If you are craving a taste of Tokyo, but don't have the time or funds to get on that plane to Narita at the moment; a visit to Berkeley's Ippuku just may do the temporary trick. Specializing in Izakaya cuisine, this authentically-decored space with a Japanese aesthetic and staff serves items not standard on American restaurant menus. Expect to find bites such as Chicken Tartare and Bacon-Wrapped Mochi.
Although you'll notice that a visit to Ippuku can be drenched in all things Nihonjin (Japanese), you'll be reminded of the fact that you are in the Bay Area. Especially, when you see the repeated use of local ingredients. One such example, is the Matcha Affogato ( green tea over Straus Organic soft serve vanilla) dessert. I'm an avid fan of Straus, making special visits to San Francisco's Super Duper and Zero Zero just to order it. The combination with the matcha was a perfect Ippuku ending. The only thing that could've made it better, was maybe a small dollop of azuki beans with a few fresh mochi on top. Reservations highly suggested.
2130 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704