This was the first ever dining experience that compelled me to write a negative review. We came with extremely high anticipation for Rintaro for a casual anniversary dinner, but left feeling disappointed and misled by the descriptions, restrictions, and price of the menu. Here is the good and the bad. PROS: Excellent waitersCleanGood Interior AmbianceHojicha Panna CottaCONS: Shockingly small portionsLong wait timesNeeds more clarity in menuQuality was not worth the price We were planning to have one set menu and then order a la carte for a party of two. Did not want to order more than we could eat. Waitress asked management if that was allowed, and told us we couldn't. However, it was not stated anywhere that the whole party must participate in it -- unless if it was a party of 6. We didn't want to make a commotion and felt rushed so we we ordered two set menus, one yakitori chicken thigh, and one kurobata tonkatsu. Everything tasted of dashi and Japanese mustard. Udon broth was great, noodles were very undercooked. The sashimi plate served in the beginning was the best dish -- halibut and tuna were fresh and tasty, but the yellowtail we received felt rubbery and lacked its usual flavor. Mabodofu bowl and the tamago roll were the most disappointing. There was no mapo tofu flavor, overwhelmed by the taste of ginger. 90 percent of the bowl was rice and looked like some sauce spilled over it-- there were four cubes of tofu. I made this dish using a packet mix that morning and it frankly had more flavor. Tamago roll was 1.5 by 3 inches. We had the Chiizu tonkatsu and kurobata tonkatsu from the menu. These were worth trying! Loved the pork and the flavors in Chiizu. Pretty good, and only normal sized dishes of the night. The yakitori tsukune and negima were nice as well. The hitokuchi oden was the size of my PALM. Description of the oden said fluffy fishcakes-- it came with half a slice. They took 'hitokuchi' literally and in a 'one bite' sampler i expected the flavors to be a lot more exciting. It did not feel right to be paying an exorbitant price for this. Hojicha Panna cotta was AMAZING. Last course of the night. Presentation was on point and it was creamy without being heavy. Flavors was powerful and balanced and what I expected of the rest of the dishes. We had at least four servers throughout the night, who were all helpful and nice. They had a lot to juggle. As someone who grew up with Japanese food, the two set menus, sake pairing, one yakitori negima, and one kurobata tonkatsu added up to almost $300 that we sadly felt was unreasonable for the size and quality of the food.
1) service : service was so amazing, and the host and
1) service : service was so amazing, and the host and everyone was super accommodating. 2) price: kinda pricey compared other teishoku Japanese places, but very normal for SF and especially since the vibe is more upscale 3) food: we ordered around 5 dishes a la carte, which was the right amount of food for two tech boys, but I wouldn't say we were stuffed at the end. We ordered the1) rintaro oden, 2) chicken thigh yakitori 3) cheese chicken katsu 4) a udon and 5) the rice plate with sashimi. Overall, all the dishes tasted really good, and each dish was unique and memorable compared to the other! I think this place is very very pretty and swanky and perfect for date night! Overall, would recommend this place to someone who's looking for a cute spot to dine
Lucky me I was able to snatch the last 5:30pm courtyard
Lucky me I was able to snatch the last 5:30pm courtyard table for a Friday evening on Monday night. Lucky us we were able to find a parking space right across the street from the restaurant. Looked like the stars all lined up for us! The restaurant decor looks like a little Japanese hut and the outdoor courtyard has a canopy above and heat lamps next to the tables so it kept us warm. The oden food cart is parked next to the courtyard outside the main dining room.We decided to order a la carte over their set menu and our bill came to just about the same price of the set menu (~$150 for two pre tax, 5% SF mandate, and 20% service charge). San Ten Mori ($40 for 2)Sashimi plate with tuna, yellowtail, amberjack, halibutQuality was fresh but portion on the smaller size (thin slices)Nano Hana To Awabi No Nibitashi ($20)Cooked veggies with abalone slicesThin slices of abalone. Veggies soaked in tsuyu (soup base) giving it a super umami flavor.Yakitori Tsukune ($12/2 skewers + $3 add on raw egg yolk)Minced chicken skewers It was good but not as good as what I had in Japan which it was made with minced chicken mixed with chicken cartilage that gave the skewer a soft yet crunchy texture. The egg yolk add on is a must although $3 was rather steep.Yosedofu ($15)Homemade tofu - it was more creamy than silken almost like a pudding. It's not bad just different mouthfeel.Karei No Karaage ($30)Deep fried whole crispy fish - BEST fried fish dish I had. The entire fish including the head, tail, bones were all edible. Must order if you like fish!Kamojiru Udon ($25)Cold udon with side of thin slices of smoked duck breast and broth for dipping. Flavor was excellent though it was just difficult to dip the udon into the bowl of broth.Overall excellent quality except the thin slices of sashimi, abalone, and duck. Still I'd return to try out other dishes.
Wow - such an exceptional experience start to finish.
The most memorable meal from our weekend visiting SF. Our server Jasmine was incredible and also had great sake knowledge to help us pair our courses. Honestly she played a big role in our 10/10 experience. Can't wait to return someday! Already referring friends.
Stopped by here for dinner a few weeks ago with my
Stopped by here for dinner a few weeks ago with my roommates and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed.We had made a reservation so when we arrived we were asked to wait for a little while our table was getting ready. After a few minutes, we were led to a booth that was actually really nice. The ambiance of the restaurant itself was cozy, the music was really fun, and the vibe was great.For food, we all shared a few small plates and each got an udon dish for our main course.For small plates, we ordered the Hanetsuki Gyoza, Duck Salad, Karaage, and a few orders of yakitori. And for our main we each got an order of Cold Udon with Mushroom broth, duck fat, and duckHighlight items for me were as followsDuck Salad - Extremely good. The salad itself was very refreshing and the duck was cooked perfectly. The balance of all flavors (Sweet, savory, smokey) was incredibleDuck with Cold Udon and Mushroom Broth - this dish was an experience. The dish comes out with Cold Udon Noodles, broth, and a small little container of duck fat on the side. Per the recommendation of our server, we were asked to try the udon without the duck fat first, and then go ahead and add it. The broth was savory and flavorful and having it with the duck and udon made every bite fantastic. Would highly recommend getting this one. Karaage - Fried chicken never goes wrong. And this is no exception. The spicy and sticky glaze on the outside of these wings was to die for. Super tasty and extra freshAll in all, this was an absolutely fantastic meal. Taking into account the ambiance, the quality of food, and the friendly service, I'd give Rintaro a 5/5.Looking forward to the next time I can swing by here
Booked a last minute dinner reservation to this cute
Booked a last minute dinner reservation to this cute Japanese izakaya spot in SF! It was my first time here so we asked the waitress for recommendations and everything was so yummy!Super cute date spot! The ambiance and the aesthetics were spot on with an authentic Japanese feel. It felt like going to an izakaya in Japan. My favorite was the mochi kinchaku! It was so cute and different from what I've ever had. It was also dressed in the homemade dashi broth that was super light and flavorful. Not to mention, drinks were also great too. We tried the house-made umeshu and the yuzu seltzer. Both really refreshing!
Food are good but very small portions! You may go home
Food are good but very small portions! You may go home hungry. Very limited indoor seating. The music volume is way too loud. (Hard to talk.... ) They automatic add 20% tip without asking but they do let you know.
Rintaro has the best kurobota tonkatsu I've had outside of
Rintaro has the best kurobota tonkatsu I've had outside of Tokyo (at least in the bay...can't speak to other cities). Highly recommend to everyone Location is not the best, however, as soon as you walk in, you will find yourself to be somewhere in Japan... :) the ambience is 10 / 10. Incredible date spot or a yummy dinner with friends if there are just 2 of you, suggest for you to opt for the bar seats where you can see everything getting made. For a larger group, the booths seem quite fun. And you have the option to sit outside in the front which feels like a backyard - quite nice as wellFor my first visit, we did not opt for the pre-fixe meal as we wanted more things that were not part of the set menu. All dishes we ordered (except for the karaage) were incredibleI loved the sashimi, mochi, kanpachi kama (grilled yellowtail amberjack collar), and most incredibly the kurobota tonkatsu. I would go back over and over again just to have the tonkatsu which was fried to perfection and extremely fatty and tender on the inside. You get the perfect crunch and texture all in one biteThe udon caught my eye but we were so full that we couldn't eat anything elseI was recommended the hojicha panna cotta which will have to wait for the next visit :) Will be back soon!
Food and service was great! We ordered the set menu with
Food and service was great! We ordered the set menu with the sake pairing! The curry croquettes were my favorite!
Rinataro has been on my list of places to try for a while.
To skip the wait, we made a reservation on Resy and sat at the counter. Watching the cooking magic unfold was a treat! We decided to do a date night here and ordered a bunch of tapas, including Kama Tama Udon, Yosedofu, Yakitori Eringi, Kabocha Korokke, Chicken oyster yakitori, Yakitori tsukune, and Yakitori Hiza Nankotsu.
A bit out of town but we got an Uber there and back no problem. Nice setting. Friendly staff. We went for the tasting menu as you got a bit of everything. It was really interesting. We don’t usually have Japanese food so the textures and flavours weren’t something we were familiar with but it was great to try something new. Loved the sashimi and the katsu.
Average for non-average price
Went for fixed menu. Food was average. Sashimi was good but rest was average at best. Service was average but then when the check comes you get forced to a non-optional 20% tip on top of the 5% SF service charge.
Let's just agree that this may not be the best neighborhood
Let's just agree that this may not be the best neighborhood but the moment you walk in, you are transported to a world worthy of "Memoirs of a Geisha" sceneries. The terrace is lovely, minimally designed with just the right rustic touches. Inside, the booths are positioned to get a view of the amazing kitchen staff who yield beautiful culinary creations that makes me that much more eager to return to Kyoto. Go for the tasting menu if it's your first time and trust that it was assembled to allow you the most wonderful experience, then order a couple of a la carte dishes that tugged on your heartstrings. Absolutely worth a stop on your SF itinerary...I can't wait to return.
Overall an amazing experience with a generous portion of
Overall an amazing experience with a generous portion of "fancy" comfort food. We paid the same price for a set menu at a fancy French place several weeks prior, but I had a much better dining experience here with both the food and the atmosphere! Maybe because our palates are more adapted to Asian cuisines, and the vibes here are way more relaxed, fun and intimate. We had more than enough to eat. Super glad to have come here for a special occasion (my freshman year roommates and I's last dinner together before our official college graduations).My friend called to make a reservation for omakase. Monday showed up as closed on Google Maps, but they actually still open for omakase by reservation. Will come back to try the "regular" restaurant yakitori and izakaya sometime.A cute enclave in the Mission district with outdoor patio vibes and cool indoor seating options. The booths were very intimate, and they get super dark later in the evening with some candles and skylights. Would try sitting at the bar if I come here alone or in a party of 2. There were string lights and lanterns hanging across the walls.Here are the courses for the seasonal omakase menu on May 16, 2022:Zensai, ranked (refreshing, tasty)1. Monterey Abalone with Flowering Rapini2. Wadaman Sesame Tofu with Half Moon Bay Wasabi (pudding-like, not salty)3. Santa Barbara Spot Prawn with Tosazu Zeri (remember to eat the brains haha)4. Smoked and Grilled Sonoma Liberty Duck Breast (very interesting flavor, a little bland)Owan: Spring Chawanmushi with Riverdog Farm Eggs, gulf shrimp, sugar snap peas, asparagus and fava beans (not usually a huge fan of steamed eggs, but this actually tasted like a pudding. the beans and peas added to the texture -- crispy, naturally aromatic and succulent)Sashimi: Ehimi Sakuradai Sea Bream and Kuromaguro Bluefin with Half Moon Bay Wasabi (can't go wrong with this -- bluefin = both tuna and fatty tuna)Agemono: Soft shell crab and chrysanthemum greens tempura with ten tsuyu, grated daikon and ginger (yummy, crispy, juicy yet still light; don't forget to use the dip!)Yakizakana: charcoal-grilled California king salmon yuanyaki with meyer lemon (this was okay; could have been more tender. it looked like Sablefish)Okowa (was pretty full by the time this was served so we packed most of the rice to-go)- rice cooked with California bamboo shoots and shiitake with ume sesame (extremely delicious, comforting yet so unique. probably favorite dish of the meal)- Miso soup with Rintaro tofu and roasted Maitake (i usually don't like miso soup but i enjoyed this)- Karashi daikon, Rintaro umeboshi and takana pickle (mix it into the rice!)Dessert: parfait with bing cherry ice cream and langues de chat (very refreshing, melts-in-the-mouth sorbet, light cookie, sour & sweet cherries)
Food is a big part of my travel plans, and usually I will
Food is a big part of my travel plans, and usually I will structure itineraries around places to eat and then plan other things around that. Since I had never been to SF before this trip, I consulted a few "best of" lists to find the hot spots in the city. Rintaro appeared on a few lists - the food and reviews looked great and it fit perfectly with my desire to try good Asian spots. That being said, I booked a table for our first night in SF and off we went.Rintaro looks unassuming from the outside - it almost has a diminutive entrance, though once inside you're greeted by a lovely courtyard which gives way to a sizable dining area. We arrived shortly before our reservation time, though we ended up waiting close to 30 minutes past our reservation for a table - kind of annoying, but the staff was super apologetic and provided a great service recovery to make up for it. The decor is simple but effective and gives off Japanese restaurant vibes - lots of medium wood tones and touches of color here and there - nothing too over the top, which worked well. The menu is mostly small plates to share, and is mostly divided by type of dish in an order that is recommended. They offer set menus which give you a variety of plates from the menu, though you may also order a la carte. Since there were dishes we wanted to try that were not on the set menus, we decided to order a la carte. But first, a drink - they have barrels of plums in the dining area which they are fermenting to make wine, so we decided to try some. It was great - strong and included a boozy plum which lived up to the adjective. For food, we got the following dishes: teba no karaage (chicken wings), kama tama udon (the noodles were prepared almost carbonara style), hanetsuki gyoza, chiizu tori katsu (chicken stuffed with cheese), yakitori sori, kabocha korokke (potato), ika no nuta (squid), and fried anchovies (don't remember the Japanese name ;-). My favorites were the chicken wings, udon noodles, the tori katsu, and the ika no nuta. If I'm being honest though - they were all so good it's hard to choose standouts. The chicken wings were full of flavor, the noodles were creamy without being too heavy, the cheese in the tori katsu elevated the chicken, and the ika no nuta was served chilled with a tasty mustard sauce mmmm. Service was excellent - everyone we encountered was super friendly and our server especially was totally on top of it. She got us excited for the menu and made excellent recommendations. Overall, I had an excellent experience at Rintaro and would definitely return if I'm ever back in SF.
FYI: Courtyard seating is still inside the restaurant walls
FYI: Courtyard seating is still inside the restaurant walls but outdoors. If you find yourself freezing your ass off (like me), ask for a blanket from the waiting staff. They have them available for unprepared people like me.WHAT WE GOT: Kabocha korokke, yakitori aka momo, dashimaki tamago, kama tama udon, and maguro no yukkePROS: The husband and I came here after we signed our lease to our new apartment in the city in preparation for moving cross country from Philly. The vibes on the inside were super nice and felt almost like we were transported to a small little Japanese courtyard with the surrounding decor. Fast and friendly service with delicious food. The portion sizes of everything was just big enough for us to get satisfied. My favorites of the night were definitely the kabocha korokke and the maguro no yukke. The creaminess of the pumpkin paired really nicely with the crispy, fried exterior of the korokke, and the flavor and ingredient combinations for the maguro no yukke were classic but top notch. Nice quality fish too. Amazing food with amazing ambience.CONS: Their wall heaters in the courtyard could maybe do with some adjusting in terms of heating range. Realistically, only the people sitting directly next to them could feel the heat while those sitting on the outside edge tables (us) could barely feel them. If the range can't be adjusted, then they need at least 2 more standing heaters in the courtyard cause I was freezing. Thank god for the waiter who came by and noticed me shivering. They offered me a blanket to use which made things a touch better.
Was very disappointed to be treated like thin air by the
Was very disappointed to be treated like thin air by the hostess. We visited the restaurant, was informed there'll be a table in 1-1.5 hours, left our number, and was never called. It is now 4 hours after. I even called the restaurant twice, and was put on hold for 5 min+ for the first time and the second time no one picked up. This service does not meet the standards of any serious restaurant.It is not unusual to have busy evenings; most top restaurants in large cities do. But when a guest leaves their number with you for you to call back for a table you say will be ready, please call them back.
The food was presented beautifully but it was a little rich.
The restaurant itself is in a sketchy neighborhood but once inside the restaurant it was very nice. All the food was creative and I have had the food since they did pop-ups. My only disappointment was the katsu. The batter fell of once you cut into the pork. It was a nice restaurant experience overall.
Courtyard table for our 8 year anniversary dinner.
Just perfect casual, intimate atmosphere but also attentive service. Everything was good, but the stars were the smaller dishes. We had sequoia sake, and the umeboshi plum cocktail (just like salted plum lemonade I used to make as a kid, but boozy!) and the cucumber one, both delicious. Highlights were the anchovies, the Kabocha croquette and the squid salad. Good but not memorable were the tuna with garlic on rice and the king trumpet skewer. Definitely make this a date night go to.
We came here when there was a pop up - super fun! They
We came here when there was a pop up - super fun! They offer some really legit yakitori options. Also love their covid bento boxes.
We went here with friends who were visiting. We went with the tasting menu, which is a great way to go. The food was great and we had saki and champagne at various points. My favorite dish was desert, a gelatin dish that was beautifully presented and tasted great!
Food ok, service top notchThis is my 3rd time to rintaro,
Food ok, service top notchThis is my 3rd time to rintaro, unfortunately the my experiences here have left me a little underwhelmed but last night was probably the most comprehensive meal I've eaten here (tasting menu vs. A la carte). The price point is quite high for what it is. Though dishes are unique and innovative, most are are not memorableThe great- green tea Panna cotta with hojicha syrup- halibut katsu in broth- chicken skewers- tuna sashimi- duck saladThe just ok- sesame tofu- steamed egg and daikon- grilled bluefin tuna- sunomono with cod- striped bass sashimi- yellow tail sashimiThe bland- udon- mapodofu Don- fishcakesService is always top notch and excellent. One of the best service you can receive in the city, better than some Michelin star restaurantsOverall after 3 tries, I cannot fully say I recommend this restaurant. If you're looking for a fancy experience, this is the place to be but I'm honestly looking for super tasty food instead and most dishes here don't cut it
I’ll keep this experience in mind for a long time! Food is so fresh and well prepared, service is warm and friendliness, and the restaurant itself is very cosy and comfortable! Great spot!
We got the set menu and it's definitely on the pricier side. I gave an overall 4 stars because i thought that the food took way too long to come. Our reservation was at 9pm but we still had to wait a bit to get our table. Quaint little restaurant, felt very japanese.The yosedofu wasnt like those regular silken tofu you get at the supermarket. This was had more texture and I really liked it. Sashimi was very fresh. I usually dont like white fish but the stripped bass was very refreshing. The chicken yakitori was very tender and juicy. It tasted like these pork skewers you would get on the streets in thailand. Nothing too special for the last dish and dessert:Udon was chewy and fish tofu was good. Mabofofu was pretty average. Panna cotta was creamy and nutty, better than the ice cream but this because im not a big fan of sorbet.
Top experience with service and food. Great atmosphere, positive people. Recommending the 6 course menu. I hope to come back agin.
Had to make reservations a few weeks in advance for 7pm
Had to make reservations a few weeks in advance for 7pm times. They have a set menu, but since we wanted to try things off of it, we ordered a la carte.The yakitori skewers were so moist and flavorful. The katsu, korokke, and karaages were perfectly fried. The yosedofu was so smooth. and reminded me of the Chinese dessert, dofufa. The gyoza was juicy on the inside, and perfectly crispy on the outside. The sashimi was fresh, and the different condiments gave it a nice change in flavor. The rice dish and udon were a perfect way to end since it made sure you were truly full. The duck that came with the udon had to have been the best dish. The hojicha panna cotta was amazing. I loved the crisps that came with it, and the tea of the hojicha syrup was strong. The shukuriima san shu got messy but the sorbets were flavorful. The staff were so understanding, nice, and professional. The service was amazing. I can't wait to come back.
A very solid izakaya that does delicious hand-rolled udon
4/5 by A. C.
A very solid izakaya that does delicious hand-rolled udon in a low-key, modern atmosphere. Whenever I want a place to unwind while enjoying their signature carbonara udon, this is where I come to. The chew of the flour noodles is just right and a bit addicting. Ended up trying the cream puffs with 3 flavors of ice cream/sorbet this time. I love the idea of it though ended up wishing for more creaminess to pair with the choux puffs. The flavors of the Meyer lemon ice cream, mandarin + mango sorbet, and strawberry+blood orange sobet were very tasty by themselves so they could have been better served plain and simple. Glad to see that they've come out of the pandemic with a good customer base intact. Recommend you get a reservation or there may be wait time involved. Parking isn't normally an issue if you don't mind a few blocks walk and they have indoor and outdoor seating.