From a small table inside Izakaya Yuzuki’s quiet dining room, we looked out the window and across the street to where an ever-growing line at Tartine Bakery stretched out of sight. Thirty plus people, all patiently waiting for their delicate, buttery croissant or morning bun, was an interesting contrast to the deliciously plain, silken homemade tofu we were enjoying. Our starting dish provided a flavor so earthy and light that you could eat it sprinkled with few crystals of salt or just plain. Both ways taste extremely different but equally pure.
Izakaya Yuzuki is dedicated to local, sustainable ingredients and traditional Izakaya dishes. The menu changes daily based on what is fresh and in season. This sustainable mission is woven through everything in the restaurant, even their cedar chopsticks. The most common chopsticks in today’s market are very cheap, chemically treated bamboo. Izakaya Yukuzi is also the only restaurant in America to use Koji, a traditional Japanese fermentation process, in their cooking. Koji is known to enhance flavors and help the body process the meal.
Izakaya Yuzuki takes pride in every ingredient they plate – even their miso, tofu and pickles are homemade daily in a pristine, simple and pure way. No dish overpowers another. The meal is meant to be a harmonious combination of subtle flavors; complementing each other rather than out-shining.
The fascinating thing about food is, depending on your circumstances, completely opposite fares, (plain silken tofu vs. buttery, morning buns) can be just as satisfying. I guess that’s why we never get sick of eating. Cheers to that.