San Francisco’s quest for beer domination continues as Hitachino Beer’s first U.S. restaurant prepares to open. Though there are several tasting rooms and pubs in Japan, Hitachino Beer & Wagyu is the first of its kind in America, helmed by Hitachi-born chef Noriyuki Sugie.
The restaurant is based on Kappo, a popular style of eating in Japan that focuses on pairing items with beer or wine— it’s a progressive, interactive meal that focuses on keeping a balance between all courses, using a variety of techniques. And, per the name, there will be wagyu— lots of it. Sugie will serve the highest grades of Hitachiwagyu beef (A5 10-11, with 12 being the highest), which originates from the same area as Hitachino’s Kiuchi brewery, and comes from 30-month-old Japanese Black wagyu cattle. (Also, the cows drink the same beer that you’ll find at the taproom, bringing everything full circle.) Check out the menu below.
The eight-course menu will change daily, with specials like wagyu kobujime, beef that is cured with kombu (a technique typically used for fish). To start, the menu will be served as a prix fixe (priced around $100), but will shift to a la carte sometime in the spring. While pairings won’t be matched up with the menu, beer flights will be a great option for tasting through. Meanwhile, at the bar, the menu includes Tokyo-inspired “sake cup bar snacks,” filled with shareable snacks served both warm and cold, like pickles, braised meats, and meatballs.
To drink, there will be 10 taps of Hitachino’s finest, ranging from white ales to lagers and even IPA. At least three of those beers will be exclusive to the taproom, including the very rare “3 Days Beer,” a byproduct of the tsunami in Japan that wiped out power in the brewery, forcing longer time in the mash tanks and wild fermentation. (Editor’s note: It’s worth a visit to try this special beer alone.) Sake and plum wine from the Hitachi region will also be on offer. Check out the full menu below.
The restaurant has two main areas: The front area with standing room, and stools at the bar, and 26 seats at booths in the rear of the restaurant, which will be the main focus for the wagyu menu. It was designed by Japan-native Chi Kano, who frequently collaborates with Hitachino on its spaces; furniture was designed by Yagi Sawa, who used old sake presses to create the bar and tables.
How to Get In
To start, the restaurant will soft open serving only beer and sake cup snacks; diners can sit down at tables for the wagyu menu by signing up for the email list and entering a lottery, or by way of introduction from someone who has been (a common method in Tokyo). In the spring, the wagyu menu will switch to a la carte, and reservations will extend beyond the restaurant’s email list. (Sign up here.)
Is this the coolest thing to open in San Francisco lately? Maybe. It’s definitely going to be a hot ticket from the second the doors open, so start your engines, Hitachino fans. The opening date is pending the Hitachino brewmaster’s approval, which should happen in the next week— stay tuned.
Hours will be Monday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.
- Hitachino Nest Beer’s First U.S. Restaurant Is Ready to Roll [ESF]
- Hitachino Beer & Wagyu [Official Site]