About Izakaya Kou

1560 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
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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.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
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

Cross Street:
Fillmore Street and Geary Streets

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 441-9294

Website:
http://www.izakayakou.com/

Parking Details:
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.

Public Transit:
We are located on the Southeast corner of Geary Street and Fillmore Street. Muni buses run regularly to the Japan town area.

Executive Chef:
Nick Yoon

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:
James: 415-441-9294x

Additional:
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

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4

service

3.8

ambience

3.9

noise

Moderate

76% would recommend it to a friend

good for groups (10)
fit for foodies (10)
neighborhood gem (6)
See All
special occasion (5)
hot spot (4)
romantic (4)
late-night find (3)
notable wine list (1)
vibrant bar scene (1)
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Newest
101 reviews
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

REALLY great experience my first time. n ...

Dined on June 12, 2016

REALLY great experience my first time. not so much my second time. good spot for before a movie!

Tags: good for groups, neighborhood gem
food1
ambience3
service3
value1

the food was bit much- overwelhming. to ...

Dined on May 28, 2016

the food was bit much- overwelhming. too much of sauce, not fully tasteful.

Tags: good for groups, late-night find
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We had a group of 16! Great place for a ...

Dined on May 22, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
food2
ambience4
service4
value3

This place is probably good for drinking ...

Dined on May 14, 2016

This place is probably good for drinking sake with a couple of appetizers rather than having full dinner. Food is not like awesome but ok. Staffs were great.

food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Excellent SF Izakaya

vip
Dined on April 30, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

One of my favorite restaurants in SF!

Dined on April 20, 2016

The food is fantastic. Delicious and authentic. I can't recommend enough.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A local gem

Dined on March 25, 2016

An unusual Japanese menu with each delicious dish artistically served at a reasonable price--what more could you ask?

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Exquisite Dinng

Dined on March 16, 2016

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).

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience2
service1
value2

Convenient location

Dined on March 13, 2016

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.

Tags: good for groups
food5
ambience4
service3
value3

My Gemstone

Dined on February 21, 2016

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.

Tags: good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
food4
ambience2
service1
value2

Needs to work on customer service

Dined on February 20, 2016

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.

Tags: good for groups, late-night find, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Across from The Fillmore

Dined on February 20, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service2
value4

Nice dinner; service could be better

Dined on January 24, 2016

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.

Tags: neighborhood gem
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

Great option for midsize groups & pre-show dining

vip
Dined on January 9, 2016

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.

Tags: good for groups, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The private rooms are perfect for a good setting.

Dined on January 9, 2016

the cuisine and food was incredible. volcano roll is a must.

Tags: good for groups, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Good Sushi place

Dined on January 3, 2016

Good Sushi. Some innovative cooked sushi that I like.

food4
ambience4
service3
value4

Fresh sushi and a varied menu

vip
Dined on January 1, 2016

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.

food4
ambience3
service4
value4

Enjoyed our meal!

Dined on January 1, 2016

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)!

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience4
service1
value2

Button on the wall.

Dined on December 30, 2015

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.

food1
ambience1
service1

Was terrible... Thats all! Never coming ...

Dined on December 30, 2015

Was terrible... Thats all! Never coming bakk :(

food4
ambience4
service3

Interesting dishes

Dined on November 22, 2015

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.

Tags: good for groups, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience3
service1

Good food, bad service

Dined on November 15, 2015

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.

food2
ambience4
service4

Meh --

Dined on October 28, 2015

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience3
service3

Excellent food, erratic service

Dined on October 28, 2015

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.

food5
ambience5
service2

Tsukune, tuna poke salad, hamachi carpac ...

Dined on October 23, 2015

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.

food4
ambience1
service2

wasn't impressed

Dined on October 18, 2015

Food was good but the layout of the restaurant and the service is not attractive at all

Tags: fit for foodies
food3
ambience4
service3

overall it was fine, nothing special. well priced

Dined on October 14, 2015

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

food5
ambience5
service5

Love the tatami rooms!

Dined on October 4, 2015

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience4
service1

Service was horrible

vip
Dined on September 21, 2015

I left, sober, thirsty and hungry. We had to remind the server about one dish as well. Not a great experience and will hesitate coming here again.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience4
service4

Great sake collection

Dined on September 21, 2015

Great sake selection to go with good small small plates. Attentive service.

Tags: neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5

New Favorite in Japantown

vip
Dined on September 11, 2015

Really enjoy the dining experience, especially the food. We arrived at the happy hour and we ordered three Tako Yaki just because it's so good~ Really like the milky Sake.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
food3
ambience3
service3

Don't bother.

Dined on September 10, 2015

Mediocre food and even lesser on the service. Not worth the trip nor the prices not to mention the portions. Cross the street for better eating...

food4
ambience4
service2

Great concept and could be even better

vip
Dined on September 6, 2015

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups
food5
ambience5
service4

The croquettes are impossibly creamy; SO ...

Dined on September 6, 2015

The croquettes are impossibly creamy; SO GOOD. The food and presentations are delicious and impressive. Would come back to try everything on the menu.

food5
ambience4
service5

Amazing!

Dined on September 6, 2015

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!

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5

Unique and delicious dishes prepared wit ...

Dined on August 30, 2015

Unique and delicious dishes prepared with care and attention to detail.

food5
ambience5
service5

Great Food, Great Vibe

Dined on August 29, 2015

I took my wife here for a date night. We arrived early for our reservation on a Friday night and they accommodated us right away. The seafood ramen was the star of our dinner, and the sweet potato shōchū was an awesome accompaniment. The atmosphere was lively and fun, and the service was great.

Tags: good for groups, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5

amazing food, lovely decor and service!

Dined on August 28, 2015

amazing food, especially the unique rolls they serve. great sake list, and really lovely staff. really like the wood and decor in general. very nice spot, and not tooooo expensive.

Tags: fit for foodies, group bookings, neighbourhood gem
food3
ambience3
service3

The first time we came was after they op ...

vip
Dined on July 29, 2015

The first time we came was after they opened and we loved it. We have been back a couple of times and the food is good, some dishes are really excellent but some others are OK. It very close to our place and prices are good, so it's convenient.

food5
ambience5
service5

Yum!

Dined on July 27, 2015

Great food! Sashimi was generous and really fresh. Loved the pumpkin puff - we ordered two they were so good!

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