Fish & Bird restaurant brings modern Japanese flavors to Berkeley


thanks for sharing!

Went last night. Sign on the door said it’s their soft opening and apologized in advance for any problems, but everything went smoothly. Reservations essential. The server said they were booked up by 5:30 and weren’t taking walk-ins.

House-made soft tofu ($7) was delicate and subtle. My friend who loves fresh tofu was crazy about it.

I loved the chrysanthemum and shirasu salad ($9). I’ve never had such young, crisp, juicy chrystanthemom. One of the owners said they get them from a greenhouse so they should be like that all year round. The fried tofu sticks seemed a bit rancid, but I’m really sensitive to that and neither of my companions could taste that.

I forgot to photograph many of the dishes. Menchi katsu ($12 for 2) were a standout. Vegetable tempura ($13) was excellent and had an unusual selection Black cod hanpen with cheese curd ($10 for two) were fun and unlike anything I’ve had before. Chicken kara-age ($9 for four pieces) was bone-in and excellent. Duck tataki ($13) was very good but probably would not order again as other dishes were more exciting.

Kurobuta nabe ($16) was great though I’d have liked more noodles. I got a side of rice ($3) as it kind of cried out for some.

House-made hojicha “ice cream” ($7) made from house-roasted tea was fantastic. The menu says it’s vegan, so I guess not actually ice cream.

We tried both Japanese wines, Grace gris de Koshu and Grace rosé, interesting to try but would not order them again.

We tried the Den Daiginjo ($15 / glass ), Senkin Omachi Modern ($11), and Otokoyama Junmai Nama ($11) sakes. At first the Den and Senkin seemed the most interesting, but when the fried food came out our clear favorite was the Otokoyama, so we got two more glasses of that. Next time I’ll probably just go for a bottle of that.

Great place. The owner said they’ll be adding the promised Nagoya-style dishes at the end of the month.

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Fried, marinated, chilled smelt

Tofu Skins

Soft Tofu

Seaweed w/ vinegar

Seabream over rice w/ warm dashi

Ice cream w/ Den sake lees

Houjicha roasted tea ice cream