Izakaya Kou

4.5
233 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Japanese
Izakaya Kou is taking the idea of the traditional Izakaya and turning it into the modern gathering place where we offer high quality Japanese fusion tapas and various unique drinking beverages in a comfortable, modern and fashionable atmosphere. It is a place where people can linger with good friends, good food, and drinks in the heart of San Francisco.

*Happy Hour, Tues-Thur from 5:30 to 6:30PM*

If you would like to reserve a Tatami Room, please be advised, each room requires a $250 minimum with 3 hours use of the space. The largest room, seating up to 8 is a $350 minimum.

Parties of 6 and more, please contact the restaurant directly between the hours of 4pm-10pm.

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Sun 5:30PM - 6:00PM 8:00PM - 9:00PM
Tue - Thu 6:30PM - 6:45PM 8:00PM - 9:30PM
Fri - Sat 5:30PM - 6:00PM 8:00PM - 9:00PM

What 233 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AJ
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

No crab, only imitation.
Most rolls come with heavy sauces like spicy mayo.
Sake and unagi sushi were the only delicate part of our dinner!
Nice place, good service and atmosphere but food is average.

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RL
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The sushi is very fresh and they do an excellent job with flavor. We got the sashimi sampler that had yellow tail, salmon and tuna and we liked it so much we ended up ordering another one! They have a great list of sake. I will definitely be back!

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IK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It is very nice ! Delicious :) you want to try everything if you go there :) the quality of food and also the team were perfect :) googogogoo without hesitation

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RL
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is a great place for a date or to catch up with a friend. The sushi was delicious. Presentation of the food was really well done. The Chilean Sea Bass was amazing. We also got the assortment of sushi and it was all very fresh and very tasty. I will definitely go back!

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of our favorite places. However, they were out of the hamachi collar. This was our reason for coming so super disappointed they advertised it and then didn’t deliver. Otherwise, this place is top notch.

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d
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was great!

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Really excellent fresh and unusual (to me) tastes and textures. Great lively and low key atmosphere. A memorable evening

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M
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We visited after a show at Fillmore across the street, so it was close to last seating and atypically quiet. Although it was last order shortly after seated, service was extremely efficient yet didn't feel rushed. Maybe the sashmis were served a bit too cold, but the quality of the food was great. Well-flavored Chicken Nanban, juicy eggplant, etc etc. I had forgotten how good the food was here, and happy to have returned.

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A
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Nice place and relatively speedy service but the noise level is unbearable. Is there a reason for blasting the music *so* loud? I can't think of any. You are a restaurant, not a club. We asked them to take the volume a notch down so that we can have a conversation with our friends and we were ignored. Good place but we're not rushing back any time soon.

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E
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Amazingly plated food with a lot of care given to flavor. Wonderful atmosphere perfect for date night.

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TS
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Not impressed is my best summary. Food was okay, but kind of greasy. The prices were reasonable. The service was on the slow side. Restaurant was only half full. It wasn’t a bad meal, but I also don’t plan on going back again.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The food is delicious and menu selection is fantastic. Service was spotty, perhaps because it was a busy Friday night. We had to ask for basic things, like soy sauce dishes and water refills. We were put in a booth/room, which was nice, but they didn't tell us we had a 1 hour limit. So, when we asked for dessert, they said we didn't have time, and rushed us to pay. Oddly, we then waited 10 minutes to get our credit cards picked up and returned. Would have been nice to have our dessert, while we waited.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great services and nice private room

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LW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Unfortunately we were looking forward to this restaurant… First of all, the food came all at once with our soup and appetizers and could barely fit on the table. Our bottled sake was just put on the table and never even opened or poured. We were never asked how we were doing and even had to get up and ask for our check. The waitstaff looked frantic and stressed and so we were uncomfortable. The food was OK, but nothing to write home about.

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ML
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Restaurant named "Izakaya" that doesn't actually offer izakaya. WTH.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Too much sauce on each dish

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Hamachi collar was exceptionally delicious. One of the best things on the menu.

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N
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Honestly not the type of person to write bad reviews, or reviews at all for that matter.

This place was disappointing to me. I found it through Yelp and choose it based on the number of stars, then booked through OpenTable where I have been asked to review.

The ambiance is great, but the food is mediocre. The okonamiyaki was an overpriced waste and was far from a good representation of the actual dish. The pickled veggies were straight out of a package, sparse and pricey for what they were. I don't mind paying equally for an in-house version. Those were my two biggest complaints. I'm not here to ramble on.

This is just not authentic or a well done version of an izakaya.

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OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Went with a girlfriend before a concert. Rolls were a little limited in selection. Miso was delicious and nigiri was amazing. Would definitely go back for another get together or a date night.

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NL
San Francisco
46 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We booked a tatami room for a friend’s get together. Was so fun to have a private space to sit and enjoy each other’s company! Food was fun and flavorful. Would go back for sure!

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s
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an amazing birthday dinner because the staff at Izakaya Kou are AMAZING. We are so grateful for their excellent service x for helping us with our request. Birthdays are now a tradition here.

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NY
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great location as we were going to a concert at The Fillmore. The food and service were excellent. We got seated quickly and served in good time. I would go back for sure

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

very trendy interior and food plating. music is good to have fun with friends or girl friend too. foods are more like Japanese plus asian fusion but made me to remind popular izakaya in tokyo, Japan. loved it. a lot of sake lists and wines also. i will definitely be back with friends!!!

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OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The sushi was fresh and delicious

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MR
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

I was seeing a show at the Fillmore and I had been here before but I remembered it being tasty. But the food was so bad and the service was worse. We had to flag a waiter down to take our order after waiting 5 minutes with our menus down. I asked for soy sauce 3 times, then suddenly a server was ready to clear the (not very fresh) 4 piece carpaccio away with 1 piece remaining. Had to ask for water refills, etc. The tuna bomb dish was absurd. It was a ball of spicy tuna, onion, sprouts, mayo wrapped in avocado and covered in a sticky sweet soy and taro chips - with a sparkler in it like it was a birthday dessert. So odd. And disgusting. Didn’t finish it. The black cod miso and dengaku miso were so oily it ruined both dishes. They put some kind of chocolate drizzle on the mochi which also seemed unnecessary. Mango and chocolate just don’t mix. It’s a cool spot with the tatami rooms but whoever runs this place seriously doesn’t know anything about food or how to run a restaurant. There’s so many good restaurants in SF, I really feel cheated out of an opportunity to try a better place. It will be closed soon.

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L
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic food, really helpful and accommodating staff, so convenient before a concert at the Fillmore!
Would not have known about this place without open table! Only change have been great to have cushions on the hardwood chairs!
Will be back when not rushed before a show!

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PP
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 2

Grabbed a quick dinner here with my boyfriend before seeing a show at The Fillmore (it's right across the street). We showed up a little early in the evening so it was still pretty empty but we got sat in a back corner of the restaurant right in front of the back kitchen which wasn't ideal. The food however was really well priced for sushi in SF. I'd highly recommend the scallops and Red Dragon Roll. Will definitely eat here again next time I'm in the neighborhood.

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MK
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were visiting from out of town and wanted to try a local Japanese restaurant. This was excellent! The staff was very accommodating of us.

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OT
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

I personally prefer authentic Japanese food. This restaurant is more Asian fusion. The food is fair but a little bit overpriced. Black cod is great.

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TH
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a wonderful time and food was worth the price. Good value!

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CW
New England
4 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Is advertised as an izakaya, but does not serve yakitori except for some average tsukune. Beef tartare was cooked (though tasted okay). Beer was cheap during happy hour. Bad electro music was blaring. Takowasabi tasted tired. All in all, not worth the money. There are much better places to eat in Japantown

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SH
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really tasty sushi, super authentic. All of the dishes we ordered were really good (especially recommend the Kou bomb. For rolls, we loved the spicy tuna rolls, and the red dragon and caterpillar rolls were great too).

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hands down Amazing.

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JY
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

The new menu didn’t meet the expectations. We enjoyed the old menu better with more yakitori and skewers

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AA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Not the best experience. Food is decent, but service was pretty bad. They only saved themselves from a 2-star with a proper comp for something that they just forgot about.

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d
San Francisco
67 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Wonderful, as always. Super fun way of delivering tappan to the table! Fun to try Sparkling Sake.
Very trendy. The manager was so helpful finding me a table after I was misadvised to come even tho I was late for my reservation.

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O
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Been here many times. Service good and was as good as ever this time, but our favorite food was not available at 10pm. What we found was that the our favorites like Okonomiyaki and a couple other dishes are great, but honestly, the rest of the menu is mediocre and not worth the money. I recommend this restaurant, but not later at night when they have a limited menu.

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P
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Though not super comfortable, the interior is pleasant. The service was surprisingly fresh and the staff seemed concerned that we were enjoying ourselves. Food choices all good. Highly recommend Brussels sprouts, Grilled seabass w/ dry miso and yuzu sauce, and the buttered scallops. Hamachi sashimi incredibly fresh and well sliced, but the hamachi nigiri was disappointing.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

It was so noisy! High ceilings and loud music. Why don’t the ceilings have some kind of noise proofing?

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OT
Sydney / NSW
2 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Great service, the staff were very attentive. The food quality, very average. The food was similar standard to what you can buy on the street however this food comes with a premium price tag

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