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Best Specialty Bars in San Francisco

By: Cityseeker
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Tsunami Panhandle

Get a taste of the sensuous and tantalizing flavors of Japanese cuisine in a chic yet intimate atmosphere at Tsunami Panhandle. Top picks include made-to-order contemporary Japanese creations like nigiri sushi and sashimi, temaki, oysters and sunomuno salad; which can be enjoyed in the cozy dining or at the swanky sushi bar. The bar stocks some of the most sophisticated sake selections, along with high quality Japanese malts and fun cocktails. The restaurant is highly admired for its service, making it one of the best sushi/sake places in Panhandle.

San Francisco, CA, United States
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Blowfish Sushi

Japanese puffer-fish, sometimes fatal if swallowed, is not served here, despite the implication. But you can get its American relative, as well as every other sushi variety you have ever seen and some you have not. Fish combinations and unorthodox ingredients such as mango turn up in sushi to match the hip, edgy decor, red velvet wallpaper and non-stop Japanese hip music.

San Francisco, CA, United States
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Pabu

Pabu takes the concept of an izakaya (casual dining place) to a whole new level. This fine dining Japanese restaurant is the brainchild of chefs Michael Mina and Ken Tominaga, the latter being a Tokyo native. The menu is divided into small plates, large plates and dishes grilled on a robata or Japanese charcoal grill. Typical menu items include sake-steamed clams, Tokyo fried chicken karaage and Liberty Farms duck, accompanied by desserts like soy-caramel custard with sesame candy and coffee jelly. For the best experience, opt for the eight-course tasting menu that comprises of 16 seafood varieties. Prior reservations are recommended for visiting the in-house sushi bar. The bar features over 50 varieties of sake.

San Francisco, CA, United States
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Roka Akor

Attention to detail and creativity mark every aspect of Roka Akor, right from the elegant decor and remarkable cuisine to the ice berg shaped ice cubes served with drinks at the bar downstairs. The tastefully designed main dining area is centered around a Robata grill that creates a theatrical effect. This contemporary Asian restaurant offers diners a selection of Robata Japanese dishes with a menu composed of grilled premium cuts of meat, fish and vegetables with dressings like shaved truffles, Wafu and black truffle-infused aioli, sushi, sashimi, tempura, and decadent desserts. Perfectly complemented by an impressive bar offering of wine, sake, Japanese beer, cocktails and soju, a meal at Roka Akor promises to be a dining experience that will delight you. The Roka Bar remains open until late and offers a special food menu of its own.

San Francisco, CA, United States
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Ozumo

Ozumo is your destination for a quintessential far east experience and is popular among elite epicureans visiting the Embarcadero. The zen-inspired ambiance is an aesthetic illustration of futuristic accents and tasteful design that embodies a sleek and cutting-edge look that is synonymous with Japanese architecture. Bottles of sake that line the walls of the place double up as unique decor. The creativity translates onto the cuisine with an inventively-plated menu that defines modern Japanese gastronomy. Sushi aficionados are sure to love the contemporary rolls made from seasonal fish sourced from globe-spanning producers. Savor the likes of Tazuna, salmon tartare and yamagobo roll topped with snow crab and avocado, the Red Dragon tempura shrimp roll wrapped with tuna and avocado or Yasai Maki, seasonal vegetables with a tart ume plum sauce. Delicious seafood and meat preparations are freshly grilled on the traditional robata while the sake lounge boasts the largest selection of the rice fermented beverage in the country.

San Francisco, CA, United States
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