Review: Iyasare.

IYASARE, a Japanese restaurant located on Fourth Street in Berkeley, serves modern and delicious takes on classic Japanese cuisine. The restaurant serves mostly izakaya style dining, meaning small plates. Therefore, they suggested we order around two to three plates per person to share family style.

Since there were four of us, we were able to try a good amount of dishes off the menu especially since we ordered mostly small plates to share.

Crispy Mochi with Nori (7.5/10).

Crispy Mochi with Nori (7.5/10).

Wage Beef Carpaccio with Ponzu Gel, Grated Wasabi Snow, and Charred Scallion Purée (7.5/10).

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with Ponzu Gel, Grated Wasabi Snow, and Charred Scallion Purée (8/10).

DSC02676

Close Up of the Wagyu Carpaccio.

Hamachi Crudo with Blood Orange, Fresno Chili, Satsuma Kosho, and Onion Ponzu (7.5/10).

Hamachi Crudo with Blood Orange, Fresno Chili, Satsuma Kosho, and Onion Ponzu (8/10).

Hickory Smoked Ocean Trout with Tomatillo, Avocado, Baby Radishes, and Pasilla Pepper (8/10).

Hickory Smoked Ocean Trout with Tomatillo, Avocado, Baby Radishes, and Pasilla Pepper (8.5/10).

Fried Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Cauliflower Purée (7.5/10).

Fried Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Cauliflower Purée (8/10).

Miso Glazed Eggplant with Sunchoke Purée and Sunchoke Chips (8/10).

Miso Glazed Eggplant with Sunchoke Purée and Sunchoke Chips (8/10).

Kaikage Tempura (7/10).

Kaikage Tempura (7.5/10).

Okonomiyaki Pancake with Tiger Shrimp, Bay Scallops, Bonito Flakes, and Mentaiko Aioli (7.5/10).

Okonomiyaki Pancake with Tiger Shrimp, Bay Scallops, Bonito Flakes, and Mentaiko Aioli (8/10).

Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon with Miso, Bok Choy, and Shimeji Mushrooms (7/10).

Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon with Miso, Bok Choy, and Shimeji Mushrooms (7/10).

Matcha Cheesecake with Black Sesame Crust and Adzuki Beans (7/10).

Matcha Cheesecake with Black Sesame Crust and Adzuki Beans (7.5/10).

Frozen Chocolate Mousse with Banana Brûlée (7/10).

Frozen Chocolate Mousse with Banana Brûlée (7/10).

All the dishes at IYASARE not only tasted delectable but were also beautifully presented; every dish looked extremely enticing with various vibrant colors. Some of my favorite dishes of the meal were the mochi balls, smoked ocean trout, miso eggplant, and the okonomiyaki pancake. The mochi balls, sticky white rice pounded into a paste and shaped into balls, were baked in the oven until crisp while the inside remained gooey and soft. These airy rice pillows were dusted with nori, seaweed, and served with a sweet teriyaki sauce. The hickory smoked ocean trout was outstanding with delicate pieces of tender fish with slight hints of smokiness paired with creamy avocado, crunchy refreshing cucumber, bitter radishes, and aromatic cilantro. The roasted Japanese eggplant was scrumptious with a sweet miso glaze and earthy sunchoke (Jerusalem artichoke) purée and chips. Lastly, the okonomiyaki pancake was delicious and brought back childhood memories of me eating it in Japan in my mother’s hometown of Marugame. You can put all sorts of vegetables and seafood in a okonomiyaki pancake but this one had savoy cabbage, pieces of sweet tiger shrimp, and tender bay scallops topped with katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and mentaiko (pollock or cod roe) aioli. Yum!

Overall, I enjoyed all the food at IYASARE so I would rate them a 8/10. I would definitely return to IYASARE for delicious and beautiful modern Japanese food in a casual ambience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s