Izakaya Roku Gets New Chef And Menu

Izakaya Roku Gets New Chef And Menu
Photo: Jared Schwartz/Hoodline
By Jared Schwartz - Published on April 03, 2014.
After opening up almost 1.5 years ago, Izakaya Roku is making some huge changes.

Located next to Pisco Latin Lounge and across the street from the LGBT Community, Izakaya Roku has brought on a new head chef and is altering its menu.

We spoke to Jay Hamada, owner of this restaurant and the JapaCurry food truck, about what we should expect to change... and learned that San Francisco is sometimes the smallest city in the world. 

"We were doing good, but I was thinking about how we could be better" he started off. "One day, I met a sushi chef named Masaru who came into the restaurant. He was working at a sushi place in the Financial District. After talking, we realized we came from the same small town in Japan."

Not only did they come from the same small town, they went to the same high school. Jay and Masaru both grew up in Miyazaki, Japan, a small Prefecture on the eastern coast of the island of Kyushu. After establishing the connection and talking more, Masaru decided to quit his job and join Jay and help bring a new Miyazaki take to the menu.

Due to the connection, Masaru convinced his brother, Yasu, to move to San Francisco from Tokyo where he was working as a chef. The two brothers are now at the healm of the kitchen, infusing a Miyazaki country-style into the new menu. 

The menu just recently debuted and they're currently making tweaks, trying new dishes each month, and seeing what people enjoy.

"I'm very comfortable and happy with the new menu" Jay explained. "We all speak the same Miyazaki dialect and it feels like eating in my hometown."

In addition to the new menu, Izakaya Roku also began serving their Japanese curry from JapaCurry at the restaurant in the evenings. So if you've tried it from the food truck, you can get it on the menu any night of the week.

The restaurant is open Tuesday though Sunday, 5:30pm-10:30pm, and stays open until 11:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays.