Izakaya and White Burgundy at Rintaro in San Francisco

rintaro-thetaste-chef-1-DSC_7871

 

We recently read that Bon Appétit Magazine named Rintaro one of “America’s best new restaurants for 2015.” As it turns out, it’s located right behind our grocery store. We were literally parking right next to it almost every week and had no idea there was a restaurant there. We had to check this place out!

 

rintaro

 

The space is full of beautiful wood. It has an open courtyard with a cast-iron rice cooker and when you walk into the restaurant, the focus is on the wood beams and a beautiful hand-carved chef’s counter. It’s very warm and inviting. We sat at the chef’s counter, so we were able to watch all the action, including the charcoal fired grill. Sarah also always appreciates when there are purse hooks under the bar and this place had them!

 

grilling

chablis wine rintaro

 

We would liken Rintaro to California/Japanese-style tapas. We are told that izakaya is typically salty fried food eaten with beer. The menu is mostly small bites with a variety of fish, vegetables, meats, and noodles. We paired our meal with a Petit Chablis, although there is an extensive sake menu you can choose from as well.

 

rintaro chicken skins

 

Torikawa No Karaage
Japanese fried Riverdog Farm chicken skin with spicy citrus salt

 

halibut sashimi

 

Hirame No Kobujime
Kombu-cured Monterey halibut sashimi with freshly grated Half Moon Bay wasabi This was some of the best sashimi we’ve ever had! Come to find out, Water2Table supplies their fish!

 

rintaro-thetaste-beans

 

Ingen No Kurumi Ae
Dirty Girl Produce green and yellow wax beans with walnutty sauce

 

grillingchicken skewers

 

Chicken Thigh and Scallion Skewers
Cooked over white oak

 

 

rintaro-thetaste-omelet

 

Dashimaki Tamago
Fancy Kaki farm egg omelet with special Katsuobushi (dried smoked tuna) and grated dashi

This was fascinating to watch. These were made to order by Chef Sylvan Brackett himself. He used a traditional rectangle tamagoyaki pan and chopsticks. It was a layered omelet, and was mesmerizing to watch it be prepared, as he continued to add layers to and shape it beautifully.

 

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Shakekama No Shioyaki
Salt-grilled San Francisco Wild King Salmon Collar

 

udon noddles rintaro

 

Teuchi Udon
Hand-rolled udon with two fishes broth, scallion and kizami nori

 

 

panna cotta

 

Hojicha Panna Cotta
Japanese roasted green tea panna cotta with hojicha syrup and almond cookies

Try to get a reservation. If you can’t, be prepared to wait. The restaurant is small, but some of the chef’s counter seats are held for walk-ins.

 

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