The best Japanese food in SF you'll ever have!.
My girlfriend and I recently returned from a trip to Japan, and we were looking for a culinary experience that would help take us back. Something beyond the Americanized standards: sushi/sashimi, udon, teriyaki, tempura. And so we found Kappa, who clearly state that they DO NOT serve sushi.
The intimate setting as well as the welcoming and kind owners transported us back to the alleys of Japan. After we entered through a sliding wooden door next to a Japanese-only sign, the daily specials (fried sweet corn, Japanese eggplant) and the rest of our meal were simply divine. While we did not have the Koryori prix-fixe menu (1 day in advance reservations required), everything from the iced green tea to the halibut to the black skinned pork was truly reflective of traditional Japanese cuisine - simple, fresh and impossibly delicate. While the menu changes daily depending on what's fresh for the season, you can expect a welcoming and intimate Japanese experience - a true gem in SF!
As a seasoned restaurant SF junkie - Kappa has made my SF top 5 - and already planning my next visit.
Reservations highly recommended, as due to space there is only 1 seating.
Hidden pearl of a restaurant represents the height of seasonal Japanese artistry..
This tiny, unmarked restaurant above the Japantown Denny's remains mostly unknown, even to its neighbors. A hidden sliding door and noren (split curtain) part to reveal a spare, sophisticated dining area comprised of a ten-seat wooden bar and one private room for four. Husband and wife owners Romiko--dressed in traditional kimono--and chef Toshiaki Kimura bustle graciously about the space. Only the most rudimentary English is spoken, and fellow diners are sure to be native Japanese.
A seven-course tasting menu is the easiest route to understanding koryori cuisine--balanced Japanese small plates composed to highlight each ingredient's individual flavor and texture. One giftbox of tiny tastes might feature firm sea snail, the strange melt of sea urchin on the tongue, smoky, bursting herring roe, or a plump, perfect piece of duck breast. Other delicacies include tiny okra spears wrapped in tangy jellyfish and a snowcrab-covered mound of cold tofu.
The best japanese food!. This is simply the best Japanese restaurant in town! Menu is seasonal. If you like traditional Japanese cooking, Kappa definitely is the best you can find! Maybe a little pricy but it worths every penny.
A tiny, hidden gem. Kappa is so perfect that I really shouldn't be writing this review and spoiling my chances of getting a seat. A tiny, 10 seat restaurant in an out-of-the-way location, it is for *true* connoisseurs of Japanese cuisine only -- no sushi, no chicken teriyaki, no silly rolls with cream cheese in them, thank god-- you must have a sense of adventure and a genuine love for the complexities and depth of the cuisine. The most authentic classical Japanese cuisine I've eaten outside of Japan.
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