Japanese at Iyasare in Berkeley

I discovered this gem in Berkeley when a friend, Selina, suggested that I stop by for lunch while I was in the area. I haven’t spent enough time exploring through the East Bay but discoveries like this makes me look forward to more opportunities. Iyasare Japanese restaurant is located on Fourth street, along trendy home decor shops and upscale restaurants, making it a perfect spot of date nights and weekend shopping trips.

The restaurant’s dishes embody the culinary inspirations of chef Shotaro Kamio, drawn from his childhood hometown of Japan’s Tohoku region. He aims to share the flavors and cooking techniques he’s learned from watching his mother cook to provide a sense of comfort to his guests. With a team of friendly staff members, deliciously flavor food, and unique cocktail concoctions, you won’t leave Iyasare disappointed.

The lunch menu was pretty simple with a handful of hearty selections of donburi and ramen in addition to mouthwatering appetizers like the Kara-age, crispy Japanese fried chicken served with housemade teriyaki sauce, wasabi based paste, and shichimi to extra flavor. I ordered the spicy Sendai Miso Ramen served with chicken and dashi miso broth, minced chicken, bean sprouts, and bamboo shoots.

Iyasare offers a different dinner menu that includes more elaborate dishes like the Ocean Umami, an appetizer which includes Hokkaido scallop, ikura, sea urchin, fermented wasabi leaf, and nori seaweed ponzu, or Herb Oil Poached Alaskan Black Cod.

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I loved the variety in their selection of alcohol which included tasting flights of whiskey and sake. I chose one of their most popular cocktails, Castle In The Sky, made with barley shochu, cucumber, shiso, mint, and sparkling sake. Just the right choice for a refreshing drink on a warm, sunny day.

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We’d love to know what some of your favorites spots in Berkeley are, let us know in the comments below!

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