Mediocre food and service with small portions at a premium. The restaurant was pretty empty when we arrived at 7pm but they were already out of the fried short ribs. There are better izakaya experiences in the Bay Area.
I went with a friend for dinner before catching a movie at Kabuki. The staff were rushed off their feet although the restaurant wasn't busy. The edamame was tepid and unseasoned and the tempura vegetables were basically shoestring potatoes and onion rings deep fried and oily. We had an eggplant with miso glaze that was again very oily. The room decor is great and it has a following on Yelp. They have an extensive saki list and greasy fried food makes for good bar snacks - for some. Maybe this was a bad night but I would not go back.
Sashimi dishes were fresh and flavorful. Awesome sake. My clients were in Holiday Festive Celebration, and staff was very accommodating. Thank you.
I’d give it 3.5 stars. With a try, it not so good I want to go back.
The restaurant design is refreshing and unique, same with tatami room. There is a $250 minimum for tatami room which seemed high, however, we met the minimum without a problem considering the prices of the dishes and BIG sushi eaters....
I felt the portions were small in comparison to the price tags, but that’s ok since the food was delicious....and beautifully presented.
Yes, I would go back.....
Wonderful surprise after having long given up on getting good Japanese food in Japan town. Had a number of small plates as well as sushi. Reasonably priced, high quality fresh fish and everything was creatively and artfully prepared. Highly recommended.
My server was friendly and helpful. My food was great. I got the sashimi kou and the tobiko Sushi. I’ll put this on my list of places to revisit when I’m in SF.
Our group was going to an evening show at The Fillmore and we were looking for a place that was close to the club. we made reservations at Izakaya Kou because it was right across the street. what a great decision we made. This restaurant has a very nice atmosphere and the food was outstanding. And they served some of the freshest tasting sushi that I have ever had. The others in my group were also very impressed. I look forward to going back here again in the near future.
The quality of the food was terrible.
The agedashi tofu was limp & had little flavor.
The “veggie” tempura was ONLY shoestring fries- NO VEGETABLES; they served a balled-up mass of sweet potato & regular potato, perhaps shoestring onions; the “tempura sauce” didn’t taste like tempura sauce at all- it was foul; luckily, they only provide approx 3 tablespoons of it.
There was no option for salmon belly on the menu.
All the salmon on their menu was farmed; they had no wild caught fish available.
The only reason I went there is that it is next to the Fillmore venue; will not make that mistake again.
I don’t recommend this place for anyone who wants to eat good quality Japanese food.
A very disappointing experience.
Some background: over the last 6 months, I’ve dined here 10-15 times. Before moving to SF a few years ago, I lived in NYC for about 5 years.
Of all the Japanese restaurants in both cities (including Nobu!), this is the best. I’ve found myself comparing Izakaya Kou to restaurants that are 2x as expensive. With some dishes - like the Hamachi (yellowtail) Carpaccio - are of equal quality to Nobu, but at half the price.
But some dishes, notably, the Beef Tataki, are unmatched. No Japanese restaurant on either coast executes this dish so well!
If you need another reason to come, the service is excellent!