Very interesting menu with lots of attention to combining flavors and textures like with the bacon mochi which was crunchy and toast and also a bit gooey from the mochi. I love the mentaiko spaghetti which is creamy and spicy and has pollock row for texture. Good wine list and interesting cocktails.
Terrific Japanese food— wonderfully fresh fish. Excellent selection of sakes and imaginative cocktails. Lovely room, great service.
Been here many times and food always good a service very friendly, one thing that can be improved on is the selection of the music, trying to have a quiet dinner requires a much softer music than what is usually good for disco.
Amazing all around! And the owner, Sho Kamio is a very humble talented chef and business owner!
On a sunny but chilly day, Iyasare tends to be chilly also. Special mixed seafood with rice bowl good but not great. Vegetarian ramen very fresh tasting, clean flavors. Gome Ae starter (geeens with sesame seeds) a bit weedy tasting. Good wine list.
We thought it was good not great. We didn’t go away unhappy, but also won’t be back given all the other great choices around.
This restaurant uses the freshest ingredients. Their plates are beautifully presented. Servers are knowledgeable and attentive without being bothersome. The restaurant is beautiful and in a great location. I highly recommend it.
From the moment we got there service was rushed and we were pushed to order more food as the kitchen was closing shortly. The restaurant was full and we had received less than half of the food we ordered. Overpriced for what was basically Japanese tapas. Food was just ok and won’t be returning.
Excellent food and drinks no the tradicional dishes that you find in other JAPANISE restaurants
Iyasare is an excellent restaurant with imaginative turns on traditional dishes. The staff is knowledgable without being condescending. When I dined with friends there two days ago, we enjoyed our meal, though there was some concern that the main eggplant dish did not use Japanese eggplant. I’m disappointed that they have put in place a draconian credit card reservation policy that charges $25/person for no shows or changes after 48 hours before the res. It’s a very popular restaurant, always full with people waiting — is this policy gaining more than losing in customer loyalty?
Iyasare is always tasty but especially when the chef is in the kitchen. This time he wasn’t so a couple of the dishes were less presentable than normal. The eggplant marinated in miso was just ok and it had way too much miso paste on the finished dish. The tempera with shrimp was a little sloppily presented. The best dish was the duck confit risotto. Very tasty.
Excellent food and presentation
Great Japanese bowls and sushi and tempura
did not like the tempura, preferred "traditional" tempura.
Very helpful service, gave us lots of recommendations on dishes and sake to pair, even helped me with taking photos (the lighting was really dim so my pictures didn't turn out that well.)
The sashimi dishes were all delicious albeit a bit sparse. Loved the creativity of how they prepared the special fish dish and the NASU MISO (eggplant dish).
Probably my least favorite dish was the OKONOMI, it just didn't have as much crunch or flavor as I compared to the one I had in Tokyo, Japan.
I've been to Iyasare many times. Always, always on top!!
My husband and I took our son and daughter-in-law out for a late dinner. It had been awhile since we had been to Iyasare and chose it. We really have to think about restaurants since my son's recent marriage to a pescatarian.
Iyasare did not disappoint. We had the kakiage w/shrimp which is a family favorite. We loved the Ocean Umami – the tastes were amazing! Other hits were the beet cured trout, portabella & unagi, the maguro tataki, and the fuyu sorbet. Good but not outstanding were the gindara and the nasu miso. Each dish was elegantly presented - a feast for the eyes as well.
Iyasare has nice booths which are great for a small group. Noise level was fine and we could hear each other well without shouting – that is so unpleasant in many eateries.
We are looking forward to our next meal there.
The food was extraordinary. We ordered 4 small dishes for 2 people (plus 2 deserts), which was plenty. The first dish was a raw scallop creation that was so delicious I almost fell off my chair. The blend of flavors and textures was awesome. The sea eel tempura was also excellent. Dungeness crab custard was really unique. The custard somehow captured the essence of the aroma of the sea, without being intrusive. The crab pieces were rich and firm. The deserts were also wonderful. Service was efficient but friendly. Cocktails and mocktails were a treat. Definitely worth a journey.
After our cooking dinner for 30 guys at C.U.R.A.'s half way house in Oakland, my cooking pal and I went to Iyasare one of our favorite lunch places in the East Bay. We had Sea Salt Edamame, a small pot of Genmaicha, for entrees she had Roasted Salmon and I had the Spicy Sashimi Salad, and we finished with the Mochi ice cream (one strawberry, one green tea).
We at inside for a change. Outside is so much fun but sometimes you need some variety. Each of the elements of the meal was fabulous, which is what we've come to expect over the years.
A special shout on the service side to the greeter, Eden, who found a table for us even though we were 30 minutes early to our reservation. And she noticed our credit cards on the table at the end of the meal, scooped 'em up, and brought us the bills so we could do our shopping. Nicely done, Eden!
Delicious, refined Japanese cuisine. Fresh, healthy and delightful
Fantastic meal, everything delicious. Attentive and informed service. A+
Our previous experience was at higher rating... service not personal as prior.... food was flavorful as expected.
Spectacular! Favorites: ocean Umami, Kakiage Tempura with Shrimp, and Duck Risotto. The deserts were stunning. Had a delicious “80”’sake and a Hitachino white beer.
My favorite restaurant in the world!
Great location! Awesome service and attention to detail. Restaurant is wonderfully designed with a cozy vibe. Definitely will be back!
Probably our fault for choosing our order, but it was all so rich. Server might have advised us to help balance with some lighter fare. Still, all very tasty.
My main complaint this visit was the tea. They really need to get Teance to train them in making eat. Specifically, what temperature water is appropriate for which tea 9it was WAY too hot for the tea selected), and they should serve it in a vessel that lets you remove the tea leaves once it has steeped - not in a big tea pot that only strains out as you pour. A 2-3 cup tea pot will not all fit into one or 2 4-ounce cups. So the tea leaves sat in the way-too-hot water for way too long.
Also - much too noisy for a special occasion out.
I have been to Japan three times, and I love the food. IYASARE fills the bill in this regard.
Service was attentive and knowledgeable. The cocktail list was novel and good. Many dishes to choose from -- as I saw the servers carrying orders to other tables I wished I could have all those interesting dishes.
Great service, great food
Very interesting Japanese food, delicious. Savory smoked mochi appetizer! Be adventurous and taste this !
My favorite restaurant!
Amazing food. Noise level was too high. We had a large party (7) so it was hard to hear over the acoustics.
The food and service was amazing! I was thrilled to find celiac-safe gluten free Japanese food. The staff was extremely knowledgable and helpful. A dream come true! I normally cannot eat out safely at any Asian restaurant. I've told everyone I know and will definitely return.
Excellent food and service
The food is exceptionally prepared and not the usual Japanese cuisine. Enjoyably delicious in spite of people being loud for a lunch crowd. I went here when it first opened and the wait time was awful and the service nearly as bad. Twice in the past month I've had meals , lunch only, and everything was smooth and memorable. I'd go back every day, but it's on the pricey side.
Beautiful setting. Service staff excellent. Food delicious. Good value.
These folks do a great job. Really solid menu. Really fresh fish. Excellent service. Desserts are a bit disappointing. Definitely a place to seek out. Also great for lunch!
Iyasare never disappoints. Delicious, fresh Japanese food. Not your average sushi place. The offer composed plates of supremely fresh seafood, tender lettuces, lovely dressings. The fried chicken and the fried burdock are our favorites! Service is very professional and attentive. We often go for lunch. Makes a perfect break after wandering around Fourth Street in Berkeley.
Really special food. This time we had the seaweed salad (intriguing, delicious) and their famous tempera, this time with shrimp added. Their tempera is lots of vegetables in a crispy coating that tastes better than any tempera I've had before. The addition of shrimp gave it body and another texture to enjoy. If you don't have wine, the prices are very reasonable. With wine, prices are still below average for a standout restaurant.
superb all the way -around as we enjoyed our outdoor lunch with propane heater on lovely 4th st We will return soon!
the Tempura is a signature dish! try it!
Iyasare is always a favorite! It can be noisy inside, but their outdoor seating is still comfortable with their heaters, even in December.
Full flavor of the ocean. We ordered a special whole crab - presented with a risotto served in the shell of the body, flavored with the crab fat and topped with uni and ikura - wow! Before the crab we started with the Ocean Umami which is a small starter but full of intense delicious sea flavor. Next we had the Kakiage tempura that provided more substance and a delicious earthy flavor profile. The cocktails were very good - we can recommend the Japanese Gimlet, and the Smoked Pear. I also asked the bartender for a whiskey based drink and he prepared the best I've had in a long time made of rye, cognac and some magic juju. Highly recommend!
What memories! Just like ratatouille. I used to buy the same salmon eggs served with the Umami plate at a bait shop on San Pablo Ave and Appian Way. And the Okonani pancake smelled just like the bait I used to dress my hook with for fishing in the San Pablo Bay. What a treat is was to actually taste it!
Fishing comparisons aside, this was the worst meal I’ve had in a long time. It did actually remind me teen years living in Pinole and I told my wife “now I know what fish bait actually tastes like”. I can’t remember the last time I told a waiter that the plate wasn’t edible and sent it back. It was a stinky pile of slop. We won’t return.