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First Bite: Roku Izakaya

The izakaya openings flurry of 2010 and 2011 has abated, but the genre lives on. We've yet to see a major izakaya shutter, and one more hit prime time six weeks ago: Roku (1819 Market Street), from Jay Hamada of the JapaCurry food trucks. On Saturday, I ventured out through the downpour to try it out. It was a perfect, chilly night for fatty, warming izakaya fare, but—given how young the restaurant is—I was still a little surprised to see the place packed, with a waitlist running for tables.

First Bite: Nojo, the City's Newest Izakaya, Ends Sweetly

Who made 2011 the year of the izakaya? Nombe got its new chef, Chotto had just squeaked onto the scene, Hecho with its sushi and robata followed suit, and now Nojo has opened in Hayes Valley. (Not to mention, SF already had Izakaya Sozai, and the drunken institution called Oyaji.)

Bring Japanese Pub Grub Home

Emeryville’s Hodo Soy Beanery’s spicy yuba strips are made of the delicate and creamy sheet that forms on the top of heated soymilk. The strips are then marinated in spicy teriyaki sauce and pan-fried. Serve them warm with a nice cold Asahi. $5 at Rainbow Grocery, 1745 Folsom St., 415-863-0620.

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