Review: Niku Steakhouse

Only a handful of high-end steakhouses come to mind when I think of San Francisco with the majority of them having a more “old school vibe”.  However, Niku Steakhouse is bringing cool back with swanky digs and a selection of American and Japanese wagyu beef.

Located in the Design District, Niku Steakhouse opened earlier this year with its butcher shop next door. Whether you’re looking to buy some top quality Japanese wagyu with beautiful marbling or just ball out on a fancy dinner, Niku Steakhouse has got you covered.

While the menu is smaller compared to a traditional steakhouse, there are plenty of tantalizing options making it difficult to choose what to order.

Parker House Rolls with Wagyu Fat Butter (8-8.5/10).

Is there anything better than warm fluffy rolls? Only when smothered in wagyu fat butter…

Beets: Roasted, Candied, and Raw with Pecans (8/10).

Various textures and flavors of beet from sweet and firm to smoky and chewy. Pops of acidity from the pomegranate and earthiness from the pecans made this “typical” beet salad a winner.

A5 and Imperial Wagyu Meatball with Sesame, Egg Yolk, and Tare (9/10).

A mix of imperial and A5 wagyu was blended into a tender succulent meatball skewer. Dipping the skewer into the egg yolk fudge and tare (soy-based sauce with deeper flavor) brought this dish to another level.

Chestnut and Oak Tortelloni with Honeynut Squash, Apples, and Pepitas (8.5/10).

Perfectly al dente pasta was stuffed with sweet honey-nut squash and was garnished with candied pepitas and crisp fresh apple. The flavors were spot on but the dish was lukewarm.

Imperial Wagyu New York Strip Steak (8/10) with Broccoli (8/10) and Crispy Potatoes (8/10).

While we would have loved to order some Japanese A5 wagyu, the price point was a little over the top so we decided to order the imperial wagyu New York strip steak (American beef). Cooked to medium-rare perfection, the beef had a nice caramelized crust and meaty flavor. Of course, it lacked that intense marbling that Japanese wagyu has but for the price, it was great. Pictured behind the steak, we had two sides. The potatoes were EXTRA crispy with a fluffy interior and served with a phó spiced ranch sauce which was unique. The broccolini was nicely charred with a sticky funky chile fish caramel glaze.

These desserts were both incredible. My mouth is watering thinking about them.

Chocolate Miso: Wagyu Fat Brownie with Miso “Dippin’ Dots” and Wagyu Caramel (9/10). Chazuke: Toasted Rice Ice Cream with Puffed Cream and Matcha Sauce (9/10).

Warm chocolate brownie infused with wagyu fat, are you kidding me?! Paired with the cold dipping dots, sweet caramel, and brûléed meringue, you must get this dessert.

I love ice cream and this nailed my craving. The toasted rice flavor was subtle enough to let the pungent matcha sauce shine.

Cute to-go Box and Homemade Oreos.

I was pleasantly surprised by my experience at Niku Steakhouse in the best way possible. Every dish was not only beautifully presented but flavors were also spot on. This is definitely a place for a hip foodie date night as the clientele was a younger crowded. My overall rating is an 8-8.5/10.

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