We were a week into 2016 and the holiday lights are still up on 4th street in Berkeley, California.
We headed into Iyasare for dinner last Saturday night for some good eats. I’ve been there before for brunch before (see previous post https://justcallmequeen.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/iyasare/) and I knew that this meal would not disappoint.
We started off with their appetizer of beautiful tuna with cucumber, mushrooms, avocado, and a miso sauce.
Next, was their squid made two ways – grilled and then crusted with nori and tempura.
For our main courses, we got their Japanese Uni Risotto with maitake mushrooms lightly battered and fried. I had read many reviews about this before tonite and while all of them had been very positive, I was still a little skeptical. But after one bite of this, I was sold. This was fantastic! The uni flavor was there but not overpowering. There was a nice broth surrounding the risotto but it seemed to drown out the consistency of everything else and could have used a little less.
The special of the day was a grilled branzino with an herbed salsa and maitake mushrooms. This was so delicious. The fish was so fresh that it really shone on its own. The herb salsa was just the right amount of flavor to pair against the delicate fish meat.
To end the meal, we got their ume (or Japanese plum) ice cream with cream, caramel, and crispy rice chips.
I don’t particular like ume in large doses, which is what this was. Bites eaten with the caramel were delicious, making me wish there was more caramel in the dish. Overall, though, it was an interesting use of ume and my friend loved it!
So glad I got to eat here for dinner last week and can’t wait to come back!