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IYASARE
IYASARE

IYASARE Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.iyasare-berkeley.com
  • Email: info@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
  • "This relaxing oasis on 4th St. amid the bustle of other wonderful shops was a delight. The sushi was completely fresh and the servings were ample. I will definitely go back for more! The prices are a bit higher than other sushi restaurants, but the quality of the food and the lovely atmosphere make up for that."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "The food was excellent, though my companion didn't like the duck as well as I did. The waiters were very nice and conscientious; one youngish one might have given us time for a few more bites before inquiring if we liked it! I will come back with my husband next time. We were big O Chamé fans; it's nice to have such a good replacement. "
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "While the food descriptions are great, the execution was lacking. 2/3 dishes were nothing to rave about and the portions were definitely so small that it had us all asking, "where to go to eat now?" We weren't about to order anything else as it would cost us close to $50 individually to make a dent in our appetite. "
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "The food is deliciously innovative. Large-portioned entrees can easily be shared. Great servers and support staff were there when need and unobtrusive. The interior decorating is superb, and the music fits the ambiance. A treasure of a restaurant I definitely recommend."
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "I really looked forward to lunch after a spectacular review in the newspaper. I had to ask to order as the waitress forgot me even though the restaurant was empty. Food was ok but not spectacular. Generally, I was disappointed..."
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "The food is good but pretty expensive. Our waiter didn't tell us the special we ordered was $30 and when we couldn't finish it and asked for it to be wrapped up...it never returned. We remembered about 30 min after leaving. Everything is very complicated flavor and texture combination. It is good but we longed for something simple to balance out. Even the salad we had was complex. Be careful how you order--though I don't remember anything being simple on the menu. Service was attentive. Noise level is really loud."
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "This time it was Genmaicha tea Edamame Soba soup And great service from Michael. Simple and oh so gooooooood."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Just wonderful!! Everything was just outstanding. We had the uni risotto and found it amazing & the oil poached cod was also off the charts. The entire experience was amazing."
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "I had dinner earlier and found it outstanding so could not wait to return to try lunch. Wonderful as well with delicious rolls & chicken dish was very good. This restaurant stays on my list!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "This is a really special restaurant. Do not go here if you are looking for your neighborhood sushi restaurant... this is a lot more. The service was exceptional - attentive but not over bearing - the food was fresh and really enjoyable. You can really taste all of the ingredients in every dish - no heavy sauces and over cooked products... just good food. Great atmosphere... there were small children there, but I wouldn't categorize this as a family restaurant. You can sit outside on the patio, although it was a little chilly for that the night we were there - will be amazing now / in the summer. We tried all of the recommended dishes and were not disappointed. Great location, great service, great food - highly recommended!"
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "Really great place, interesting flavor profiles. The ocean umami was amazing. Also the seafood pancake the best I have ever had. Service was a little slow but it was nice to not feel rushed and enjoy the company I was with. We ordered 5 dishes for 2 people and left perfectly satisfied, not over full and not hungery. Can't wait to go back and see what else the chef comes up with."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "The flavors are so good - known and unusual at the same time because of the way the flavors are mingled and used - always with a light but sure hand. This is our third visit and Iyasare does not disappoint. Will be continuing favorite for quite some time."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "I have enjoyed Sho Kamio's cuisine at Yoshi's and Ozumo and was very excited to obtain a reservation at his first restaurant as a Proprietor. It was a good experience but somewhat underwhelming. We liked the room and the comfort and warmth exuded by the staff. The waiter was very good and attentive. The foods seemed more pedestrian than I expected. We will be back but it may not be for a while."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The food is very creative--things you don't get in classic Japanese restaurants--and absolutely delicious! Drinks and desserts also outstanding. I wanted almost everything on the menu, and will have to go back soon. A little pricey, but well worth it!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Iyasare is everything a great Japanese restaurant should be, and more. The food is classic yet innovative, simple but impossible to replicate at home, gorgeous to look at with complex subtle taste and textures not found coming from many kitchens. The more part is that the portions are actually generous, especially when each bite is so precious! We got a 9:15 reservation for a Friday night and did not feel at all hurried. I was also relieved that we were not told that they were sold out of anything on the menu, which tends to happen when you come late. The wait staff was quick and did a great job explaining each dish. I would recommend looking at Iyasare's Facebook page to get a good idea of the dishes and what looks interesting before hand."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We ordered five dishes and dessert. This is hands down one of the best meals I've ever had. That herbed cod was transcendent. I can't wait to go back"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "i cannot recommend iyasare enough. it trumps all other dining experiences, and is reasonably priced to boot! the food is exquisitely prepared, menu is inspired, and everything is delicious. some ingenious twists on traditional japanese cuisine that will surprise and delight! and highly recommend the sake cocktails--very refreshing."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "I'd give this restaurant a 4 1/2 stars for food and overall if there was an option. The food is all innovative Japanese food. Please try the vegetable tempura. It is made from shredded vegetables, fried into a pancake and then cut into wedges. It is light and the combination of vegetables were just incredible. The sashimi in a tower is also very good. The pork belly with rice risotto is light and delicious in a light broth. I'm going to be back and recommending it to all my friends. The service is friendly, professional and attentive."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "Food was delicious. Nice presentation, a few flavor twists. Standouts were uni risotto, hamachi carpaccio, green tea, azuki bean dessert."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We loved our dinner at Iyasare but lunch was a letdown. Chef Kamio wasn't in the kitchen and the food loses that exquisite balance he brings to the food. The Kakiage tempura was bigger and thicker, losing the elegant, delicate crispness. Miso had wonderful dashi/miso but again a few too many drops of soya (admittedly excellent quality) lost that fragile balance great Japanese food has. Jidori chicken is generous serving; salmon teriyaki was tiny and couldn't taste any of the hyped marinade/glaze. Kitchen needs to learn not to overcook on that robata; both L/D the meats have come out slightly overcooked. Rice overpriced and miniscule."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Amazing food and Service. The problem is the group table is in the middle of the dining room. That was an unlucky night with 5 super loud people at this group table. The noise level was just unbearable. Not the right spot for a date night. We ended up outside, freezing but the food and service was amazing. Alex"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "This was our second dinner at Iyasare, and this time we brought friends. The food was still great, but portions are too small to share with more than 2 people. Next time, either we double all our orders, or only go as a couple. Our server on this visit seemed a little off - didn't know status of specials, didn't offer much advice on the menu, had wrong info on the sake, didn't get one of our orders in - it seems he needed more training. Too bad, considering our server on our first visit was top notch. Iyasare's menu really benefits from a good waiter who can guide you through your choices. Regardless, we'll be back. The flavors are great!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Clearly a hot spot, bustling, a bit too much so. Despite having reservations, we were given a low-sitting bar table, and then were ignored for the next 15 minutes, except for having someone else's soba soup brought to us and then splashed on my friend as they took it away. We ordered edamame, salad, chirashi and curry rice, which came out quickly (but kind of in the wrong order). The chirashi was outstanding, very fresh, not inexpensive at $16. Curry rice was just what was wanted for a rainy day. Tea was of very high quality but never refilled. After our food was brought to us we were ignored again, until bill was brought to us (un-asked for, and without asking if we wanted dessert or more tea). We will return, hoping for improvement."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "The cuisine at lunch was outstanding. I would highly recommend the restaurant to anyone who appreciates Japanese food."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "The decor is simple, the service also understated, but efficient. Sushi and sashimi extremely fresh and high quality. I have been here twice and prefer the dinner menu, but the more limited lunch menu is quite good. An outstanding addition to Japanesedining in the East Bay. I will definitely return."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "A friend recommended Iyasare and we're so glad he did. It's hard to describe, but suffice it to say, most people have not experienced Japanese food in this style. Each dish was unusual, creative and delicious. And no rice, soy sauce or wasabi in sight. Our favorite was the crab pancake with shavings of dried tuna, which made the dish look as if it was "alive." If it's on the menu, it's not to be missed. Steamed clams, yellowtail carpaccio and cabbage slaw were also outstanding. We chose fruitier white wine selections by the glass to accompany and they did not disappoint. The staff was wonderful about explaining the ingredients. And given the level of the dishes, we thought the prices were reasonable. Will definitely return."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Everything there is outstanding. Can't say enough about the quality of the food. The uni risotto is perfect. Do not leave there without trying the Tokyo Parfait. Out of this world!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "I miss O'Chame but am completely thrilled with it's replacement. The food is the MOST like Japanese food in Japan that I have had in the US. High quality, pure and true flavors, absolutely yummy. Friendly service and very enjoyable Zen setting."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "We had a mixed meal here - some dishes great, others troublesome. Our overall impression was of rich food with very strong flavors. Part of our problem were the dishes we selected but we think the server should have said something. We started with raw scallop and uni salad which was absolutely wonderful - the best dish of the evening. Then we had the eel salad which was nice but lacked bright flavors to off-set the rich eel - more acid in the dressing was needed. The brussell sprouts were flavored with very strong smokey bacon - intensely flavored. The problem was we also ordered clams which had the same flavors - strong bacon - overpowered the clams. We also had the pancake which was good but also rich. Overall dishes need balance."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "As a recent diet change to vegan (due to stage IV cancer diagnosis), I been surprised at how many times I leave a restaurant here in the Bay Area still hungry (due to few vegan choices). This was NOT the case at Iyasare. Incredible tasting food, lots of choices for me and left feeling full. Others with me, who are not vegan, loved their meals as well. Service was spot on. I will go back often and would recommend it to any and all!!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Hands down this is my new favorite restaurant and I am bummed it took me that long to get there. The Umami Ocean appetizer was beautiful, the beet cured trout outstanding, the Maguro tartare addictive, the Uni risotto subtly simple but amazingly bright and the crab Okonomiyaki took what is sometimes called a Japanese pizza was above and beyond any late night snack or street food. The layers of flavor were phenomenal. I know we are going to be back to try more and often. The staff was lovely and informative. Just make sure to make reservations, space is limited and intimate."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Food and service were excellent. Each of the dishes that we ordered had complex flavors which blended well and it was obvious that all of the ingredients were the freshest and best."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Creative, fresh interpretations of Japanese cuisine. We especially loved the tempura, roasted Brussels sprouts, duck, sashimi, beet salad and interesting cocktails which were generously mixed on the strong side. Elegantly designed interior. Front part of the restaurant is very loud, but once we were seated at our booth the sound was much better."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Forget all your wet sushi rolls glopped with virulent green wasabi. Iyasare is NOT that kind of place! This is subtle, exquisite, carefully crafted, high-end Japanese food worthy of the best kaiseski, except that you have a menu to order from and it costs only a little more than those run-of-the-mill teriyaki places. Chef Kamio is really letting loose in his own place and putting the tired Yoshi standards permanently to rest. Get the Kakiage tempura, the beet-cured trout, the amazing French-inspired Unagi Salad. The Uni Risotto is like the mildest, creamiest jook on the planet. Desserts are excellent. The place is very small, so make reservations. Go, go, go!"
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "In a city where there are many outstanding choices for dining, Iyasare is a must. The chef is creative; the food is fresh. The staff is accommodating, anticipating the needs of the diners without being intrusive. All of the dishes we ordered were large enough to share with two to four people. I loved the Dungeness Crab Okonomi Pancake; do not expect iHOP with this superb dish. Everything we ordered was yummy to the max. Make reservations for sure. My only complaint has nothing to do with the dining experience itself: for some reason it was difficult to find the menu online. It may be user-error. Go and enjoy."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "The Maguro tartare was incredible. We celebrated my girlfriend's birthday here and the service was impeccable. Great menu and fantastic sake list. Definitely coming back here"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "A dining experience with a few things that could be better. If you have any plans afterwards, be sure to expect a full two hours to dine. Luckily, we had called and the person on the phone informed us of this and was able to change our reservation. The service was helpful and nice but just didn't visit us that often and it was awhile between courses. They serve in the izakaya style so all the small plates come one at a time. Also the smaller tables around the perimeter of the room are quite close together, so don't plan on any discreet conversations while there. All in all, if you know what you are getting into ahead of time and have the right expectations, you'll enjoy it. The food was really good. We especially liked the tempura."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I went there for lunch a few days ago. The fish is top quality. Salmon, hamachi, maguro, all were very fresh and tasty. Sashimi dish was the best, the hamachi was melt-in-your-mouth good. The rolls were pretty good as well, but the sashimi was better. They could use a few more choices outside of sushi and sashimi for lunch though."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "The food is fantastic at Iyasare. Dish after dish makes you look forward to what is next. The Uni Risotto is rich and decadent. The service is focused and attentive without being intrusive. Definitely will be back to try more beautiful and delicious food."
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "We had lunch outdoors under a giant, spreading plane tree. It was a birthday celebration and the staff did everything to accommodate our eccentric party. The food was perfect for a warm day lunch: light with exquisite taste touches. The ambiance was lovely and the service attentive but not intrusive. Conversation next to us excelled the comfort level at times but that was momentary. The overall experience was a joy for our collection of people."
    Dined on 3/13/2014