I typically dine in San Francisco but I decided to venture out to a popular Japanese restaurant near my neighborhood in the East Bay.
Kiraku, located in Berkeley, is an izakaya style Japanese restaurant. Izakaya is similar to tapas, small dishes that are offered with drinks. Kiraku is a tiny restaurant so be sure to make a reservation or you’ll be waiting in line for quite some time. Their menu has everything from various pickles, cold/hot appetizers, fried items, grilled items, and even ramen and udon!
Everything we ordered was quite tasty. Both the fried items of lotus roots and corn fritters were satisfying but not too heavy. The suzuki carpaccio was refreshing with spicy togarashi, fresh scallions, and a light dressing. The wagyu beef tataki had tender slices of marbled beef swimming in a citrus ponzu sauce with fresh red onions, another great cold appetizer. The mini donburi is a must order for any seafood lover. Steamed white rice loaded with fresh raw salmon, ikura (salmon roe), uni (sea urchin), and kani (snow crab). So good.
Kiraku offers a little bit of everything from vegetables, seafood, meat, and noodle dishes so it’s perfect for everyone. I’d rate Kiraku at a 7.5-8/10.