New-ish izakaya on Mission by 19th st (old Weird Fish space). Reminds me of some alley spots in Tokyo but ya actually not cause on Mission by 19th.

Food is good and fun. Skewers, bigger plates, some bites, some silly stuff, etc. Skewers seem to have the “only seasoning is on the glaze” thinking, which works for some — cheeks, hearts, eel — more than others — chicken balls, thighs. The sushi are all mixed flavor bites but the iburi bite was really good, the Big Mac a gimmick. Nigiri is my favorite thing and don’t usually like it messed with — my last meal would be nothing but hamachi and uni nigiri — but the irburi was really good. The Big Mac we just tried cause I guess you have to. It wasn’t bad but exactly what you think it will be.

That ankimo though…

Last night we had:


Chicken hearts:

Pork cheek:


Smoked Unagi (from American Unagi):

Iburi (and more) nigiri:

“Big Mac” (wagyu, uni, caviar, silly stuff, etc. ):

Chicken thighs:


Have you tried Rintaro? If so, how do they compare?

Ya, Rintaro is one of my favorites. Hard to compare cause it’s an apples and oranges kind of thing. Rintaro is definitely the better restaurant, but Chome is like you’re in an alley spot in Tokyo. Not that you can’t have fun at Rintaro (you can), or that you can’t eat well at Chome (you can), they’re just different kinds of restaurants to me.

That feeling of being in an alley spot is in my opinion critically important for an izakaya. You want to go to a cozy little spot with a bit of smoke wafting from the grill and ideally sit in front of the grill chatting with friends and the chef. Izakayas in the Bay Area are too ‘clean’, sterile and fancy.

Long time ago I was at an izakaya on St. Marks in NYC. I liked the food at the time, though people i am sure find a better izakaya in NYC, but they sure got the atmosphere down.


Funny you say that because you can sit in front of the grill at Rintaro but not at Chome (the kitchen is separate in the back). I was more talking about the size, look, and feel of both places. Rintaro has a much more polished look from all the wood to the dishes, etc., is way bigger — more like a regular nice restaurant. Chome is small and you feel like you came off some random alley from the decor and feel of it.

Have you been to Rintaro?

No. I never made it to Rintaro. I don’t plan ahead very far when I go to the city on the weekends. And unfortunately with Rintaro it seems like I always need to plan a month ahead to grab a table that’s not on the late side…