Nikkei cuisine is the harmonic union of both traditional Japanese and Peruvian ingredients, translating the deep history of their cultures' fusion onto food with distinct culinary techniques and complex flavor profiles. While some may not be familiar with this cuisine, there's one restaurant here in San Francisco that is putting it on the map, in more places than one.
KAIYŌ by Brick x Brick Hospitality Group's John Park is revolutionizing Nikkei fare with their artfully crafted menu and posh dining atmosphere which both modernly elevates the cuisine while also remaining true to its heritage. With KAIYŌ's first highly beloved location in Cow Hollow on 1838 Union Street, it has expanded to their second location as KAIYŌ Rooftop in SoMa, a swanky tropical venue that boasts breathtaking 360 degree views and exceptionally delectable food and cocktails.
Located on 701 3rd Street atop the Hyatt Place San Francisco, KAIYŌ Rooftop is this summer's hottest destination for dining with refreshing cocktails while looking out at the long sunset bathing downtown's sweeping skyline in stunning golden light. With its airy 3,300 square footage and fabulous interior design, any spot on this coveted rooftop grants you amazing visuals from the Bay Bridge to the Salesforce Tower, the Sutro Tower, and Oracle Park right next door.
KAIYŌ Rooftop's food is just as spectacular. By amalgamating the vibrant palates of Peru and Japan, their unique menu shines with the most creative crudo and freshest sushi.
With the culinary program led by the talented Chef Alex Reccio, you can guarantee you will receive only the highest grade of meat and seafood cuts, all served elegantly with a love and passion for cooking that you can see in presentation and instantly recognize in taste.
Their signature House Roll with Canadian crab, salmon, tempura asparagus, garlic chili oil, and more is definitely a standout, and their Kame House Roll is an instant favorite with melt-in-your-mouth hamachi, shiso leaf, creamy smoked yam puree, microcilantro, and doused in their exclusive leche de tigre sauce.
They also serve several unmissable Nigiri and Sashimi, and also consciously cater to their vegan fans with an inventively handcrafted offering of either miso-glazed eggplant, compressed tomato, pan seared king trumpet mushroom, or Shingo Pear Nigiris. These ingenious vegan alternatives carefully uplift and gastronomically transform the produce into innovative bites that anyone will be impressed by!
They also have a large ceviche and Tiradito menu that premieres eight various offerings such as a Nikkei seafood tower with seasonal shellfish. The bar bites are also delectable with their fresh oysters, flaky Nikkei empanadas, and wonderfully crispy Karaage chicken.
KAIYŌ Rooftop's refreshing libations also effortlessly pair with both the meals and the view, offering 10 differing house cocktails that are distinctly complex, light, and utilize traditional Japanese and Peruvian liquors.
The stars here are the Porco Rosso with Union Mezcal, spiced pear, and chili bitters, the Space Adventure Cobra with Roku gin and matcha coconut cream, and The Wind Rises delightfully marrying Barsol Pisco with sunflower orgeat and cinnamon bitters.
Definitely do not miss out on sampling their extensive sake and Japanese whisky and craft beer selection.
With Oracle Park just adjacent to the hotel, this posh top-floor restaurant makes the perfect late night jungle oasis after games. Whether you choose to dine under the stars or within their covered bar with many cozy ceiling heaters, KAIYŌ Rooftop guarantees only the most elevated aesthetics, service, Nikkei cuisine, and glorious city views unseen anywhere else.
KAIYŌ Rooftop is open 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesday to Saturday, and Sundays 2 to 9 p.m. You can make reservations and view their website here.
Photography by: Mahmoud Fawzy/Unsplash