About Izakaya Kou
Izakaya Kou is taking the idea of the traditional Izakaya and turning it into the modern gathering place where we offer high quality Japanese fusion tapas and various unique drinking beverages in a comfortable, modern and fashionable atmosphere. It is a place where people can linger with good friends, good food, and drinks in the heart of San Francisco.
*Happy Hour, Tues-Fri from 5:30 to 7:00p*
If you would like to reserve a Tatami Room, please be advised, each room requires a $200 minimum with 3 hours use of the space. The largest room, seating up to 8 is a $260 minimum.
Parties of 6 and more, please contact the restaurant directly between the hours of 4pm-10pm.
Japanese, Asian, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: T-Th 5:30pm-11:00pm
Dinner: F-Sa 5:30pm-12:00am
Dinner: Su 5:30pm-10:00pm
Fillmore Street and Geary Streets
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Street parking is metered until 6 pm or there is one neighborhood parking facility a block away at The Japan Center garage at 1610 Geary Blvd.
We are located on the Southeast corner of Geary Street and Fillmore Street. Muni buses run regularly to the Japan town area.
Private Party Facilities:
Our space offers private tatami rooms with a minimum seating of four and up to eight. The rooms feature sliding doors that connect to an adjoining room for larger parties. Each room requires a $200 spending minimum and can be used up to three hours. The largest room seats up to 8 and requires a $280 minimum.
No shoes allowed in Tatami Rooms
Private Party Contact:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Izakaya Kou Ratings and Reviews
If you want great food this is the right ...
If you want great food this is the right place. If you want to have a conversation while eating this is not the right place. If you really want to have a conversation here ask for one of the enclosed Japanese-style rooms.
I cannot say enough about how much I lik ...
I cannot say enough about how much I like this place. My favorite dishes there has got to be the grilled eggplant and the kombucha croquette. Simply amazing what they can do with eggplant and the sauce for the croquette. Most of the time I would get Jinah as our server and I really like how fun she is, always a joy to see her.
Service was fine, nothing outstanding. A ...
Service was fine, nothing outstanding. Ambience was hip and nice. The pounding dance music was way too loud for conversation. However the food was overall too sweet. Everything had sugar in it! And some things had way too much sugar. The sushi rice was disappointing. It had a chewy texture and was too sweet. We were hungry but stopped after several plates because we were getting sick of dessert for dinner. Went to have food somewhere else after that to fill us up.
The sushi selection is pretty good and f ...
The sushi selection is pretty good and fresh. The skewers were a bit lacking. And the cooked items were decent. The service is spotty, probably because they are understaffed. Overall it's s good place for casual dining with friends or a date.
We had a group of 16! Great place for a ...
We had a group of 16! Great place for a lively, foodie group. We had a wonderful time. Ambiance is cozy and rustic, the background music was hip and great for conversations. The food was perfectly paced, and everything tasted amazing. Would recommend if you wanna try some great Japanese dishes with friends.
Excellent SF Izakaya
A few years ago, Izakaya Kou opened in the Fillmore area and offered high quality Izakaya fare at reasonable prices with a contemporary ambience. You can find great examples of Takoyaki, Yakitori, Ika Yaki, and a large selection of other dishes including sushi, sashimi, grilled and fried dishes. If you're a Shochu fan, they have a nice selection that are reasonably priced at $5 a glass, and they have over 20 sakes available, many that can be either ordered by the glass or in a 300ml bottle/carafe. The most remarkable thing about Izakaya Kou is that after a few years, the quality and value for money are still excellent. The food is still fantastic and you can walk out with enough money left in your pocket to not mind paying the cover at the Boom Boom Room across the street. I highly recommend Izakaya Kou.
At the Izakaya Kou restaurant each dish is a work or art both culinary and visual. The ambience is reserved and stately. Wood paneling reduces the noise level so, despite background music (which my opinion was a bit loud) one can have a conversation without raising one's voice. Our favorite San Francisco outing has become a movie at the Kubuki Theater and dinner at this fine nearby restaurant (timed of course so as to take advantage of happy hour from 5:30-7:00).
This is a great place to grab a bite to eat before going to a show right across the street at the Fillmore. The chicken skewers were delicious as was the sashimi salad. Just don't be in a hurry. Even with reservations we had to wait, and then two servers were confused which one was "allowed to help us" so we had to order everything twice. Both servers were not familiar with any of the items we asked about on the menu. Both tables on either side of us sent their food back because it was not what they ordered.
The restaurant was cold, the seating in the front is right by the door and and drafty.
We love this spot. Daughter is intrigued by the private dining rooms with sliding doors. We are looking for an excuse to get a group together to book one of those spots.
Food is most XLNTE! Great twists on some traditional favorites always surprise and thrill me. Service is a bit lacking. They could hover a bit more to keep beverages topped and take orders for next set.
A bit noisy, so if you are catching up with an old pal, go early or do not expect to get a lot of in-depth discussion.
Needs to work on customer service
Food was good, I loved my Ramen. Service killed the night. When we asked our waiter for feedback on what he liked or what he thought about a item on the menus, he would say "uhh it is all good". Using grey language makes me feel like you are not confident in the restaurant food. You should feel passionate about the food you are serving and be able to give me your opinion. Our first appetizer came out immediately, our second one didn't come out till our dinner was served. My friends got their sushi and then had to wait 15 minutes for me to get my ramen. The food should have been served within a couple minutes of each other so we aren't all waiting there awkwardly for 15 minute for one persons food. Oh yeah and I had to ask when my food was coming after 10 minutes and he has to ask me what I ordered again. He even said I thought you guys were all set with the food. Clearly not when everyone has food except me. The waiter was not observant. Would not come back here or recommend to anyone. You are better off with sushi bistro in the inner Richmond.
Across from The Fillmore
I had dinner here with friends before going to The Fillmore. I chose it because of the high ratings and proximity to The Fillmore but will return because of the interesting (and long) sake menu, delicious and beautifully prepared dishes, the unique offerings on the menu, and the ambiance. It was a wonderful spot for dinner and we were well taken care of by the waitstaff. The private rooms are adorable and would be great for a larger group or a special occasion. Highly recommend the Black Cod, the Tuna Carpacchio, and the Caterpillar rolls but avoid the mushroom skewer.
Nice dinner; service could be better
The food at Izakaya is delicious. Fresh fish and unique takes on traditional Japanese cuisine. Highly recommend it for the food. The service left a little to be desired. We spent a good amount of time with no food or drinks.
Great option for midsize groups & pre-show dining
My husband and I go to Izakaya Kou all the time! I love this place. There is a solid sake selection and a wide variety of Izakaya fare -- all very tasty!
The atmosphere is great inside -- there is an open seating area as well as private rooms for larger parties. Sound does tend to carry (less so in the private rooms) so be aware of that if you are trying to have an intimate evening. Maybe make a note on the reservation if you want something more private.
For me the real win for Kou is if you are dining with a group, or have a movie to catch at the nearby Kabuki Cinema. The service is incredibly prompt, the food is consistent in my experience, and price-wise it is a little cheaper than many of the options on that block.
Fresh sushi and a varied menu
Had a great meal after seeing a movie at the Kabuki. It's a 2 min. walk from the theater. The interior of the restaurant is cute, the menu is extensive, the fish is fresh. The service could have been a little more attentive, but not a huge deal.
Enjoyed our meal!
We started with the sashimi salad and it was fantastic. My husband is allergic to sesame oil (weird I know) but they accommodated us easily with only ponzu sauce. Mixing the salad created a savory/sweet combo with big chunks of assorted sashimi and spicy greens. We also has the egg and pumpkin fried dish which was pretty good. Next we had Uni sushi which we had never tried and was interesting and different thou not my particular taste. We had the Unagi rice bowl which came with an extremely large portion of tender Unagi with perfect sauce over rice which we really enjoyed. We finished the meal with a couple of peices of Maguro nagiri. We paired this with a dry saki which was good and even better because it was happy hour and we got the second carafe for $1. The biggest drwback was the place is a bit cold both in funishing and temperature and the tables for 2 are all by the door (except the 1 that is practically in he dining room). It was a perfect pre concert meal and the wait staff was kind and attentive. I would love to go back with friends and sit in the tatami room (6 maximum for $200 minimum)!
Button on the wall.
Kou should tells every customer the use of the button. We were the first time there, and no body told us we have to sumon the services by pushing the button on the wall. We had been to Japan for many times, we knew there are restaurants instaaled the sumon button, but not everyone will search the area like 007 whereever they been a new place. Since no body seemed care our presence after we had been there for a while, we raised our hand and stopped a witress walked by to take our order, she looked very very unhappy.
Their food is just average, but putting in price concern , I will only rate them below average in total.
I enjoyed the atmosphere and some of the food. Service was a little slow but still good. I really recommend the yellowtail collar, it was cooked perfectly. However, the Dengaku Miso (grilled eggplant) was covered with too much sweet sauce. It had all the nice flavors of grilled eggplant too much miso sauce. The Tako Wasabi (raw octopus) was also a miss, very chewy. Most of the the sushis and rolls we tried were good.
Good food, bad service
Izakaya Kou had good food but little pricy for what they present. Meat was tough so I probably won't recommend to order, but fish was good. We had hamachi Kama was very tasty. Service was kind of terrible. Our waitress took for a long time to take our order so we waited a while to get our food. She never came back to check in with us or if we needed anything so that was disappointing so for that we probably won't go back for what we paid, but food was good overall.
I enjoyed the sashimi and the kabocha croquette wasn't bad. The portions are small, and the flavor in general is not good enough to make up for it. The agedashi tofu seriously made me laugh. Three miniscule pieces of tofu, no larger than 1 x 1 x 2 cm... which would have been okay if it were good, but it was actually bad compared to the soft, wonderfully fried block of tofu that you'd expect to get at a real izakaya. The pork belly was also three or four itty bitty pieces that, unfortunately, had no distinguishing quality.
Atmosphere was nice, though.
Excellent food, erratic service
Being first in line waiting for them to open at 5:30 before a show at the Fillmore, we expected quick and efficient service, but in fact, it turned out to be very unorganized. We had three, maybe four, different servers who kept getting our orders crossed. It was very hard to flag someone down as the staff were all rushing around to no apparent purpose.
This was a shame because the food is actually very, very good with an excellent selection of sake, both hot and cold, available during happy hour. We tried a little of everything and it was all good.
All in all, not bad, but we aren't likely to go bad with so many other restaurants available in the area.
Tsukune, tuna poke salad, hamachi carpac ...
Tsukune, tuna poke salad, hamachi carpaccio were the highlights of yet another excellent meal at Izakaya Kou. Service was definitely slow, but the food came out at a good pace and we enjoyed every morsel. I've been coming here since it opened, and I don't see that changing any time soon.
overall it was fine, nothing special. well priced
Liked the decor, very good menu. I like the tapas style japanese menu. Overall, the food was a bit average. Black Miso Cod wasn't great,I've tried it many restaurants in the world and this was the worst - wasn't bad though but it should be more of a standout dish. I thought the prices were very reasonable though, so relative to the price it was good. Grilled squid was good.
3.5-4 out of 5
Love the tatami rooms!
Got six of my friends together and booked a tatami room. Great, cozy environment for long conversation and great food with the energy of a busy restaurant but lots of privacy. FYI: The tatami rooms require at least 5 people in order to book and a $200 minimum and 2.5 hour max requirement.
There are also larger tatami rooms - great for a birthday or special occasion!
The food is delicious tapas-style. We enjoyed all the foods. My favorites are the kurobuta sausage and bok choy and mushroom stir-fry. Don't underestimate it!
Great concept and could be even better
The restaurant decor and ambiance is really pretty good. The food is better than many sushi restaurants in the city that I've been to. The service is a bit lacking and if you sit at the sushi bar you might as well be sitting facing a wall.
I'm sure they want to be successful. Some service tweaks are crucial. From the time one heads to the host/hostess podium one should be taken care of with a sense of urgency.
While dining one should feel as though the experience is important.
It seems that there is quite a bit of comaraderie amongst the staff however this is at the expense of the guest. Seems like this is a leadership thing.
Sitting at the sushi bar does not provide any interaction with the sushi chefs. Don't understand the rationale.
The food is really pretty good and when the service tweaks are made, they will really see more success.
Our first visit was in May and we were not disappointed then, not disappointed now! We had repeat dishes and new dishes. The Volcano roll was amazing right along with the Spicy Tuna Poke and the gratin scallops. Service was swift at our 5:30 Saturday reservation. Demon Slayer Sake was a reasonable priced favorite and prompted us to buy a bottle.
Good job Izakaya Kou!
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