Izakaya Kou- The perfect spot to chill, drink and eat

  Posted by - November 25, 2014 - $$ (20-50), NightTime, San Francisco

Very rarely will you find a Japanese restaurant that does everything right.

Not to mention Izakaya Hashibiro Kou is cool as shit.

They’ve successfully transformed a traditional Izakaya into a modern, hip, and fun dining experience by offering Japanese-style tapas infused with Asian influences in a cozy lounge-like atmosphere.

Their extensive menu ranges from yakitori to fresh-cut sashimi to ramen to grilled and fried items.

In my opinion, it’s the best way to eat.

Because duh, you get to share everything– which means you get bites of everything. It’s a win-win.

And lemme tell yah, their drink menu is just as impressive–> Sapporo on tap, wine, cocktails and freshly-squeezed juices. They also have an extensive sake list to please all audiences.


If you’re looking for a fun night out with a group of friends OR just a high- energy date night atmosphere, then this is your place.

Side: You also get private party rooms where you sit into the floor. Cool, right?

 Anyways, onto the food:

KOU Sashimi ($18)– You get a total of 9 pieces of fresh cut sashimi; salmon, hawaiian big eye tuna, and yellowtail (no substitution). Overall, I was very impressed with the quality of their fish (being that it’s not a true sushi restaurant).


Gindara Misozuke ($11)-  Miso marinated black cod.

This is one of my favorite things here. You get a buttery piece of seared black cod that melts with each bite you take. It’s the only dish where I secretly wish I wasn’t sharing with everyone (sshhhhh).

Tofu Temptation ($7)- The soft tofu arrives beautifully presented with three variations: topped with Korean style mentaiko, uni, and oshinko. This is a great appetizer to get your taste buds flowing for the next couple of dishes.

On the left, we ordered the Bacon Enoki ($6)- mushroom wrapped with bacon.

On the right, we ordered the Kurobuta ($5 )- black pork.

You just can’t go wrong with either options.

Each of these yakitori orders comes with two skewers.


This seafood ramen is just ridiculous. Like, I can’t believe how much I love this bowl of ramen.

It has just the right amount of spiciness (jalapeño) so that it doesn’t take away the taste of the broth. The noodles were cooked to perfection. And you get a good variety of seafood options (shrimp, mussels, octopus, etc).

Get it, and you wont be sorry.


Uni ($10)- sea urchin from Santa Barbara

They give you hugeeee chunks of uni where it’s practically falling over the sides. The uni was pretty good for an Izakaya restaurant (b/c I definitely didn’t expect this type of quality here).


Hotate Yaki ($10)- scallops with garlic and asparagus. The scallops were fresh and so buttery. Overall the flavors worked really well together.

Buta Toro ($7)- Pork belly garnished with scallions and red onion. The pork belly arrives sitting in a slightly sweet miso sauce. While it was good, the pork was a tiny bit dry. I wish it had more of a “melt in your mouth” type of texture. (yah know?)


Kalbi Tempura ($10)- Korean style boneless short ribs with vegetables mixed in a sesame ponzu sauce.

This is the only dish that I wouldn’t order again. It was weird, because the short ribs were fried and really dry.

They should have just left the shorts ribs alone.


California Roll ($6)- made with fresh crab meat

Yah I know… I’m ordering sushi ROLLS (and I don’t even like rolls). But hey, I was craving carbs & they use fresh crab meat here. None of that fake shit.

It was bomb.


Spicy Tuna Roll ($6)- Hawaiian big eye tuna and cucumber in a special spicy sauce.


Again, the quality of nigiri is impressive for an Izakaya restaurant.

The interior has a super modern zen-like design, where you’ll find wooden tables, a long bar facing the kitchen, and four intimate rooms along the walls (I’d recommend making a ressie for these).


To sum it all up… 

This place is literally perfect for a fun night out. Social drinking is a big part of the Izakaya experience, so ask your server for some sake recommendations (or beer- whatever floats your bloat!).

Since the menu is so extensive, it has a little bit of everything to satisfy anyone’s cravings or taste buds.

The two “MUST GET’S” are the miso black cod & seafood ramen.

PS: Make your ressies in advance. If you come with a large group, get the private rooms!

Izakaya Hashibiro Kou on Urbanspoon

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  • Diana February 9, 2015 - 4:36 am Reply

    This looks SO good! I have to give it a try sometime.

  • Michelle December 1, 2014 - 6:12 am Reply

    I also love their ramen here! Personally, I think it’s even better than Underground and Orenchi Ramen.

    • CynEats December 2, 2014 - 1:23 am Reply

      I totally agree! Although I still have yet to try Underground Ramen,,, I def think the noodles are better than Orenchi!

  • Karl November 27, 2014 - 11:22 pm Reply

    So in short, it’s a must go! Great post, love your blog, keep up the good work CynEats!

    • CynEats December 2, 2014 - 1:23 am Reply

      Thank you!

  • Christopher November 26, 2014 - 12:08 pm Reply

    I have a few friends visiting for the long weekend and this seems like a fun restaurant to check out. Do you know if the rooms will fit around 6-8 people?

    • CynEats December 2, 2014 - 1:22 am Reply

      Yes, the room that we had could fit 8 people perfectly! Enjoy :)

  • Julia November 26, 2014 - 9:04 am Reply

    Looks like a cool spot! Thanks for putting this on my radar for next time :)

    • CynEats December 2, 2014 - 1:23 am Reply

      You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy :)

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