for lunch, enjoyed my tempura & Gewürztraminer, would go back, but would need more visits to be definitive.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special PlaceHatladyDined on 8/8/2014I 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:
- Amazing fusion!AdrimacDined on 8/7/2014This 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:
- Excellent DiningDiappointedVIPDined on 8/6/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always ExceptionalSirLoinofBeefDined on 8/4/2014This 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:
- Solid Fancy RestaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 8/3/2014Would 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:
- yummeeDined on 8/3/2014Delicious 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:
- A tad blandshellechDined on 8/2/2014The 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:
- Felt rushedlovesoupVIPDined on 8/1/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Iyasare pleasesOpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 8/1/2014My 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:
- Unique japanese foodLovetoeatDined on 7/27/2014Very 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 7/18/2014Arrangements, food, service all first rate. Special thanks to Aaron, our server. who made the evening particularly enjoyable.Special Features:
- Maybe an off night?ClaudiaDined on 7/16/2014It'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:
- DeliciousfoodiebythebayDined on 7/14/2014My 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/14/2014Food was good, but not great. Pricey and noisy. A bit pretentious. Limited menu.Special Features:
- Superb birthday dinnerjrose8691Dined on 7/13/2014We 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:
- The best meal ever!EvieeatswellDined on 7/12/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pass the seasoning and the cameraMonsieurBongout1Dined on 7/12/2014beautiful 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:
- JanSDined on 7/11/2014We will not return to Iyasare!!! We waited 20-30 minutes for a table and were not happy with the food.
- Good, but beware of specials!eatouttoomuchDined on 7/10/2014Prices 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:
- extremely noisy, food oknycsfdinerDined on 7/5/2014The 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:
- Spectacular Japanese -based foodMnhwVIPDined on 7/5/2014The 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What's missing here?NeverBetterVIPDined on 7/3/2014Food 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unexpectedly Amazing FoodMarinaBayResidentDined on 6/29/2014Fabulous food -- unlike any Japanese place you have ever eaten at. Attentive servers and a lovely ambiance round out the experience.Special Features:
- Kathy WOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/28/2014Food 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.Special Features:
- First time at IyasareJinruigakushaDined on 6/25/2014Having 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great starters, ok entreesburgers2bistrosDined on 6/21/2014Loved 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A delectable adventureOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 6/21/2014The 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!Special Features:
- Unforgettable dishfoodietoodieDined on 6/21/2014The 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Japanese at its finestGigiDined on 6/21/2014This restaurant is like no other, it transports you to a serene Japanese town. The food is authentic, local and delicious.Special Features:
- DisappointingLikesgoodfoodDined on 6/20/2014The 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.Special Features:
- unique dishesrarelyreviewDined on 6/19/2014Unique, 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.Special Features: