Friday, August 30, 2013

Kiraku / Japanese Tapas / Berkeley, CA

The best meal we had on our trip was on our first night at Kiraku in Berkeley, California.
It is a small Japanese Izakaya (tapas) place owned by a husband and wife (the Saitos). They serve traditional Japanese small dishes with a bit of flair. The chef Daiki has many years of training in French cooking, and his wife runs the front of the house.
  "Kiraku" in Japanese means to 'relax'.

 Everything we had was amazing! We tried their homemade tofu, spinach salad with bacon and mushroom, grilled beef tongue, grilled rice balls with miso, duck gyoza (dumplings), etc. Apparently, their bowls and plates are handmade too. Impressive!

 And the dessert! Very unique and delicious! Best desserts I've had in awhile.
The photo above is the roasted tea blanc manger with red bean, tapioca, and whipped cream.
Isn't it beautiful! We also tried their sweet potato brulee and homemade grapefruit yogurt ice cream which were equally delicious as well!
 Vintage Asahi beer poster in the restroom. Cool! 
I had to take a photo! 

I love it when a place adds so much attention to detail and Kiraku is that kind of place! 
It just makes everything feel so special! 
It you are ever in Berkeley, I highly recommend dining at Kiraku.