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Izakaya Mai Restaurant Review, San Mateo

Izakaya Mai Restaurant Review, San Mateo

Izakaya Mai is a Japanese Izakaya or Japanese drinking establishment that also serves food. They are more small plate oriented restaurants. This restaurant has an extensive drink menu. They’ve been here for years. Several similar restaurants have opened over the years, but this still packs them in.. (Izakaya Ginji, Kokko)

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Raku, Las Vegas

Raku Las Vegas Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Raku is a popular Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas. Some friends loved this place and suggested we dine there. Raku are located about 15 minutes from the strip, right in the middle the Chinatown strip mall area. Chef Mitsuo Endo has been packing them in for many years.

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Ippuku, Berkeley

Ippuku Berkeley interior decor

Why did we dine here? – Ippuku is a Japanese Izakaya style restaurant in downtown Berkeley focused on serving yakitori skewers cooked on robata charcoal grill, soba, ramen, and other dishes in an interesting but narrow dining hall. They have a good selection of sake, shouchu, beer and other spirits. They are located on Center street in a long row of restaurants, a block from UC Berkeley.

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Pabu, San Francisco

Pabu San Francisco exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Pabu is a Japanese Izakaya-style restaurant in San Francisco’s Financial District from Michael Mina in partnership with Chef Ken Tominaga.
The chef’s Hana restaurant in a Rohnert Park had garnered a local following including Mina. This is the first Japanese restaurant for Mina.

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Yakitori Kokko, San Mateo

Yakitori Kokko San Mateo interior decor

Japanese Izakaya is hot in the SF Bay Area right now.. Yakitori Kokko is a Japanese Izakaya or drinking oriented establishment (like Sumika in the South Bay, Ippuku in Berkeley or Izakaya Mai in San Mateo) that serves casual food focusing on skewers of meat and liquor. It is run by Japanese folks and feels pretty authentic. Yakitori means chicken grill, so the focus is on charcoal grilled meats. The place has gotten some good buzz, so we decided to give it a try. Our last visit was in the summer of 2015.

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Mokutanya, Burlingame

Mokutanya Burlingame exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Mokutanya is a modern Japanese restaurant located in a non-descript strip mall in sleepy Burlingame. A friend suggested this restaurant, so we were excited to give it a try. The food and atmosphere exceeded our expectations. Kokko and Izakaya Mai is one of the better skewer restaurants in this area and Mokutanya exceeds it in terms of quality and fun.

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Hoshi Restaurant Review, Santa Clara

Hoshi Santa Clara Exterior Decor

Why did we dine here? – Hoshi is a small Japanese restaurant next to Lucky’s supermarket in Santa Clara. We were in the area and decided to eat here or Yuki Sushi. This restaurant is fairly informal and is run by a couple.
They have an extensive menu making it a cross between a general Japanese restaurant (IE Chicken Teriyaki) and a Izakaya restaurant. The kitchen is small, so food takes a while to arrive. The waitress also wants you to order everything at one time to prevent long pauses in your meal.

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