IYASARE

4.5
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792 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Japanese

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About

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 seating

If there is no reservation available at your desired time, please call the restaurant. We accept phone bookings for our communal table, Chef's table and patio.
What 792 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on all time ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AH
vipAHCM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2018
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Food was good, not inventive or absolutely delicious. Smaller portions than what price / quality would call for. Drinks menu was great. Had called about adding birthday candles in for sister in the dessert I order twice before, and was twice told that it would be done but it wasn't. For this price range, would expect that level of simple service.

IL
ILoveEating84
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely restaurant and one of my favorites in Berkeley. Great entrees and shared plates with a authentic Japanese flavor with a new twist. The cocktails are really special and worth a try as well!

J
vipJans
San Francisco
42 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful on every level!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2018
Overall2food1service3ambience3

This restaurant bills itself as authentic rustic Japanese, and given ratings and reviews I was excited to take my father there while he was visiting. The food was heavy and nowhere near authentic (the main dish is a spaghetti?) and the flavor profiles are overwrought. For the quality of the food and the ambiance, this is also hardly a restaurant that should be taking a deposit for a reservation either. Steer clear if you're looking for good Japanese; you won't find it here.

D
Drkezzy
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I made a reservation at 7:45pm, but my friend was a bit late. I was able to postpone it to 8pm. I strongly recommend Kakiage Tempura with Black Tiger Shrimp, and they gave us someone's food. They apologized and I think it is ok. I will try the steak next time. Ambiance is good for dinner.

EM
vipEricM
Miami
13 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always an memrable meal. The food is exceptional, the service flawless. The street is such a great shopping street too!

JK
vipJeanK
San Francisco
621 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, Iyasare remains an amazing experience in Japanese/CA fusion. Do not miss the Kakiage (and get the tiger shrimp option!). Anytime risotto or uni is offered, get those as well. Wonderful ala carte menu. Note that cooking is better when owner is there, however. Squid and big-eye tuna starters were amazing, but agedashi tofu was greasy this time, a real no-no. Service is good, DR is pretty (although small). Highly recommended!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 11, 2018
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Presentation and service were absolutely top-notch.

LM
vipLizetteM
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrated my husband birthday and took him out lunch. Perfect in every way. Beautiful food with amazing pure flavor. Love this place!

s
sailorett
Central Coast
17 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We seem to return quite often and love the option of outdoor seating ... allowing us to bring our small and very quiet dog for under the table seating.
always a new dish worth trying and to share!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

ALWAYS EXCELLENT

KA
vipKAS1
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Iyasare is absolutely amazing creative Japanese cuisine. Nothing like the normal sushi. A one of a kind food experience. Beyond words. We've eaten here several times. Yum. Reservations are really needed just about any time of the day. It's on Fourth St in Berkeley and there's plenty to see and do in the area. Plan an outing!

SF
SFdiner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2018
Overall3food3service4ambience4

We went on a Tuesday night. We didn't realize that there is a limited menu on Tuesdays. Open Table says there is a special Ramen menu on Tuesdays in tiny print that we completely missed. But even if we had seen it, that doesn't communicate to the customer that the normal menu items won't also be available. Obviously we were disappointed. We ordered the sashimi salad, salmon and a ka'arage curry special. The sashimi salad was good. Very fresh fish. The salmon was overcooked and disappointing. I've had better teriyaki salmon at cheap Japanese restaurants. The special was interesting. Good but not great. The curry was more like an indian curry than an asian one. If I lived in the neighborhood I would come back on another night of the week to try the full menu. But since I don't, it's not worth the trek out there to try it again.

FS
FrancescaS
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Am making this my night out spot. Excellent service, engaging menu and terrific neighborhood. Ample parking at night.

c
calvinm
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2018
Overall5food5service2ambience5

We have been to Iyasare several times and love the food and anbiance both inside and on the patio. Lunched inside this time. Excellent bar service. Excellent Matre'd. Great location. Casual sheek. Love it.

o
viponofood
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent specials on ramen and cats curry. Iyasare redeemed themselves for me regarding service. Food was timed correctly, waitstaff were courteous and accommodating!

AG
vipAdamG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our favorite restaurants in the entire Bay Area! Went for lunch for our 21st Anniversary.

Y
vipYummy
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The sashimi was so fresh and high quality. It tasted great without anything on it. Beautiful presentation and all food high quality. Fabulous, keep up the great work!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience4

This is one of my favorite places to eat. Love the karage fried chicken and salad for lunch. The ramen is also excellent. Had the squid for dinner—that was our fave. But the okonomiyaki (sp?) is wonderful too. Even the desserts were fun and interesting! Only thing is it can get quite loud when it’s busy but the decor is beautiful.

MB
MyrnaB
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is such a great find. Service was perfect, attentive, not intrusive. We had crab Caesar salad, age dashi tofu, and the sashimi salad. The sashimi salad was beautiful and really a wonderful food gift. Everything was excellent. Will be going back soon.

JV
vipJVSF
San Francisco
60 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

JR
JeanR
Indiana
10 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific Japanese food— wonderfully fresh fish. Excellent selection of sakes and imaginative cocktails. Lovely room, great service.

RJ
vipRJ44
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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.
RJ

F
vipFoodieluvr
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing all around! And the owner, Sho Kamio is a very humble talented chef and business owner!

f
vipfoodluver
San Francisco
190 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2018
Overall3food4service3ambience2

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.

Y
Yoshi
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is yummy! Cereative Japanese/Asian/American cuisine.

JS
JulieS
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2018
Overall3food4service4ambience4

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.

c
calvinm
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

F
vipFoodies
New York Area
26 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall3food3service1ambience3

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.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and drinks no the tradicional dishes that you find in other JAPANISE restaurants

H
vipHappyfoodie
San Francisco
58 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2018
Overall4food4service5ambience3

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?

o
vipomnivore
Los Angeles
58 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Iyasare has always been the highlight of the day. The food and service both impress - whether it is a table for 1 or 6. The staff are excellent in their advice and their attention

ML
MLAbistro
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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.

B
vipstevenB
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Excellent food and presentation
Great Japanese bowls and sushi and tempura

EP
EPTJ
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2018
Overall3food3service3ambience3

did not like the tempura, preferred "traditional" tempura.

J
vipJustine
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2018
Overall4food4service5ambience5

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.

TM
TimM
Mexico City
13 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've been to Iyasare many times. Always, always on top!!
👍👍😊

L
Lilees
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

w
waterstrider
Atlanta
28 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

NH
vipNaturalHorseman
San Francisco
165 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience5

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!

FAQs

IYASARE does offer delivery in partnership with Toast.

IYASARE is rated 4.5 stars by 792 OpenTable diners.