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Niku Steakhouse: A unique steak specialty restaurant, serving directly-imported wagyu from Japan, opens

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Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste... Niku Steakhouse: A unique ste...
By Elli Sekine

Wagyu is becoming a fullfledged boom. You already regularly find “wagyu” in menus of American restaurants and delicatessens. However wagyu as a category in the US is still vague. In the meantime, “Niku Steakhouse”, which opened last year in the Design District of San Francisco, is a new type of steak restaurant that emphasizes brand wagyu and A4-5 quality strongly as a Japan-direct wagyu specialty restaurant. Since its opening, this restaurant has been so popular, that it has been achieving full capacity daily.

The Gulf region where this Design District is located, is changing to an IT business base due to a large-scale redevelopment. In this District, there has been a series of construction rushes of buildings and condominiums in the last 3 to 4 years, and along with the big IT businesses flowing into the area, the population has grown rapidly, public safety has been improved, and the number of high-end restaurants has also grown quickly. “Omakase Restaurant Group”, which started its restaurant business in this area early on, has been opening Japanese and Asian restaurants one after another, and producing many successful restaurants.

The “Omakase Restaurant Group” has developed a total of 5restaurants and a shop so far in this area. There are a variety of business models and concepts in them, from a Michelin-starred “Omakase” restaurant, to the casual “Dumpling Time” and “Udon Time”.

Among them, this “Niku Steakhouse” uses a high-end model, utilizing a cutting-edge facility and latest cooking techniques. This Group’s operation staff are Chinese. With their strong efforts in teaming up, they have developed unique routes and approaches to Japanese culture, education, and networking. They keep getting offers from investors because of their achievement records and planning power. They have a plan to launch a new venture in the near future, and “Dumpling Time” went overseas to Shibuya this year.

What is tremendously contributing to the quality management of the main theme of “Niku Steakhouse” which is the superb quality wagyu, is the “butcher shop” next door to the restaurant. There, Guy Crims, who is in charge of importing and butchering meat, is the core person who travels throughout Japan to purchase large quantities of meat. The carefully selected wagyu by Mr. Crims is cut by section first, and then further gets custom-cut to match each individual order. You can taste the specialty of the direct import quality of the steaks cooked in accordance with the weather conditions, raising methods, etc. of each region of the ingredients.

At the butcher shop, sliced wagyu with its characteristic delicious-looking marbled-fat patterns are displayed artistically, and are catching the eyes of the visitors. In this shop, even the location of production, individual ID number, and nose print of each wagyu are described. I asked the reason that they can offer relatively reasonable prices compared to other restaurants’ on A5 wagyu. Mr. Crims simply said, “It is because we buy a big bulk.” By selling also at the store front, the high-quality meat circulates with no waste. From last month, they started to sell “wagyu hamburgers” for lunch time only, and this has been causing a customer rush.

Its roomy interior space is modern and sophisticated. Its high ceiling and the courtyard outside of the windows provides a relaxed ambience. The counter space by the entrance is beautiful, and the tall and wide shelves that reach the ceiling showcase various alcoholic beverages, which heighten the restaurant spirit. At the bar counter, most of the customers enjoy pairing with wine. A drink menu with a vast selection containing everything from cocktails to sake, to wine and popular Japanese whiskey, is very attractive as well.

The dining space has an open kitchen, and a highly advanced grill and a gigantic charcoal burner table are installed to symbolize the restaurant’s “evolving steakhouse” image.

The person in the kitchen, who cooks tactically with radiating orange-colored flares from burning Japanese Binchotan charcoal and American domestic oak charcoal is the executive chef, Steve Brown. He was hired for his previous cooking experiences in working for a high-end steak restaurant and other fine restaurants. His high skills for delicately adjusting temperatures and achieving perfect doneness of meat, and his house-made fermented hot sauce are highly praised.

The Wagyu menu of the day of my visit contained A5 Satsuma, A5 Ono, A5 Kobe, A5 Takamori, etc. In addition to wagyu, the main menu also contains 40-day dry-aged prime Angus Porterhouse, Ribeye ($110~130), Kurobuta pork chop ($65), etc. The A5 wagyu each had a unique taste of richness, juiciness, flavorful-ness, smokiness, umami, and deepness. It depends on your preference, but the most popular item on that day was Takamori, which was on the sweet side, and well-balanced. Its umami spreads all over your mouth, and lingers for a long time. When you cut into the nicely browned aromatic surface, a beautiful pink inside appears. The superb balance of fat, protein, and minerals only produced by wagyu beef is concentrated in the umami by grilling it on the strong Binchotan charcoal fire.

“Niku Steakhouse” is the one and only wagyu specialty steak restaurant in the US, which utilizes locally-specialized wagyu knowledge and evolving techniques.


米国随一、日本直輸入和牛専門ステーキ店オープン

和牛ブームがいよいよ本格化している。すでに米国のレストランからデリまで「Wagyu」メニューは日常的となった。しかし未だに米国での「Wagyu」のカテゴリは曖昧だ。そんな中、サンフランシスコ、デザイン地区に今年オープンした「Niku Steakhouse」は、日本産輸入和牛専門としてブランド和牛とA4-5 品質をしっかりアピールする新しいタイプのステーキ店だ。オープン以来連日フルハウスの人気を博している。

デザイン地区を含む 湾岸一帯は、大規模な再開発でIT ビジネス拠点へと変貌している。同地区ではこの3、4年ビルやマンションの建設ラッシュが続き、IT大手企業が流入し人口が激増、治安は改善されハイエンドのレストランが一気に増えた。この地区に早くから飲食ビジネスを始めた「Omakase RestaurantGroup」は、日本食やアジアレストランを次々とオープンさせ、繁栄店を続出させている。

同エリアに現在計6 店舗を展開する同グループは、ミシュラン一つ星の「Omakase」からカジュアルな「Dumpling Time」、「 Udon Time」まで異なる業種とコンセプトを持つ。中でも「Niku Steakhouse」は最新鋭の設備と調理テクニックを駆使したハイエンドレストラン。同グループの経営陣は中国人で、強力なチーム編成で日本へのアプローチ、教育、ネットワークに独自のジャパンルートを持つ。同グループの業績と企画力でインベスターのオファーは後をたたない。近い将来、新規事業も予定しており、「Dumpling Time」は今年、渋谷に海外進出を果たしている。

 「Niku Steakhouse」の主役、高品質の和牛の品質管理に大きく貢献しているのが、レストランに隣接した「ブッチャーショップ」だ。そこで輸入調達、食肉処理を担当するガイ・クリムズ氏は、良質のブランド牛農家を訪ね日本国中を旅し大量買い付けをする中心的人物だ。同氏が吟味した和牛は、ここで部位に切り分けられた魂肉は、目的に応じ最適なオーダーカットが施される。各地方の気象条件や肥育の特性を生かしたステーキは、産地直送ならではの味わいだ。

ショップでは、和牛の特徴である美味しげな霜降り模様の切り身がまるでアートのように配列され、訪れる客の興味をそそっている。店内では各和牛の生産地、個体識別番号、鼻紋まで表示する徹底ぶり。他レストランのA5 和牛と値段を比べるとリーズナブルな理由について同氏は、「仕入れの量が違うから」と一言。店頭販売もしており、上質肉を余すことなく循環させている。先月からはランチタイムのみ「和牛ハンバーガー」の販売が始まり、客が殺到している。

広い店内は洗練されたモダンなイメージで、高い天井とガラスごしの中庭が落ち着いた雰囲気を醸し出している。入り口には美しいカウンターバーがあり、天井まで届く広い棚には多種のアルコール類がレストランスピリッツを掻き立てる。ほとんどの客はワインとのペアリングを楽しんでいる。カクテルから酒、ワイン、人気のジャパンウィスキーまでバラエティに富むドリンクメニューも魅力的だ。

ダイニングルームはオープンキッチンになっており、「進化するステーキハウス」を象徴すべく最新グリルと巨大な炭焼テーブルが備る。日本産備長炭とアメリカ国内オーク炭を巧みに操りオレンジの光を放ちながら調理するのは、同店のエグゼキュティブシェフ、スティーブ・ブラウン氏。高級ステーキ店やファインレストランのシェフ経験を経ての就任だ。肉を焼くのに微妙な温度や焼き加減の繊細さのテクニックと自家製の“ 発酵ホットソース” は定評を得ている。

この日の和牛メニューはA5 Satsuma,A5 Ono, A5 Kobe, A5 Takamori などで、メインメニューには和牛以外も40day dry aged prime AngusPorterhouse, ribeye($110~130)、Kurobuta pork chop($65) も並ぶ。A5和牛の味わいはリッチ、ジューシー、フレーバフル、スモーキー、旨味、濃厚とそれぞれが個性豊かで味わい深い。好みもあるがこの日の一番人気はTakamoriで、甘みが強くバランスが良い。旨味が口いっぱいに広がり長く残る。香ばしいブラウンの焼き加減でナイフを入れると色艶良いピンク色だ。和牛ならでは脂質とタンパク質、ミネラルのバランスが絶妙で、備長炭の強い火によって旨味が凝縮されている。

 「Niku Steakhouse」は、ご当地和牛の知識と進化する技術を駆使した米国唯一の和牛専門ステーキ店だ。



Niku Steakhouse
61 Division Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 829-7817
https://www.nikusteakhouse.com/
Everyday 4:30pm-10:00pm
#NikuSteakhouse #SF #wagyu

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Best sake pairing with high-end course menu

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Best sake pairing with high-en... Best sake pairing with high-en... Best sake pairing with high-en... Best sake pairing with high-en... Best sake pairing with high-en... Best sake pairing with high-en... Best sake pairing with high-en... Best sake pairing with high-en... Best sake pairing with high-en... Best sake pairing with high-en...
By Mayumi Schroeder / Photo: Elli Sekine

  “Avery” is a new rising star among the high-end restaurants in San Francisco, which opened last year on Fillmore Street, where many select shops and popular restaurants stand. This restaurant was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, Eater Magazine, etc., and has been talked about a lot. The owner/chef, Rodney Wages (34) has a background in French cuisine, but does not have any experience in working or being trained at Japanese restaurants. He says the place offers an American-style izakaya menu. It sounds like izakaya means “a-la-carte” to him. The interior of the restaurant is sophisticated and black color-based, and there is no sign outside. Opening the front door leads you to an elegant, chic, and high-class atmosphere.

Rodney learned the basics of French cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu, Minneapolis, and in 2004, he encountered Cory Lee, who was the Executive Chef of “French Laundry”, a Michelin 3-starred restaurant at that time. Then, he worked there as an intern, and started to show his talent as a chef. 4 years later, he worked in Korea with Mr. Lee. In 2010, he joined the launch of Mr. Lee’s restaurant, “Benu”, which is presently Michelin 3-starred. After that, he has worked as a sous chef at a few Michelin-starred restaurants such as “Morimoto Napa”, “Saison”, and “Atelier Crenn”. “RTB”, which was a pop-up restaurant launched by Mr. Wages in 2017, was a big success, and gave him the big boost to open “Avery” later.
At “Avery”, a modern and sophisticated course menu showcases not only the knowledge and techniques Rodney has accumulated, but also his cooking philosophy which is built in. “I wanted to create an American course menu in which Asian food ingredients are used, and served not with chopsticks, but a knife and a fork like a western style menu,” says Rodney. In this restaurant, pairing is done only with Japanese sake and champagne. Their sake sommelier is Daniel Bromberg, who has a broad knowledge of Japanese culture and sake, and has worked for “True Sake” and “Les Clos”, and is a powerful contributor for their sake selection.

The dashi used for Avery’s course menu contains kombu and katsuobushi, which gives some depth to the umami of its dishes. The sauce has been completed by combining flavors of French, Japanese, and Korean cuisines harmoniously, and its delicate yet rich taste also gives a depth to the dishes. The food ingredients come from farmer’s markets, and also some well-known contracted farms in the suburbs.

This time, I got to taste 11 dishes of the “Chef’s Omakase Course” ($130). To pair with sake, you pay $89, and with champagne, $189 more, respectively. Among them, the following dishes took my breath away when I saw them delivered to the table; “Dashi mariné of sashimi-style fish and vegetables”, which consists of 3 kinds of fish, shima-aji, horse mackerel, etc., which has been aged for a week, and soaked in salt, and then their aroma enhanced by Bincho-charcoal grilling, and “Oyster Berry”, which is Iberico ham perfectly matched with pureed sunchoke, served in a cup made out of dried sunchoke. As for “Goose egg and Oyster lips”, a neatly emptied eggshell is used as the container of the egg yolk and dashi mixed with butter broth, in which you can enjoy crispness and creaminess at the same time.

“Aebleskiver”, a popular dish from the RTB period, is also included in the course. I couldn’t help but smile about its clever presentation when I saw it. The dish was Dungeness crab meat wrapped in Danish pancake, and it was brought to the table on a palm of a monkey figurine. Another nice dish was “Roasted duck”. A locally grown duck from the Sonoma area was aged for several weeks before roasted, and the rich fatty duck was flavored with cognac and balsamic vinegar. The topping was blueberries, which gave a good balance to the entire taste of this dish.

It was an excellent sophisticated course, and I fully enjoyed the delicate and artistic presentation of each dish.

For pairing, aside from the Saga prefecture’s junmai-ginjo, “Tembuki”, and Junmai-ginjo, “Miyasakae”, there were kinds which were clean and a good match to rich food, such as “Midorikawa”, on the sweet side, Yamaguchi prefecture’s “Dassai 50”, “Yamahai Junmai-ginjoshu, Jijoshu”, etc., which ultimately enhanced the dishes.

“This is just the beginning. I anticipate acquiring a Michelin star in the future,” Rodney told me, as his aspiration. I can feel the coming of more high-end Japanese courses in the future.


ハイエンドのコース料理に最高の酒ペアリング

セレクトショップや人気レストランが数多く立ち並ぶサンフランシスコ市のフィルモアストリートに去年オープンしたハイエンドレストランの新星、「Avery」。サンフランシスコ・クロニクル紙やEater 誌などに掲載された話題のレストランだ。“ アメリカン居酒屋メニュー”というオーナーシェフのロドニー・ウェイジス氏(34)は日本食レストランでの修行経験がないフレンチ出身のシェフ。居酒屋というのは彼の中で「一品」を意味しているようだ。同店は黒を基調とした洗練されたインテリアで、外には看板がなく、中に入るとモダンでスタイリッシュな内装が広がっている。

 ル・コルドン・ブルーのミネアポリス校でフレンチの基礎を学び、2004 年にミシュラン3 つ星の「French Laundry」で当時エグゼクティブシェフを務めていたコーリー・リー氏と出会う。その後、インターンシップとして同レストランに勤務しシェフとしての頭角を現していった。4 年後には韓国でリー氏のスーシェフを務めた。2010 年に、現在ミシュラン3つ星を持つリー氏のレストラン「Benu」の立ち上げチームに加わった。

その後も「Morimoto Napa」や「Saison」、「Atelier Crenn」のミシュラン星レストランでスー・シェフを務めている。その彼が2017 年に手掛けたポップアップレストラン「RTB」が大ヒット、これが「Avery」をオープンする大きなキッカケとなった。

 「Avery」ではロドニーが今まで培ってきた知識や技術だけでなく、彼の料理哲学を盛り込んだモダンで洗練されたコースメニューを提供している。「箸を使わずに西洋風にナイフやフォークを使って食べる、アジア食材を使ったアメリカンのコース料理を作りたかった」とロドニー。同レストランでのペアリングは日本酒とシャンペンのみ。酒ソムリエは、日本文化や豊富な日本酒の知識を持ち「True Sake」や「Les Clos」での経歴を持つダニエル・ブロムバーグ氏で、酒選びの頼もしい味方だ。

 「Avery」のコース料理に使用される出汁には昆布や鰹節が使用されており、料理の旨味に奥深さを与えている。ソースはフレンチや日本食、韓国料理を調和した味わいに仕上げられ、繊細だが濃厚な味付けが料理に深みを加えている。食材はファーマーズマーケットや郊外の某有名農家と取引している。

 今回は「シェフお任せコース($130)」から11 品を賞味させて頂いた。(酒ペアリングは$89、シャンペンのペアリングは$189 が追加料金となる)その中でもシマアジやホースマカレルなど3 種類の魚を1 週間熟成させた後に塩で締め、備長炭で香りを出した「刺身風の魚と野菜の出汁マリネ」や、イベリコハムと菊芋のピューレクリームの相性が抜群の「オイスターベリー」が菊芋を乾燥させたカップで運ばれて来た時にはその美しさに目を惹かれた。同様に綺麗にくり抜かれた鴨の卵の殻を器として使用し、黄身と出汁&バターのブロスで和えた「鴨の卵とオイスターリップス」はクリスピーからクリーミーな食感を一度に楽しめる一品。

 RTB 時代の人気メニュー「Ableskiver」もコースに組み込まれ、デニッシュ風パンケーキにダンジェネスクラブのクリームが入った料理がサルの置物の手の平に乗って運ばれて来た時はその演出に思わず笑みが浮かんだ。他にもソノマの地元産鴨を3 ~ 4 週間かけて熟成された「ローストダック」は、脂がのった味わい深い鴨をコニャックやバルサミコ酢で味付けし、トッピングのブルーベリーとアレンジする事で味のバランスを整えている。全ての料理の繊細で芸術的なプレゼンテーションに堪能する事が出来た洗練されたコースだった。

 またペアリングには「佐賀県の純米吟醸“ 天吹”」や「純米吟醸“Miyasakae”」の他に、クリーンな飲み口でリッチな食事との相性が良い「緑川」、甘口系の「山口県の“獺祭50”」や「山廃純米吟醸酒 時醸酒」などで、料理を最高に引き立た。

 「この店はまだ最初の1 歩だが、将来はミシュラン星も想定している」と意気込みを語るロドニー氏。今後の更なるハイエンドなコース料理と酒ペアリングの進化を期待したい。



Avery
1552 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 817-1187
Website: www.AverySF.com
Social Media: @avery_sf
Wed.-Sun. 5:30pm-9:30pm
#alljapannews #sake #Avery #SF

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

A long-established sushi restaurant loved by the region —Sustaining while changing—

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A long-establis... A long-establis... A long-establis... A long-establis... A long-establis...
By Elli Sekine

Ebisu, which is going into their 37th year of operation this year, is a long-established restaurant that has been leading the sushi boom in San Francisco. This restaurant is located near the center of the Golden Gate Park, and had become a super popular place in the nineties, where people would wait in line for a long time. Since then, they have tried diversified management styles, and tried out new sushi business models. Actually, in the past 30 years, they have expanded the business by opening 3 new restaurants, then closing them, and currently running only the main location. In their history, you can identify the pros and cons of a family-run operation. Ebisu has always been particular about quality and originality, and therefore, it was their management strategy to match the trends of the time. “The fundamentals are the most important things for the operation, which are consistent procurement of fresh ingredients, and the management,” says Erick, the 2nd generation owner.

Changing of management style according to the time…
In 1999, Ebisu Family’s second location, “Hotei,” opened. It was a noodle specialty restaurant which no one paid attention to at that time. The secret dashi made at the main location across the street was used for the noodle soups, and their wide variety of menu items that included udon, soba, somen, showa-taste ramen, etc., and its casual atmosphere made this place a hit. “As long as the base for Japanese cuisine is solidly mastered, you can create any dish,” at that time said Steve who is the founder, and currently the chairman. Especially, the “Reimen (cold noodle)” with house-made rich sauce, which you could not get anywhere else, was their top menu item. Ususally, average time people spend at a noodle specialty restaurant is not long, and therefore, its rotation is quick. From the customers’ point of view, it was really convenient that the restaurant was open from lunch through dinner time, and it was nice that they could have Ebisu’s roll sushi at a reasonable price. This location, thus quickly became very popular. Some customers who could not get into “Ebisu” went there, too. However, due to the ramen boom that came later, those customers slowly left for wanting of the new thing, ramen. For the 2 years prior to closing “Hotei”, they tried to continue by changing the owner, but finally closed its doors in 2015.

Catering sushi for parties…
In the 2000s, the core business that they were running along with the restaurant business was catering of sushi for parties, and catering for business offices.
With catering for weddings to business meetings at renowned hotels, they were extremely busy. The catering business was rapidly growing around that time as a new food business model. Erick, who was the leader of their catering business said, “It was really crazy, the situation we were in”, as he reminisced about those days when he was rushing around like crazy with his father and brothers. Presently, they are developing a well-balanced business based on the main location as the core.

“Airport Ebisu”, the second location of “Ebisu”, and “Hotei”, the second location of “Hotei” at the Financial District
In the early 2000s, the “Ebisu” family opened a branch at the new international terminal of SFO (San Francisco airport) which is known as “the most gourmet airport”. Ebisu was really standing out amongst the selection of restaurants and stores there, where the food culture unique to Northern California with the highest Asian population was symbolized in. Furthermore, the second “Hotei” opened in the Finance District, and their business was at its peak. On the other hand, in the background of such successes, they were having constant hardships with administering of employees, and the management. The distance from the main restaurant seemed to be one of the reasons. The idea of Steve’s, “to keep everybody within the reach of his supervision”, was far from the reality. It was also the time when maintaining of human resources was not catching up with the demands of the rapidly growing Japanese food businesses.

In the second half of the 2000s, San Francisco went into the IT bubbling period, and high-end Japanese restaurants were appearing one after another. Fine dining restaurants that served Omakase and Kaiseki courses increased in number in a very short time. Ebisu did a renovation of the entire restaurant in 2008, but did not change their position all throughout the past 30 years as a casual, locally based restaurant. Because of it, they still keep long-time regular customers without getting distracted by new trends. Moreover, due to the renovation, the older image of them, which is a usual typical sushi restaurant of the nineties, has transformed to a modern, bright, and spacious kind, which is drawing new types of customers. Adding more counter seats is contributing to the increase in the number of single customers.

The long-lasting Ebisu, which was established by a single generation, has been going forward by changing their business format along the way with the times. What has not changed is their offering of fresh ingredients, and their support of the local regular customers. Their family operation principle in which they do not rely completely on strangers, has been carried over to the second generation, and is still evolving.


地域に愛される寿司の老舗
-変わりながら持続する-



今年で創業37年目となるEbisuは、サンフランシスコで寿司ブームを牽引して来た老舗。ゴールデンゲートパークのほぼ中央に位置するサンセット地区で90年代、行列の出来る繁盛店となった。その後多角経営に挑戦し、新しい寿司店の在り方を実践して来た。実際、この30年で3軒の新規店舗を拡大しクローズし、現在は本店のみが既存している。そこには、家族経営の良さと難しさが見えてくる。また、品質とオリジナリティにこだわるEbisuならではの時代に合わせた経営戦略でもあった。「経営は基本が最も大切。それは一貫して新鮮な食材の仕入れとマネージメントです」と2代目店主のエリックさんは語る。

時代に合わせ経営形態を変える
1999年、Ebisuファミリー第2号店となる「Hotei」をオープンした。当時まだ誰も見向きもしなかったヌードル店だ。通り向かいに位置する本店で毎日取る秘伝出汁をヌードルスープに応用する手順でうどん、蕎麦、そうめん、そして昭和の味のラーメンなど豊富なメニューとカジュアルさがウケた。「和食の基本さえしっかりしていれば、どんなメニューでも創作できる」と当時、創始者で現会長のスティーブさんは言っていた。特に自家製コッテリタレの「冷麺」はここでしか食べられない絶品メニューだった。ヌードル店は平均食事時間が少く回転も早い。客にとっては営業時間はランチタイムから通しで便利であり、お得な値段でEbisuのロール寿司を食べられると言う事でたちまち繁盛店となった。「Ebisu」に入れない客も流れていた。しかしその後到来したラーメンブームにより、客は新しいラーメンを求めて散って行った。閉店前2年間はオーナーチェンジをし、2015年「Hotei」はそのドアを閉じた。

パーティ寿司ケータリング
2000年代、レストラン営業と同時に経営の柱となっていたのが、パーティー出張寿司とビジネスケータリングだ。結婚式から著名なホテルのミーティングまで引っ張りだことなった。ケータリングが新しい食ビジネスとして急成長したのもこの頃。その中心となって支えてきたエリックさんは、「状況はクレージーだった」と父、兄弟と走り回った当時を振り返る。現在、本店を軸としたバランスの良いビジネスを展開している。

エアポート「Ebisu 」2号店と金融街の「Hotei」2号店
2000年代初頭、「Ebisu」ファミリーは、「全米で一番グルメな空港」と呼ばれるSFO(サンフランシスコ空港)の新国際ターミナルに支店を出した。アジア人口の比率が最も多い北カリフォルニアならではの食文化を象徴した店舗セレクションの中でEbisuは際立っていた。さらに「Hotei」2号店も金融街にオープンし、経営は最高潮に達していた。しかしその裏では人事やマネージメント面での苦労が耐えなかったという。本店から距離が遠いこともあり、「常に目が届く範囲」というスティーブさんの思惑からかけ離れていたようだ。急激な日本食需要に人材確保が追い付かない時代でもあった。

本店の大改装
2000年代後半からサンフランシスコはITバブル期に突入し、和食高級店が続々と出現し、Omakaseや懐石メニューを提供する“ハイエンド”レストランが一気に増えた。Ebisu は2008年に店内の全面改装をしたが、30数年間通してきた地元密着型のカジュアルレストランの位置付けは変えなかった。その為トレンドに惑わされる事なく長年の常連客を確保している。更に改装により、90年代の平凡な寿司店のイメージはモダンで当たるく広々としたイメージに代わり、新しい客も呼び込んでいる。カウンター席が増えた事で一人客も増えている。

一代で築いた老舗Ebisuは時代と共にビジネスの形態を変えながら歩んで来た。変わらないのは新鮮なネタの提供と地域の常連客のサポートだ。他人任せにしない家族経営店の信念は今2代目へと引き継がれ、更なる進化を遂げようとしている。



Ebisu
1283 9th Ave 
San Francisco, CA 
 (415) 566-1770
 https://ebisusushi.com

lunch
Monday to Friday 11:30-14:00
Saturday 11:30-14:30

Dinner
Monday to Thursday 17:00-22:00
Friday ,Saturday 17:00-23:00
#alljapannews #sushi #restaurant #ebisu #SF

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

“Highest-quality sushi you can taste at a metropolitan train station you happened to stop by” is the concept.

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“Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit... “Highest-qualit...
Text Mayumi Schroeder Photo: Elli Sekine

Growth of popularity of sushi in San Francisco’s Bay area in recent years is quite amazing. Many sushi restaurants including sushi bars and revolving sushi places have opened. Among them, one place is particularly attracting people’s attention as a restaurant where true authentic sushi is served. It is “Oma San Francisco Station”, which opened in Japan Town’s West Mall in July of 2018. This place has been featured in various media such as ABC News, Hoodline, and Eater SF as a retaurant where reasonably-priced high-quality sushi omakase courses are offered, and good reviews have been given. Even the Michelin Guide said, “It is wonderful that you can eat this good-quality sushi at this kind of price!”

Wilson Chan, the owner/chef, is Chinese American from Northridge area of Los Angeles County. He has a 16-year career as a chef, and has worked as a skillful chef at many high-quality restaurants such as“Wasabi + Ginger, Kentaro” in Los Angeles area, ”Yuzuki”, “Tsubasa”, ”Kappo Gomi”, and ”Ozaoza” in San Francisco area. For this opportunity of opening his own restaurant, Mr. Chan, who has also worked as an art designer, did everything from designing the modern interior, 3-dimentional art, to the website by himself.

The name of this restaurant, “Oma San Francisco Station”, with a wooden counter for only 8 seats, was named after an image in which, although you are in a metropolitan area, you go to a train station to taste omakase-style sushi. The menu consists of only 3 omakase courses, “Nozomi” ($85), “Hikari” ($55)”, and “Kodama ($30)”. The courses are uniquely named after Japanese bullet trains (Shinkansen). The “Nozomi” consists of 12 nigiri sushi pieces, and 1 hand-roll. The “Hikari” consists of 6 nigiri sushi pieces, and 1 hand-roll. “Kodama” consists of 5 nigiri sushi pieces, and 1 hand-roll. Each course ends with akadashi miso soup. If you felt not quite satisfied with the quantity, you can also add individual nigari sushi pieces of your choice.

As for the ingredients, Mr. Chan himself carefully selects only fresh and seasonal produce. On top of air ordering from Toyosu in advance, he also orders certain seasonal ingredients from even Hokkaido and Kyushu. As for fish, this place has rare kinds such as red bream, rockfish, red snapper, amberjack, and scallops from Iwate prefecture, which are not well known and usually unavailable as popular sushi ingredients. Each ingredient is prepared using uniquely effective methods such as konbu-jime, and aburi (charring), to enhance each ingredient’s characteristics to the fullest. The konbu for konbu-jime method is Rishiri dried kelp from Hokkaido. Mackerels from Hokkaido are marinated in dashi for 2 hours, and red breams are marinated for 6 hours before they are prepared. The ikura (salmon roes) dish I tasted was prepared after marinated in konbu dashi and mirin, and every bite was fresh, and soothing while I could still taste ikura’s natural deep taste and aroma, which slowly spread in my mouth. The charred salmon was very aromatic due to slight charring burn, and its soft texture that melted in my mouth made me feel like getting addicted to it. Simple, yet only highest-quality fish is used, therefore, “no soy sauce is needed”, is true as written in the menu. The best possible sushi has been created here by ultimately bringing out each ingredient‘s umami.

Presently, only sushi kaiseki can be offered because there is no kitchen space, however, he indicated his desire of opening a restaurant with a kitchen in the future. Right now, the seating is limited to 8, and the same-day reservation is not accepted, so making an online reservation in advance is recommended. Otherwise waiting can be very long especially for dinner time due to its popularity.


コンセプトは“都会で立ち寄った駅で食す最高級寿司”
 
 近年におけるサンフランシスコ・ベイエリアでの寿司の人気は目を見張るものがあり、寿司バーや回転寿司など数多くの店舗が広範囲で展開されている。その中で、本格的な寿司が食べられるレストランとして注目されているのがサンフランシスコ日本街のウエスト・モール内に2018年7月にオープンした「Oma San Francisco Station」だ。リーズナブルに高品質の寿司のおまかせコースを食する事が出来るとABC7ニュースやHoodline、Eater SFなどの情報誌に取り上げられレビューでも高い評価を獲得している他、ミシュランガイドでも“この様な高品質の寿司を、この価格で食べられるのは素晴らしい事だ”と記載されている。

 オーナー兼シェフのウィルソン・チャン氏はロサンゼルス市ノースリッジ地区出身のチャイニーズ・アメリカン。シェフとして16年の経験を持ち、ロサンゼルス市の「Wasabi + Ginger, Kentaro」、サンフランシスコ市の「Yuzuki」, 「Tsubasa」,「Kappo Gomi」や「Ozaoza」など数多くのクオリティーの高い店でシェフとして活躍してきた。今回、自分の店を持つにあたりシェフだけでなくアートデザイナーとしての経歴も持つチャン氏は、店内の近代的なデザインや立体アートからレストランのウェブサイトのデザインまで全て自分で作り上げたという。

 8席の木製カウンターのみの当店の名前である“Oma San Francisco Station”は、“都会にありながら、駅に立ち寄って食べるおまかせ寿司”というイメージで付けられたという。メニューはおまかせメニューのみの全3種類。それぞれに“のぞみ(85ドル)”、“ひかり(55ドル)”、“こだま(30ドル)”と新幹線の名前を付けるユニークさだ。“のぞみ”では握り12貫と手巻き1本、“ひかり”では握り8貫と手巻き1本、“こだま”では握り5貫と手巻き1本で、全メニューとも最後に締めとして赤ダシの味噌汁が提供される。食後に物足りなさを感じる人には最後に1品ずつ握り寿司を追加する事もできるという。

 食材は旬で新鮮な物のみをチャン氏が自ら選んで厳選、プレオーダーをして豊洲から空輸される他、九州や北海道からも旬の食材を空輸する徹底ぶり。寿司ネタにはキンメダイ、のどくろ、真鯛、かんぱち、岩手県産の帆立など一般の寿司ネタにはない物も取り揃えており、調理方法も昆布締めや炙りなどで個々の食材の旨さを最大限に生かすように調理されている。昆布締めに使用されているのは利尻昆布で、北海道産の鯖はダシに2時間浸してから、キンメダイは6時間浸してから調理されるという。今回、賞味させて頂いたイクラは昆布ダシと味醂で漬けられてから調理されており、噛む度に新鮮で爽やかな口当たりながらも、イクラそのものの深い味わいが口の中に広がっていく。又、炙りサーモンは若干の焦げがもたらす香ばしさと、柔らかな食感が口の中で溶けるようで病みつきになりそうだ。シンプルだが最高なネタを提供しており、メニューには“醤油は必要なし”と書かれているように、個々の素材の旨味を最大限に引き出した最高級の寿司を作り上げている。

 現在はキッチンが無い為に寿司懐石のみの提供となっているが、将来はキッチン付きの寿司屋を開店したいとチェン氏は意欲を示している。席数が8席と限られおり同日予約を受け付けていない人気店の為、ディナー時には行列が出来る事も多いので事前にオンラインでの予約が推奨される。
 


Oma San Francisco Station
1737 Post Street., Suite 337, San Francisco, CA 94115
                             
Website: https://www.omasfstation.com
Email: contact@omasfstation.com
 
Mon.- Sun. 12:00pm – 10:00pm
(Last Seating: 8:30pm)
#alljapannews #Oma #SF #salmon #sushi

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

“Nabe”, a simple dish with carefully selected good–quality ingredients is breaking through

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“Nabe”, a simpl... “Nabe”, a simpl... “Nabe”, a simpl... “Nabe”, a simpl... “Nabe”, a simpl... “Nabe”, a simpl...
Text: Mayumi Schroede / Photos: Elli Sekine

In the last few years, the development of Japanese restaurants in San Francisco has been very active. “Nabe” has two locations; one in the Sunset District by the Golden Gate Bridge, and the other, in the Marina District’s high-end shopping streets, both of which are San Francisco’s typical tourist spots. Since its opening, this restaurant chain has been featured in many information magazines including The San Francisco Chronicle, Hoodline, and Eater, and has been attracting a lot of attention. The location I based this report on was the Marina location, which is stylish and modern, but has a Japan-like ambience that has been created with a colorful hanging Noren divider, and Japanese sake bottles decorated on the wall like pieces of art.

The family of the owner, Hilwin Wong, is from Hong Kong. She was born and raised in a restaurant industry family—her grandfather has a restaurant in the Tenderloin District, and her father runs a seafood restaurant, hence she naturally became interested in the restaurant business. For the first 3 years after graduating college, she worked for Cathay Pacific Airlines as a flight attendant.

During that time, she visited many Asian countries and ate at many local restaurants, which got her charmed by delicious Japanese cuisine and its presentation skills. She decided to get into the restaurant business, quit the airline job, and opened the first location in the Sunset District in December of 2012 with the co-owner, Kevin. Then, in November of 2016, the second location in the Marina District opened. She is already thinking about the opening of the third location.

With their motto, “simple, but the best and freshest ingredients”, their collective, well-researched menu based on customers’ needs was born under the consultation of Chef Isamu Kanai. The dashi for all 7 kinds of their nabe is made in-house using Japanese kelp konbu and bonito shavings. Furthermore, original soups such as miso and spicy miso add deeper flavors to the nabe dishes. The meat they use is completely free of anti-biotics and growth hormones. The beef is the highest grade A5 beef from Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture, and the kurobuta pork is procured directly from a farm in Idaho. To retain freshness, all the meat blocks are sliced off after receiving orders. Their particularity shows in everything else as well. The vegetables for the nabe are all organic, and tofu is GMO-free.

All the servers have been trained on how to skim off the scum from the soup, when to add dashi, and when to add vegetables or meats in order for the customers to eat everything in the best cooked condition.

Their pots used in the Nabe restaurants are China-originated divided pots, so you can enjoy 2 kinds of nabe at the same time. According to Mr. Won, the top 3 nabe dishes are #1, Kamonanban ($26), #2, Shabu Shabu ($24), and #3, Ishikari Nabe ($26). Mr. Won also said, “In order to satisfy customers’ stomachs, I would like them to enjoy nabe with matching rice and noodles.ˮ They serve sirataki, udon, ramen, etc. with the nabe. He also said, “We value our ‘no waste’ concept, so I would like them to make zousui (gruel) using the leftover soup to enjoy until the last drop of the nabe”.

This time, I tasted the recommended 2 kinds, “Kamonanban (with soba)”, and “Shabu Shabu (with udon)”. The duck meat for the “Kamonanban” is procured from Maple Leaf Farm in Indiana. Slightly-thick slices of the duck meat are soft, and the rich juice flows out into your mouth with every bite. Mr. Won tells the secret. “To utilize the power of the ingredients, nothing extra should be added.

Just marinade the meat with mirin and shoyu dashi.” As for “Shabu Shabu”, the soup soaks into the thin-sliced Miyazaki wagyu well, and you can enjoy vegetables and meat in 2 different ways with 2 kinds of house-made sauce, ponzu, and goma (sesame) miso. After enjoying the nabe fully, you make rich zousui with the leftover flavorful soup, which was produced by the vegetables and meat, to finish up. This will raise your satisfaction level to maximum.

They carry not only many brands of Japanese sake to match the nabe dishes, but also a local draft beer called “Harajuku Girl Yuzu Lager” of a local beer factory, HolyCraft. You cannot find this rare find anywhere else. Its citrus-flavored refreshing taste is very popular. I highly recommend one to try the nabe dishes, which is perfect for the coming season, along with sake.


良質食材にこだわったシンプルな「Nabe」がブレーク中

 ここ数年、日本食レストランの展開の勢いが目覚ましいサンフランシスコ市で、代表的な観光地であるゴールデンゲートパーク沿いのサンセット地区と高級ショッピング街のマリーナ地区の2箇所に店舗を構える「Nabe」。開店以来、サンフランシスコ・クロニクル紙やHoodline、Eaterなど多くの情報誌に掲載される今注目のレストランだ。今回取材したマリーナ地区の店舗はお洒落でモダンな作りだが、和風で色彩豊かな暖簾やアートの様に壁に飾られた日本酒のボトルが和の雰囲気を醸し出している。

 オーナーのヒルウィン・ウォン氏の一家は香港出身で、祖父がテンダーロイン地区にレストランを、父親もシーフード・レストランを営む飲食業の家系に生まれ育ち自然とレストラン経営に興味を持つようになった。大学卒業後の約3年間はスチュワーデスとしてキャセイパシフィック航空に勤務し、その際にアジア諸国を訪れレストランを食べ歩き日本食の美味しさとプレゼンテーションに惹きつけられたという。その後、レストラン経営を決意しスチュワーデスを退職、共同オーナーのケビン氏と共に2012年12月にサンセット地区に第1店舗をオープンした。その後、2016年11月に第2店舗目となるマリーナ地区店を開店、将来は第3店舗目のオープンも視野に入れている。

 「シンプルだが最高で新鮮な食材を」をモットーに、カナイ・イサム氏がコンサルタントシェフを務め、客のニーズに応え研究を重ねた集大成のメニューが誕生した。全7種類ある鍋のダシは全て自家製で真昆布や鰹節を使っており、他にも味噌や辛味噌などのオリジナルスープが鍋を味わい深いものにしている。使用する肉は抗生物質や成長ホルモンを一切使っておらず、牛肉は宮崎県から最高級のグレードA5の宮崎和牛の肉を、黒豚肉はアイダホ州の農家から直接仕入れており、肉は鮮度を保つ為に注文を受けてからスライスされる。鍋に使用する野菜も全てオーガニックで、豆腐はGMOフリーのものを使用する徹底ぶり。サーバー全員が灰汁の取り方やダシ追加の頃合い、野菜や肉を入れるタイミングなどトレーニングを受けており、客が食材を最高の状態で食べれるように配慮されている。

 「Nabe」で使用する鍋は中国発祥の仕切り鍋で、2種類の鍋を同時に楽しめるようになっている。ウォン氏によると、鍋の人気トップ3は1位が「鴨南蛮鍋(26ドル)」、2位が「しゃぶしゃぶ(24ドル)」で3位が「石狩鍋(26ドル)」だという。更にウォン氏は「お客様の胃袋を満足させる為、鍋にあった米・麺類をマッチングして楽しんで頂く」と、シラタキやうどん、ラーメンなどを鍋と共に提供している。また「“もったいない”というコンセプトを大事にしており、最後に残ったスープを雑炊にして最後の1滴まで鍋を楽しんで欲しい」と語る。

 そこで今回、お勧めの「鴨南蛮鍋(蕎麦付)」と「しゃぶしゃぶ(うどん付)」の2つを賞味させて頂いた。「鴨南蛮」の鴨肉はインディアナ州のメープルリーフ農場から仕入れている。少し厚めにスライスされているが柔らかい鴨肉は噛む度に濃厚な旨味が染み出し、その秘訣は「素材の力を活かし余計な物は一切加えず、味醂や醤油ダシを染み込ませただけ」とウォン氏。「しゃぶしゃぶ」は薄くスライスされた宮崎和牛にスープが良く染み込み、自家製のポン酢とゴマ味噌の2種類のタレで野菜と肉の味わいを2段階に分けて楽しむ事が出来る。鍋を堪能した後は、野菜と肉の旨味が染み込んだスープで作る贅沢な雑炊で満足度が一気に上がる。

 鍋に合わせた日本酒も多く取り揃えている他、ドラフトビールでは他店では見かけない地元ビール工場HolyCraft社の「Harajuku Girl Yuzu ラガー」を仕入れており、柑橘系の爽やかな口当たりが好評だ。これから季節にピッタリの鍋料理、お酒も併せて是非お試し頂きたい。



Nabe
(Sunset District)1325 9th Avenue / Tel: (415) 731-2658
(Marina District)2151 Lombard Street / Tel: (415) 447-6199

Website: www.nabesf.com
Email: info@nabesf.com

Mon.-Thu. & Sun. 5:00pm – 10pm
Fri. & Sat. 5:00pm – 10:30pm
#alljapannews #nabe #SF #soba

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

The Onigiri boom arrives in the Bay Area of San Francisco!

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The Onigiri boom arrives in th... The Onigiri boom arrives in th... The Onigiri boom arrives in th... The Onigiri boom arrives in th... The Onigiri boom arrives in th... The Onigiri boom arrives in th... The Onigiri boom arrives in th...
By Elli Sekine

Data for Japan’s convenience stores say that 6 billion onigiris (rice balls) are sold each year. A major convenience store chain, Seven Eleven, for instance, sells about 4 million onigiris every day. The number of onigiris consumed every day should be enormous if you include sales at supermarkets and bento specialty establishments. A young group of people were making a plan to launch a franchise business in North America with onigiris, a Japanese daily food, in 2007.

I had been to one of their onigiri sampling events back then before this business started. In those days, onigiris were not sold anywhere except in a few Japanese markets. Sushi had already gained overwhelming popularity in the San Francisco area, and onigiris were also considered to be sushi. In other words, people used to think that rice + seaweed = sushi. In those days, most of them thought that it would be too difficult to market onigiris as a product, due to such poor recognition among the people. However, the three entrepreneurs made a passionate presentation at La Cocina, the organization to support immigrant women’s food businesses in San Francisco, despite the gender gap being men, and seized the opportunity to be supported by them. They launched “Onigilly”, operated in outdoor tents for a while, and then opened an independent store. They are on the right track, successfully increasing the number of the establishments, and heading towards a typical success story.

Currently, in San Francisco, the onigiri boom has arrived. In San Francisco, where commodity prices are going up all the time, onigiris are a good value. They are inexpensive, healthy, and delicious. People rush to buy them in large numbers.

The demand for them is expanding, and not just sold at onigiri shops now. They are now also delivered to IT industry lunches as catering, as boxed lunches for meetings, Uber Eats, etc. Unlike sushi, onigiris are easier to handle because they are not raw. The recipes are simple, and anybody can make them. Each piece is completed, so the quantity can be easily calculated by the number of pieces. For busy one-handed eaters of today, onigiris help them save eating time, and health-conscious people look to them as a superfood for gluten-free or vegan diets.

Presently, there are 5 “Onigilly” restaurants. It has been 6 years since the first opening, and the menu has been evolved yearly. They have expanded the variety, and depending on the size of each restaurant, they are offering other things besides onigiris such as rice bowls which you can add toppings of your choice, zousui (rice porridge), a noodle soup, a tofu noodle salad, etc. The onigiri boom has already spread to NY, LA, etc., and onigiri menus are diversified from high-end to fast-food. Zousui and chazuke are appearing on menus as well.

“Samovar”, a health-conscious restaurant + café in San Francisco, which took the world by storm 10 years ago, opened another restaurant at SFO (San Francisco Airport), which is known as the most gourmet airport, last year.

There are currently 5 “Samovar”s in the Bay Area, and each of them offers slightly different designs and menus. Their SFO location is run by a different team of people than its founders. The “Operator Tastes on the Fly” has invested an enormous capital of $4.1 billion to run the SFO location. They operate as a tea café of San Francisco, at New York, Denver airports, and neighboring high-end hotels, where other local popular restaurants have been selected also.

“Samovar Tea Lounge SFO” ‘s sophisticated exterior and interior are extraordinary. A high-class tea bar, a full bar, and a dining space are set up, and all the menu items are healthy. You can enjoy your meal in a big oasis-like space in the airport. Its rice menu contains smoked duck porridge ($14.5), hojicha ochazuke ($14.50), and salmon egg bowl ($14.50), and you can also add a half-boiled egg or a soup on the side. It is a precious airport gourmet place where you can have a comforting meal before your departure, or upon your arrival.

Mr. Koji Kanematsu, the founder of “Onigilly” has said at the first year, “I want to aim for an onigiri chain that will expand to 500 locations nationwide.” People who were there were laughing at him behind his back then, but this big dream of his does not seem impossible now. The “Onigilly” chain is surely increasing the number of its restaurants, and onigiris are appearing more and more on the menus of many restaurants and fast-food establishments. Nobody calls onigiris sushi anymore. It does not seem long before this dream of the team of Japanese entrepreneurs who have been running towards it the last 10 years, will be realized.


サンフランシスコ・ベイエリアにおにぎりブーム到来!

日本のコンビニエンスストアではオニギリは年間60 億個売れているというデータがある。大手コンビニのセブンイレブンをとっても1 日に約400 万個という消費量だ。これにスーパーやお弁当屋などを入れると驚異的な数字になるだろう。

そんな日本の日常食、おにぎりのチェーン店を北米で展開しようと若いグループが2007 年に起業を構想していた。筆者は当時起業する前のおにぎり試食会に出かけている。当時、寿司が圧倒的な人気を得ていたサンフランシスコでは出回っていなかった。寿司が圧倒的な人気を得ていたサンフランシスコでは、おにぎりも寿司と呼ばれていた。要するにご飯+海苔=寿司という認識だった。

そんな中、おにぎりを商品化するのは厳しいのではないかという意見がほとんどだった。しかし3 人の起業家たちは、サンフランシスコで移民女性達のフードビジネスを支援するLa Cocina で男性でありながら、熱いプレゼンをし、ビジネス支援のチャンスを掴みとった。その後「Onigilly」を起業、テント販売を経て独立店舗をオープン、店舗数を増やすといったサクセスストーリーのレールに乗っている。

今、サンフランシスコでおにぎりブームが到来している。物価が高騰するサンフランシスコで、おにぎりの価値は、安くて健康的、しかも美味しいという理由で消費者が急増している。おにぎりカフェ(店頭)だけではなく、需要が広がっているのは、IT企業へのランチケータリング、そして会議のお弁当、ウーバーイートなどのデリバリーなど。おにぎりは寿司と違い、生では無いので扱いやすい、シンプルなレシピで誰でも扱える。

また、ひとつづつ完結しているので、量はその個数で計算される。何と言っても忙しい「ワンハンド」イーターにとっては食事の時短ができ、健康志向者にとってはグルテンフリー、ベーガンダイエットにも適用されるスーパーフードとしても着目されている。

現在、「Onigilly」は、ベイエリアに5店舗を構える。最初の店舗オープンから6 年経ち、メニューも年々進化している。最近ではオニギリに加えて、好きなものをトッピングに加えていくライスボール(Rice Bowl)、雑炊、ヌードルスープ、豆腐ヌードルサラダなど、店舗の広さによりメニューは異なるが、バラエティーに富んだ内容だ。おにぎりブームはすでにNY、LAなどにも広がり、おにぎりメニューは日本食レストラン以外のハイエンドからファーストフードまで多様化し、メニューも雑炊(粥)や茶漬けなどがメニューに登場し始めている。

サンフランシスコのティーカフェで10 年前に一世風靡したヘルシー系レストラン+カフェの「Samovar」は去年、全米で最もグルメなエアポートと言われるSFO(サンフランシスコ空港)にオープンした。「Samovar」は現在ベイエリアに5店舗を構えるが、店舗によりデザインやメニューが多少異なる。SFO店は創業者とは別チームで、Operator Tastes on the Fly が$4.1 ビリオンという巨額資金を投じてオペレーションを行い、サンフランシスコからニューヨーク、デンバー空港、隣接するハイエンドホテルのティーカフェとして参入する。いずれも地元の人気店が選ばれている。

 「Samovar Tea Lounge SFO」は、洗練された外観、インテリアは異彩を放っている。高級なティーバー、フルバー、ダイニングが設置され、食事メニューは全て健康食。空港のオアシスとも言うべき広々としたスペースでは落ち着いて食事ができる。ご飯メニューには、スモークダック($14.50)のお粥、焙じ茶のお茶漬け($14.50)、サーモンエッグボウル($14.50)がベースで、オプションで半熟卵やスープをサイドでつけることもできる。出国、帰国の際に癒しの食事ができる貴重なエアポートグルメだ。

 「Onigilly」の創業者、金松こうじ氏は起業元年に「全米500 店舗を展開するおにぎりチェーン店を目指したい」と語った。同席していたものは鼻で笑っていたが、その夢は満更でもない。「Onigilly」は確実に店舗数を増やし、オニギリメニューは多くのレストランからファーストフード店まで拡散している。今やオニギリを寿司と呼ぶ人はいなくなった。

カート一つから夢を実現させようとこの10 年走り続けた日本人起業家達の夢が叶う日もそう遠くなさそうだ。



Onigilly (Newly opend)
164 University Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 313-2104
http://www.onigilly.com/
Mon.-Sun. 11:00am-9:00pm

Samovar Tea Lounge(Newly opend)
International Terminal A
San Francisco
(650) 821-8949
https://www.samovartea.com
7:00am-8:00 pm
#alljapannews #SF #oinigiri #onigilly #Japanese

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

A “Japan-quality” matcha café opens in San Francisco

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A “Japan-qualit... A “Japan-qualit... A “Japan-qualit... A “Japan-qualit... A “Japan-qualit... A “Japan-qualit... A “Japan-qualit... A “Japan-qualit...
By Elli Sekine

In the Mission District of San Francisco, which is known as the base of cutting-edge food and beverages, start-up entrepreneurs and invested money of Silicon Valley always link together, and new restaurants and cafes have been opening one after another. This is also the place where much-talked-about food and beverages such as the third wave of coffee, the third wave of chocolate, and Tartine Bakery started. One day, this May, the “Stonemill Matcha” cafe opened for the first time ever in the world by a Japanese entrepreneur.

There, a brand-new type of highest quality matcha and Japan-originated dessert-making techniques are united.

This café is the succession of a restaurant bar, “Bar Tartine”, which was the second establishment of “Tartine”, the very popular bakery in SF. Ever since its opening was announced, this cafe has attracted a great deal of attention from the food and drink industry. Many people had huge expectations due to the brand-image left from the former popular place. However, its opening reception day turned out to be the day everybody had to admit its excellent quality which was beyond expectations. In the past year, matcha serving cafes have become a big hit in San Francisco. But, most of those cafes specialize in sweets such as ice cream. On the other hand, a store that specializes in serving infused matcha called “Samovar Tea Bar” which opened 3 years ago in the same Mission District, has also become hugely popular. Yet, the Japanese tea has only been a small part of the tea culture scene along with other teas such as Chinese tea and Western tea. “Stonemill Matcha”, however, is a matcha specialty store by Japanese.

Mr. Eijiro Tsukada, Founder/CEO of “Stonemill Matcha Inc.” is the mastermind behind it. He mastered in the study of tea in Kyoto, studied international businesses in both Japan and the US, and then founded this company. He said about its opening: “I aimed for an ultimate matcha business that no one in this world has accomplished yet.” A matcha business, which can be called the compilation of such idea, opened stately in the Mission District, invested by multiple corporations including Japanese companies. “Matcha has been recognized in the US, but mainly in the form of soft serve ice cream, etc., and people might have thought that it would be difficult to infuse and serve properly at home. I am hoping that this café will be the trigger for Americans to know more variations of matcha, and enjoy it easily at home,” Mr. Tsukada said. He also said that he wants to keep informing the nutrients and health benefits of matcha intently. Looking at the attractive and unique menus makes you want to try everything on them.

The spacious interior space, where tradition and modernism unite, is decorated with Japanese old house–themed decorations throughout, which provide warm tones using high quality wooden materials, and bring out a classy and relaxing ambience. The ceramic dishes used are hand-made originals by a local artist, and are effective in providing stylish tea time experiences. In the back, a real stone mill, symbolic to “Stonemill Matcha”, is displayed, and represents the deep Japanese food culture.

The tea menu includes only the Japanese tea using tea leaves from Kyoto’s tea farmers/producers. The menu consists of a wide variety of tea. Besides matcha, it includes sencha, hoji-cha, etc. The most popular drinks are Matcha Latte ($5), Ginger Matcha Latte ($5.50), and Cold Brew ($4.50). You can have latte drinks either hot or cold. There is even a unique drink called “Matcha Spritzer”, in which matcha and carbonated water are mixed together. You can also get advice from knowledgeable staff members as to how to infuse Japanese tea correctly, and the installed cutting-edge tea infusion machine produces tea with the best possible temperature and in the best possible steamed state for serving. The desserts and light meals menus are also richly varied, and contain pastries, cream puffs, and Japan-quality original cakes that are made by a collaboration with Tartine. Among them, matcha croissants and roll cakes are especially popular. On the light meals menu, there are cutlet sandwiches ($14), chicken okayu (rice gruel) ($13), matcha chazuke ($16), etc., and the cutlet sandwiches seem to have captured the American appetite particularly among them.

Knowledge and spirit of matcha have been thrown in throughout this place, in the menus, the way the place has been constructed, and even in the services. There is also even an authentic tea ceremony room, where they plan to have regular workshops and tea ceremonies in the future. Mr. Tsukada expressed his desire passionately to spread this business model from San Francisco to all over the US. “Stonemill Matcha” is already well supported by the Mission District foodies, and branding has been successfull. The “Matcha life” looks very much likely to permeate into their lifestyle soon.


“ジャパンクオリティー”抹茶カフェがサンフランシスコにオープン!!

先端の飲食発信基地として知られるミッション地区では、飲食起業家のアイディアと投資マネーが連携し、次々と新しいレストランやカフェを創出している。サードウェーブコーヒーやスモールバッチチョコレート、オーガニックべーカリーなどの話題の飲食もここが発祥の地。先日5 月、日本人起業家による福寿園の抹茶を使った最先端の抹茶カフェ、「Stonemill Matcha」がオープンした。

 SFで一番人気のべーカリー、「Tartine」系列のレストラン、「BarTartine」 の後継となる同店は、オープンの告知がされて以来、飲食業界から多大な注目を集めていた。元人気店に残されたブランドイメージに期待する声は多い。しかしその期待以上に、先日行われたオープニングレセプションでは、誰もがその品質の高さを認めた日となった。

SF ではこの一年、「抹茶」カフェが大流行中。しかしそのほとんどはアイスクーム店などのスイーツが中心となっている。一方、抹茶を煎じて飲ませる店として3 年前に同じくミッション地区にオープンしたお茶専門店の「Samovar TeaBar」が大人気店となったが、日本茶の存在は中国茶や西洋茶と並ぶ一部としてでしかなかった。「Stonemill Matcha」は、“ジャパンクオリティー”の抹茶専門店だ。

仕掛け人は、Stonemill Matcha Inc.の創業者でCEO の塚田英次郎氏。同氏は 京都で茶学を習得し、某大手企業に勤めながら京都で茶学を習得し、国際ビジネスを日本とアメリカで学び、この度同社を立上げた。今回のオープンについて、「世界でまだ誰もがやってない究極の抹茶ビジネスを目指しました」と同氏。その集大成といえる抹茶ビジネスは、日本企業を含む複数の企業からの投資を受け、ミッション地区に堂々のオープンを果たした。「抹茶は今までアメリカで認知されていましたが主にソフトクリームなどで、家庭で煎じるのは難しいという先入観があったと思います。カフェのオープンが、もっとアメリカ人が抹茶のバリエーションを知り、気軽に家庭で楽めるきっかけになれば良いと思います」と塚田氏は、抹茶に含まれる栄養素や健康的な面も強調していきたいと語る。そのメニューを見れば誰もが試してみたくなるユニークで魅力的な内容だ。

伝統とモダンが融合する広い店内は、上質な木材を使った暖かいトーンに京都の古民家をイメージした和テイストの装飾が散りばめられ、上品で落ち着いた雰囲気を醸し出している。使用する陶器は、地元作家による手作り感溢れるオリジナルで、おしゃれなティータイムが楽しめる。奥には「Stonemill Matcha」のシンボルとなる石臼の展示が奥深い日本の食文化をアピールしている。

お茶メニューは、福寿園の茶葉を使用。抹茶の他に煎茶、ほうじ茶などバリエーション豊富。人気ドリンクは抹茶ラテ($5.00)、ジンジャー抹茶ラテ($5.50)、コールドブリュー($4.50)で、ラテはホット、アイスを選べる。中には「抹茶スピリッツア」など抹茶と炭酸をミクスしたユニークなドリンクも揃う。また、十分な知識を持ったスタッフが日本茶の正しい煎れ方と美味しい飲み方などのアドバイスをくれたり、先端の茶抽出機を導入し、温度調整や蒸しもベストな状態で出てくる。また、ペストリーとデザートメニューは、Tartine とのコラボしたペストリー、クリームパフ、オリジナルケーキ類など種類豊富で、特に抹茶クロワッサン、ロールケーキが人気。軽食メニューには、カツサンド($14)、チキンおかゆ($13)、抹茶茶漬け($16)などが揃い、その中でもカツサンドはすでにアメリカ人の胃袋を掴んでいるようだ。

同店は、店づくりからサービスに至るまで抹茶の知識とスピリットが投入されている。さらには本格的なお茶室も完備し、定期的にワークショップやティーセレモニーも行う予定だ。今後の展開について塚田氏は、このビジネスモデルSF から全米へ、やがて世界へと発信していきたいと意気込みを表した。すでに「Stonemill Matcha」は、フーディーなミッションの地元客に支持され、抹茶がライフスタイルに溶け込みそうな勢いだ。



Stonemill Matcha
561 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
https://stonemillmatcha.com/
8:00am-6:00pm
7days open
#alljapannews #matcha #cafe #SF #dessert #okayu #Japan #quality #StonemillMatcha

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

Tsukiji-brand high-end donburi to go

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Tsukiji-brand high-end donburi... Tsukiji-brand high-end donburi... Tsukiji-brand high-end donburi... Tsukiji-brand high-end donburi... Tsukiji-brand high-end donburi... Tsukiji-brand high-end donburi... Tsukiji-brand high-end donburi... Tsukiji-brand high-end donburi...
By Elli Sekine

The SOMA District, located in the south of San Francisco’s financial district, has been having a construction rush in the past 10 years, and high-rise buildings are being built one after another. Most of the new tenants of those new buildings are IT or finance-related business people. Especially growing lately are IT related startup businesses. During the lunch hours, the district is filled with those IT people who go have lunch, and in the evening, a younger generation of IT engineers with their laptops in their backpacks start to flow out toward the nearby train stations. On 2nd Street which is the center point of those stations, many eateries that mainly sell quick to-go lunch items stand. The key phrase is “Time saver”. Some newer places are even using high technologies fully to achieve no-man cafes. Among those, there is one gaining popularity with its high-end poppy-designed sushi donburis to attract young people. It is “The Grubbies”.

When I was walking down the street of business offices, a very noticeable and stylish sign that says “Tsukiji no Donburimono” in Japanese caught my eyes, and I stopped in front of it. Americans probably don’t know what the sign says. Under the Japanese words, it says “The Grubbies” in small letters, which appears to be the name of the restaurant. Its nostalgic, yet poppy appearance was appealing to me, and I peeked inside. There were no tables, but a small counter space in a pathway where even one person can barely walk through. It is so small that maximum of 4 people can barely fit. Everyone who bought bento there comes out carrying a stylish furoshiki wrapping. This is a brand-new style to-go sushi bento specialty store. The menu items with photographs are shown under the sign. The quality and the price are like those of a high-end sushi restaurant. The signature bento “Chef’s Choice” (9 to 10 kinds of sashimi slices + sushi rice, miso soup, and seaweed) is $35, Uni donburi ($40~), Mini hotate donburi with scallops and salmon eggs from Hokkaido ($23), Toro donburi ($28), etc., are far from ordinary bento level. I asked what kind of people would buy those. They said that they make a daily limit of 50 meals, which sell out every day. Surprisingly, I heard that the most of them are sold during lunch hours. I assume that the aimed customers are IT people, and if so, it is understandable that the Tsukiji brand sushi donburi can be so popular, and those high prices acceptable.

The IT bubbling trend in Silicon Valley is directly attacking San Francisco. Ever-growing IT-related businesses in the Financial District are making maximum efforts in lunch services in order to motivate employees, and for better work efficiency. In the early stage of the startup businesses, the companies would give to a small number then, and unexpendable employees extra money for lunch and/or dinner, and when the number of employees grow to be more than 100, or even 200, many of those companies will start facilitating them with a nice cafeteria, or offer catering service for lunch and snack times. For the IT industry, which requires speedy growth, saving time for lunch is a must, and a good menu is a necessary tool to satisfy employees.

Who triggered this business is also a startup team of people of the young generation. They created a platform from where people can easily order sushi through an application, and pick it up quickly. Moreover, they use poppy illustrations and high-end images for the place to attract IT people. Additionally, there is an advantage as for the business structure. Because of the nature of its cuisine style, which is raw, and not cooked with fire, it does not require a big kitchen space to function, and relatively easy to apply as a restaurant space. What’s more important is where to get fish from, and how to get staff who can handle fish. They get fresh fish daily from Tsukiji and local markets alternately. In the day time, they also cater to business offices.

Well, how about the value? Unwrapping the fancy furoshiki reveals a pack of the main sashimi selection, colorfully and nicely laid out in a thin square wooden box.

In addition, a set with sushi rice, miso soup, and nori appears. It looks beautiful and gets you excited. However, the sashimi pieces are on vegetables, so you need to move them onto rice to make a donburi. In the process, you end up rearranging the nicely presented sashimi, and the box of rice is too small to put the entire fish on. You could move them to a third container of yourself (which is big enough), but if you do, it would eliminate its goodness and convenience as a to-go meal. After all, it was not a chirashi donburi I was imagining, and I had to alternately eat sashimi and rice separately. The quality of sashimi was good, but the vegetable underneath was hard and not easy to chew. Personally, I think it is better if the food was served in the form of a pre-arranged bowl.

Most of the regular customers of this place have downloaded the lunch to-go application on their smartphones. Pre-ordering lets them achieve time saving, and proceed with work smoothly. The concept which “The Grubbies” team aimed, and realized, “a new sushi business that nobody has done before, and lunch that is high quality, and no waiting time to acquire”, is very effective in the IT industry. They have become a poppy sushi lunch icon of the SOMA District.


築地ブランドの高級丼ぶりTO GO

サンフランシスコ金融街の南に位置するSOMA地区はこの10 年、建設ラッシュが続き、高層ビルが次々と立ち続けている。新しいビルのテナントに入るのはほとんどがIT、金融関連で、最近特に増えているのがIT 系スタートアップ企業だ。昼間はランチを求めるIT ピープルで賑わい、夕方になるとバックパックにパソコンを入れた若い世代のエンジニアたちが駅に向かって流れ出す。各駅の中間地点となる2nd ストリートには、彼らが利用するサッと持ち帰り食べれるランチをメインとする飲食店が並んでいる。キーワードは時短。中には無人カフェなどテクノロジーを駆使したランチスポットも登場している。

 先日、オフィス街を歩いていた際、一際目立つ「築地の丼物」というスタイリッシュな文字の看板の前で足が止まった。おそらくアメリカ人には何が書いてあるのかはわからない。その下に小さく「The Grubbies」とあるが、どうやらこれが店名のようだ。私はレトロでポップな外観に惹かれ、中を覗いてみた。そこにはテーブルなどはなく、人一人がやっと入れるような通路に小さなカウンターがあるだけ。4 人も入るといっぱいになるような狭さだ。ここから弁当を買って帰る人は皆オシャレな風呂敷包を抱えている。ここは、 オフィスランチで人気を伸ばしている高級寿司丼TOGO 店、「The Grubbies」だ。看板の上には写真付きメニューリストがあるが、そのクオリティと価格は高級寿司屋並み。シグニチャー弁当、「Chef’s Choice」( 9~ 10種類の刺身盛り+鮨飯、味噌汁、海苔付き)は$35、他にウニ丼($40 ~)、北海道産のホタテとイクラのミニ帆立丼($23)トロ丼($28)など、もはや弁当の域を超えている。いったいどんな人が買うのだろうと尋ねると、限定50 食は毎日完売しているという。そのほとんどはランチタイムで、IT 企業の従業員、出張者向けが多数をしめる。ターゲットがIT ピープルと想定すれば、築地ブランドの寿司丼人気とその価格にも納得がいく。

 シリコンバレーのIT バブルはSF を直撃している。金融街に増え続けるIT 関連会社では、従業員の仕事の意欲と効率性を上げる為、ランチサービスにあらゆる工夫をしている。スタートアップ初期の頃は、まだ少ない貴重な従業員にランチやディナーの補助金を出したり、従業員規模が100 人、200 人と成長すれば必然的にカフェテラスを充実させ、ランチやスナックは専門のマネージャーがケータリングを斡旋する所が多い。スピード成長を求められるIT 企業にとってランチタイムの時短は必須。そしてメニューは従業員を満足させる為に不可欠なツールとなっているようだ。

 このビジネスの仕掛け人は、やはり若い世代のスタートアップチーム。彼らは寿司を気軽にアプリから注文、敏速にランチをTO GO できるプラットフォームを作り、店舗にはポップなイラストや高級イメージでIT ピープル達を惹きつけている。また、ビジネス構築として火を使わない生もの料理なので、キッチンは狭くても機能でき、飲食店としての申請も比較的容易という利点がある。重要なのは仕入れ先と魚を捌くスタッフだ。魚は築地とローカルから日替わりで新鮮なネタを仕入れ、昼間は企業へのケータリングも行っている。

さて、そのバリューはいかに。おしゃれな風呂敷を解けば、四角の薄い木箱に彩りよく並べられたメインの刺身のパック、別に鮨飯のパック、味噌汁、海苔のセットが付いてきた。見た目は綺麗でテンションが上がる。しかし刺身は野菜の上に並べられているので、丼にするには刺身をご飯の方に移す必要があるが、そうすると綺麗に盛られた魚の並びを崩すことになるし、飯の箱は小さいので魚は入りきれない。できれば第3 の容器に移し替えれば良いのだが、そうするとToGo の意味が無くなる。結局、想像していたチラシ丼ではなく、刺身とシャリを交互に食べるしかなかった。刺身のネタの質は良いだが、魚の下に敷いている野菜は硬くて食べづらい。個人的には最初から丼になっていた方が親切という感想だ。
 ここの常連客のほとんどは、スマホにランチtogoアプリを入れている。予め注文する事で時短ができ仕事もスムースに進む。「まだ誰もやったことがない寿司ビジネス。質がよく待ち時間ゼロのランチ」を目指した「The Grubbies」チームの発想は、金融街、SOMA で効果覿面。SOMA地区のポップな寿司ランチのアイコンとなっている。



The Grubbies
Store 1 /303 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA 94111
Store 2 / 123 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 757-0887
https://www.thegrubbiescorp.com/
EZ eater www.ezcater.com/
catering/the-grubbies
Mon.-Fri. 11:00am-1:30pm
5:00pm-7:30pm
Sat. and Sun. closed
#alljapannews #tsukiji #donburi #SF #Grubbies #Sacramento #Japanese #lunch

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

A popular sushi restaurant proudly known for having fresh ingredients sent directly from Tsukiji and Fukuoka

スレッド
A popular sushi restaurant pr... A popular sushi restaurant pr... A popular sushi restaurant pr... A popular sushi restaurant pr... A popular sushi restaurant pr... A popular sushi restaurant pr... A popular sushi restaurant pr... A popular sushi restaurant pr...
By Elii sSekine

Hayes Valley, which is known as the place where a gourmet culture started, is also a highly competitive place for the restaurant business. During the recent real estate development, many new condominiums and business buildings have been built, and the area is becoming even more desirable. Many foodies who want to eat out live there, and also some culture/art facilities for performing arts such as symphony orchestra concerts, ballet, Jazz performances, art museums, etc. are in the nearby areas. Restaurants in the area, therefore, need to accommodate to a wide variety of preferences as well. There is only one real authentic sushi restaurant in the area, and that is “Tsubasa”. They have gained many excellent reviews through word of mouth on social media, and have been given a Bib Gourmand rating by the Michelin Guide. They are supported by local sushi lovers for their high-quality a-la-carte, and omakase menus, and the approachability.

The owner, Irene Ouyang, is a Chinese American. She has been a fan of Japanese cuisine for a long time, and was motivated to start and run a Japanese restaurant called “Sushi House” 20 years ago. She later opened “Naked Fish Sushi Grill & Wine Restaurant”, which attracted a younger generation of sushi fans, taking advantage of the pop culture-like sushi boom of that time. Its innovative style, in which a drink bar and sushi are combined, has been copied by many restaurants since, and has become one of the standard styles. Then, 3 years ago, she opened “Tsubasa” on a busy street of Hayes Valley where people are always keeping their eyes on restaurants.

Last summer, the restaurant welcomed Peter Pae as the executive chef, and refreshed the menu. Mr. Pae is a non-Japanese sushi chef, who has 20-years of experience in cooking at Japanese restaurants. He learned the basics of sushi and sushi making techniques from Osamu, the owner of “Sushi Sam”, a popular restaurant which has been leading the sushi boom in San Mateo. He is also carrying over his craftsmanship. He says, “The most important thing about sushi is freshness, and enjoyment of dining is enhanced by having seasonal ingredients.” It is so obvious that such a philosophy is reflected on the menu. He is very particular about the fish he buys, and 90% of it comes directly from Tsukiji and Fukuoka. A wide variety of ingredients and freshness are their selling points.

The menu contains a wide-variety of dishes which include a-la-carte dishes, traditional nigiri sushi, sushi rolls, the original “Fusion Roll”, and options of temaki (hand rolls). The signature items are the “Chef’s Choice”, and “Tsubasa Daily”, for which nearly 30 different kinds of seasonal freshly caught ingredients are described daily. Evening time is mostly filled by reservations, but some walk-ins are accepted on some nights. For lunch time, there are items for quick-eats such as chirashi sushi and negitoro donburi, but they have recently added omakase style dishes on the lunch menu, which are welcomed for business lunches and “Tsubasa” fans. This time, I tried a course meal, and some dishes from the regular menu items. The appetizer, local oysters, were flavored in a Japanese way, and colorfully arranged with momiji oroshi (tinted grated daikon) and green onions, and boosted my appetite. Nicely tender and sweet ankimo (monkfish liver) ($11/each) and Nasu-no Nibitashi (cooked eggplant dish) went very well with Junmai sake. Chawan-mushi (steamed egg custard), a popular dish ($9〜$14) had a slight fragrance of sakura-ebi (tiny dried shrimp), and the fluffy custard made with tasty dashi was bringing out the goodness of rich and creamy uni (sea urchin) from Hokkaido. The main dish, “Special Sashimi” ($80) was colorful, and presented like an art for the decoration of your table. You can easily imagine the freshness of the ingredients by just looking at them, and the skillfully cut pieces and tasteful presentation showcase the craftsmanship well. Well-thought colorful arrangement of that day consisted of fish from Japan, shimaaji, hotate (scallop), inada, kinmedai, kamasu, hotaruika (tiny squids), muki-hotate, etc., and sakura-masu (trout) was decorated and favored with cherry leaves. The nigiri plate looked high class and gorgeous with gold dusted o-toro and zuwai-gani (crab) served with kani-moso (crab brain), which give you the ultimate pleasure of sushi tasting. The menu contains a wide selection of ingredients from standard fish to rare fish from Japan’s nearby seas, which you rarely see at other restaurants, hence can accommodate all sushi eaters from beginners to experts. You can imagine how prominent this place is from serving hon-maguro, because it is supplied to only a limited number of Japanese restaurants.

The restaurant is medium size, having a total of 50 seats. On the left after entering, you see the sushi chef counter, and bar tables, which were filled with many single customers. As for the alcoholic drink selection, Japanese sake brands dominate it. They are sorted by dryness, crispness, and smoothness. Next is wine, beer, and craft beers. Here, the sushi dining that should start with a drink, which Ouyang believes in, matches the eat-out culture spirit of Hayes Valley, and is collecting a lot of sushi fans every day.


築地、福岡直送の新鮮なネタが自慢の人気寿司店

グルメ発信基地としても知られるヘイズバレーはレストランの激選区。最近の再開発で新しいマンションや商業ビルが次々と建ち、益々魅力的な街へと変貌を遂げている。レストランに出かけるフーディーな客が多く、シンフォニーやバレエ、ジャズホール、美術館などの文化芸術施設が隣接するため、店側も多種多様な対応が求められる。その中で唯一の本格的な寿司屋、「Tsubasa Sushi」は、SNS の口コミで常に多くの星の数を獲得し、ミシュランガイドではビブグルマンにも選ばている。アラカルト、オマカセ共に高品質なのに通いやすさが寿司ファンに支持されている。

オーナー、 Eileen Ouyang 氏は中国系アメリカ人。昔からの日本食好きが高じて20 年前にレストラン「Sushi House」の経営を始めた。その後オープンした「Naked Fish Sushi Grill & WineRestaurant」は、当時のポップな寿司ブームに乗り、特に若年層を惹きつけた。ワインを加えドリンクメニューを充実させた画期的なスタイルは、今では多くの店が取り入れ定番となっている。そして3年前、いつも注目を浴びるヘイズバレーのおしゃれで賑やかな通りに「Tsubasa」をオープンした。

去年の夏、エグゼキュティブシェフにPeter Pae 氏を迎えメニューも一新された。Pae 氏は、日本食レストランでの料理人歴20 年になるノンジャパニーズの寿司職人。San Mateoで寿司ブームを牽引して来た人気レストラン、「SushiSam’s」のオーナー、おさむ氏から寿司の基本と技術を伝授され、その職人気質も継承している。「寿司は鮮度が命。そして季節のネタが並ぶ事で、食べる楽しみが一層豊かになる」とPea 氏。その哲学はメニューを見れば一目瞭然だ。毎日仕入れる魚にはこだわりがありその90%近くが日本の築地や福岡からの直輸入。ネタの種類と新鮮さがウリとなっている。

メニューは、一品料理、伝統的な握りとロールにオリジナルの「フュージョンロール」手巻きのオプションが加わるバラエティーな内容。看板は、「Chef’schoice」と30 品目近くの旬のネタが毎日書き換えられる「Tsubasa Daily」だ。

夜は予約客がほとんどだが、日によってはウォークインでも入れる。昼メニューはさっと済ませられるチラシ丼やネギトロ丼物などもあるが、最近「オマカセ」もランチメニューに加わり、ビジネスランチや“Tsubasa ファン” に好評だ。

今回、コースとレギュラーメニューの一部を賞味した。アペタイザーの牡蠣は地元産で和風に味付けし、もみじおろしやグリーンオニオンの彩も良く食欲を唆る。適度な甘さで柔らかいあん肝(各$11) とナスの煮浸しは純米酒との相性も抜群。人気アイテムの茶碗蒸($9 〜$14)は桜えびの匂いがほんのり漂い、良い出汁で仕上げたフルフルなカスタードが北海道産の濃厚でクリーミーな雲丹を引き立てている。メインの「SpecialSashimi」($80) は、色彩豊かでプレゼンテーションがまるでアートの様にテーブルを飾る。ネタの新鮮さは見た目で想像できるが、その切り身とセンス良い盛り付けに職人技が光る。この日は、シマアジ、ホタテ、イナダ、キンメダイ、カマス、ホテルイカ、ムキホタテなど色合い鮮やかで、サクラマスは桜の葉で飾り香り付けをするなど工夫が凝らしてある。

握りは金粉を飾られた大トロと蟹味噌を挟んだズワイ蟹で高級感が漂い寿司の醍醐味がたっぷり味わえる。メニューは定番の寿司から他店ではお目にかかれない日本近海のネタが揃っており、初心者から寿司ツーまでを満足させる内容。また、本鮪の仕入れは日本食レストランの中でも限られているため、同店の盛況ぶりが伺える。

店内は全50席のミディアムサイズ。エントランスを入った左側には寿司シェフカウンター、バーテーブルがあり、個人客も多く見かける。アルコールは日本酒が圧倒的に多く、ドライ、クリスプ、スムーズの口当たり別で表示してある。次いでワイン、ビールを多種揃える。ここでもOuyang 氏がこだわるドリンクから始まる寿司ダイニングがヘイズバレーの外食スピリットにマッチし、毎日大勢の寿司ファンで賑わっている。



Tsubasa Sushi
429 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 551-9688
http://www.tsubasasf.com/

Tues.-Wed. 5:30pm-10:00pm
Thur. 11:30am-2:00pm
5:30pm-10:00pm.
Fri. 11:30am-2:00pm
5:30pm-10:15pm
Sat. 12:00pm-2:45pm
5:30pm-10:15pm
Sun. 5:30pm-9:30pm
#alljapannews #TsubasaSushi #SF #restaurant #Tsukiji #fukuoka

ワオ!と言っているユーザー

New age fusion “IZAKAYA”

スレッド
New age fusion ... New age fusion ... New age fusion ... New age fusion ... New age fusion ... New age fusion ... New age fusion ...
By Elli Sekine

It has been 7 or 8 years since izakaya-style restaurants started to permeate the San Francisco area. Now, they are surely settled in American society, and have become a part of San Francisco’s gourmet culture. However, in the US, the concept of izakaya is more diverse, “having everything from sushi to a-la-carte dishes” to a “high-end kappo style menu”. “Izakaya” traditionally means a “house” for drinking sake, and is a low-key restaurant where small dishes to pair with sake drinks are served. In this US market, however, people probably perceive izakaya as “a Japanese tapas restaurant”, or “a Japanese style bar”.

Regardless of the original meaning, the name “izakaya” is evolving, and becoming a brand, and progressing towards a more high-end eatery.

”Izakaya Hashibiro Kou” which opened in late 2012, is a modern Japanese restaurant in the new age, which has those two elements. Ever since it opened, this place has been maintaining a 4-star ranking in “Yelp” under the Japanese restaurant category. The name means the stork. It is located near San Francisco Japan Town across Geary Street. You cannot say that it is an ideal location, but lately, even a Michelin-starred restaurant, which was built in a large space with a sophisticatedly renovated interior appeared in the area. Due to such changes in the scenery, the area started to attract gourmet eaters. This restaurant is one of such indispensable Japanese restaurants in the city, which has 70 seats and a bar.

Chef Jay Young is from Korea. He was born and raised in Korea. He graduated from a famous culinary school in Korea, majoring in Japanese cuisine. After graduating, Mr. Young worked as a chef in the Japanese restaurants in the Hilton Hotel Seoul, and the Sofitel Ambassador Seoul. In 2012, he was promoted to becoming the opening chef of “Izakaya Kou”, and moved to San Francisco.

His first impression of San Francisco was that it was a very gourmet food-loving society, and open. He said that he learned the joy of food culture in a diverse cultured society. His harmonized polished international food sense and Japanese cuisine are flourishing in this place. His creative high-end dishes, which are beyond Japanese boundaries, and familiar and traditional izakaya menu items offer a very unique combination. The number of menu items which include a-la-carte dishes, sushi, rolls, yakitori, teppan-yaki, donburis, soba, and ramen, is overwelming. Surprisingly, you can even order a chef’s omakase course as a special menu item.

The exterior of the restaurant does not really stand out, but the inside looks very spacious. The tables are laid out with a lot of room in between, and there is a Japanese fire-place room, a tatami room (with a hori-gotatu), and a private room that accommodates up to 8 people. Japanese calligraphy art hung by the entrance that fills up the right side wall, creates a Japanese ambience for the restaurant. There is a small table facing the street, one facing the big kitchen, and one in the private room, etc., and each table creates a different ambience depending on the location. The restaurant can easily accommodate a large group of people, too. The lights are dimmed, and the simple wood-themed interior decorations provide the feel of an old-fashoned private Japanese house.

As far as the menu goes, it looks like a list of rather ordinary a-la-carte dishes, sushi, grilled items, etc. However, each dish is cooked and presented so well that you are convinced of the facts of the chef’s graduation from a famous culinary school, and experiences of working in high-end hotels. For instance, “Gindara Misozuke” ($11) is a dish with a fluffily cooked marinated cod, served on a wooden log plate. The chili sauce, and the daikon garnish is also presented very artfully. In “Hamachi Carpaccio” ($8), a fresh Hamachi is served with crispy cucumber, and accentuated with olive oil, vinegar, chili, mint dressing and herbs. The ingredients for the salads contain organic vegetables from the farmers’ market only. The sophisticated presentations surely heighten the dining spirits.

There is a bar area in addition to the open kitchen. The selection of alcoholic drinks, which is the key to an izakaya, is vast, and contains more than 80 kinds including Japanese sake, shochu, chu-high, beers, and wines. They say that when the bar is full, the meals get promoted. In this restaurant, there is a good balance of demands and provisions as an izakaya. The happy hour is between opening and 7pm. There are only a few other large izakaya-style establishments in San Francisco, which are open until late at night, so this place is accommodating the needs for a wide variety of people from young to businessmen.


新しい時代のフュージョン「IZAKAYA」

サンフランシスコで「Izakaya」スタイルの日本食店が流行し始めてはや10 年近くになるが、最近ではすっかりアメリカ人の間で定着し、サンフランシスコのグルメ文化に溶け込んでいる。しかしその「Izakaya」のテーマは、「寿司から一品までなんでも揃う」からハイエンドの割烹スタイルまで、アメリカならではの多様性がある。

「居酒屋」とは古来、酒を飲む“ 館” で、酒の肴となる小料理を出す大衆向けの店を意味する。しかしここはアメリカ。その由来にはお構いなく「Izakaya」の名前がブランド化しハイエンドへと進化している。

2012 年末にオープンした、「IzakayaHashibiro kou」は、この2つの要素を持つ新しい時代の「モダンジャパニーズ」。オープン以来、「Yelp」の日本食レストランランキングで、四つ星を持続させている。名前はコウノトリの意味。場所はサンフランシスコ日本町からゲーリー通りを渡ったところで、決して良いロケーションとは言えないが、最近周りには広いスペースをおしゃれに改装した話題のミシュラン星レストランも並ぶ。その影響でグルメ客の足が出向くようになった。同店も市内の日本食レストランの中では70 席の客席とバーを持つ貴重な存在だ。

シェフ、ジェイ・ヤング氏は韓国生まれ、韓国育ち。自国のカリナリー名門校を卒業したが、その専門が日本食だった。卒業後、ヤング氏は、ヒルトンホテル・ソウルやソフテル・アンバサダー・ソウルで日本食レストランのシェフを務める。そして2012 年、「Izakaya kou」オープニングシェフとして抜擢されサンフランシスコに移住した。ヤング氏は、サンフランシスコの印象をとてもグルメで開放的。多様な食文化、食習慣の面白さがあると言う。彼の磨き上げた国際的な食感覚と和食の融合がここで花を咲かせている。ジャパニーズの域を超えた創作的なハイエンドなメニューから誰もが知る伝統的な居酒屋メニューとの組み合わせがユニーク。一品料理から寿司、ロール、焼き鳥、鉄板、丼ぶり、蕎麦、ラーメンまで、圧倒的な品数を揃える。さらにはシェフのオマカセコースも特別注文できるという驚きの構成だ。

外側はあまり目立たないが、店内に入るとゆとりのあるテーブルレイアウトと囲炉裏部屋や畳部屋(堀こたつ)の8人まで入れる個室も完備し、広々としている。入口を入ったすぐ右に、壁一面に垂れた書道アートが店の雰囲気を創っている。テーブルの配置は場所によって雰囲気が異なり、通りに面するこじんまりした席と奥には大きな厨房を眺める席、そして個室がある。団体客も余裕で利用できるスペースだ。店内のライトは柔らかで、全体的に木材で統一されたシンプルなインテリアに古民家的な要素を取り入れている。

メニューを見る限りは何処にでもある一品料理と寿司やグリルがずらりと並んでいるが、一皿一皿の料理技術や盛り付けはさすがにカリナリー校出身、ホテルでの経験があるシェフらしい仕上がりだ。例えば「Gindara misozuke」($11)は、マリネードされた鱈をふっくら焼き上げ、それを丸太プレートで出す。チリソースやガーニッシュの大根も芸術的に盛り付けてある。「Hamachi carpaccio」($8) は、新鮮なハマチにキュウリのシャキシャキした食感を加え、オリーブオイルとビネガー、チリ、ミントドレッシングと薬味添えでアクセントをつけてあ
る。また、サラダの野菜は、ファーマーズマーケットからのオーガニック野菜のみ使用したもの。洗練したプレゼンテーションはダイニングスピリットを上げている。

店内にはオープンキッチンとは別にドリンクバーもある。居酒屋の本命となるアルコール類も多種類を揃え、日本酒から焼酎、チュウハイ、ビール、ワインまで80 種類を超える。バーが充実すると食事も進むという、ここでは居酒屋ならではの需要と供給が満たされている。

ハッピーアワーはオープンから7時まで。サンフランシスコ市内には同店のような大規模の居酒屋で深夜まで開いている店が少なかっただけに、若年層からビジネスユーズまで幅広い客のニーズに応えている。



Izakaya Hashibiro Kou
1560 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 441-9294
http://www.izakayakou.com/

Monday Closed
Tues.-Thurs. 5:30pm-12:00am
Fri.-Sat. 5:30pm-1:00am
Sun. 5:30pm-11:00pm
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