San Francisco Is Getting A Spirit-ual Home For Japanese Whisky And Wagyu, Yokai

Yokai SF Japanese whisky

Marc Zimmerman, the chef behind San Francisco steak Mecca Gozu, is getting ready to open a bar focused on Japanese whisky and wagyu: Yokai. Inspired by Japanese after work bars, the space will focus on “Japanese whisky and cocktails as well as brandies, cognacs, and the budding Japanese gin scene.”

Yokai, which means “spirit” in Japanese, will see a number of the talents from Gozu splitting time at the new space, including Chef de Cuisine Jessie Lugo, Beverage Director Jordan Abraham, and General Manager Molly Mueller. 

The menu will focus on shareable plates and yakitori skewers cooked over binchotan charcoal, as well as a few large plates–think slow-roasted Wagyu neck and coal-seared Wagyu carpaccio. There will also be fish and seafood options, like steamed whole Japanese sea bream and King salmon belly skewers with matcha, buttermilk and dill, as well as vegetables and produce from Tenbrink Farms.

Located in SoMa, ALM Design Studio will renovate the pre-Prohibition space, which features high ceilings and exposed brick. Japanese listening bar vibes–which are all the rage right now–will be emphasized by a vintage McIntosh–no “a”, no word on the “hello”–sound system, and the bar will have an extensive vinyl collection.

Yokai will be located at 545 Mission Street and is expected to open in early 2023. 

For more information, head over to Gozu’s official website.

In September, Chef Jason Fox turned the Proper Hotel’s former coffee bar, La Bande, into a gin and tapas bar. The new look and menu of the San Francisco bar are inspired by the Barcelona dining scene.

Yokai SF table bar


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