Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Izakaya Yuzuki Takes Its Cooking Back to the Base

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge The braised pork belly from Izakaya Yuzuki. - LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata
  • The braised pork belly from Izakaya Yuzuki.

We are in the era of chocolate makers who import their cacao beans via sailing ship, bartenders making tonic water from cinchona bark, and brewers using leftover bread yeast to make beer. The closer you take your cooking back to the root, the more heartfelt it comes across.

That's the approach taken by Takashi Saito, chef of the new Izakaya Yuzuki -- the subject of the Weekly's full-length review this week. Saito's lovely, thoughtful dishes include pickles fermented in a bed of cultured rice bran, salt flavored with koji (a mold he's culturing in house), and freshly curdled tofu. Dude's even making his own miso. For all the traditions Saito is adhering to, his cooking comes across as of this moment.

When it comes to the dining experience, the restaurant, located in a cursed space on 18th and Guerrero, still has some things to work out. Though service is wonderful, it's not really a proper izakaya, either in its mood or its prices, and the attempt to retain some of the characteristics of a Japanese pub contrasts with the intimate, homey-refined food. But Saito's making food few restaurants in town are capable of, and it's worth waiting out the quirks and inconsistencies to see how his food will keep evolving.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , ,

About The Author

Jonathan Kauffman

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"