Nojo is Chef Greg Dunmore’s Yakitori (Kushiyaki) restaurant on Franklin at Linden in Hayes Valley. Thank goodness for another thoughtful and simple, but great Japanese eatery. This dining place complements the budding proliferation of Izakaya places around the city, such as Izakaya Sozai (Sunset) and Izakaya Yuzuki (Mission.)

Big windows provide great lighting for this spartan dining room. With the beautification of Franklin street (read: New trees), the view to the outside is improved, too. There are the usual tables in addition to the counter dining. An average yakitori place in Tokyo is smoky both from the grill and from cigarette smoke. Nojo lacks both of these, although one can certainly still smell the appetizing scent from the open kitchen.

Nojo (Japanese for farm) subscribes to the mantra of supporting one’s local farms, which means their dishes are seasonal. The menu changes by the day. Open mostly for dinner, the restaurant also serves lunches from Wednesday to Friday, with brunch on Sunday. The restaurant takes its break on Tuesdays.

The taste and serving of the skewered meat is just right. The slightly burnt edges of the Nankotsu (chicken cartilage) enhances the crunchiness of the piece.

The Chef encourages us to eat the Tender & Skin together instead of separately (the skewer comes with four cubes of Tender with three pieces of skins in between; see picture for clarity.) The texture of the Wings with its accompanying Sanshō (Japanese name for Sichuan pepper)

The Tsukune (Japanese chicken meatball done Yakitori style) is sometimes covered in sweet soy-sauce, but in this case, it is accompanied by an egg-yolk sauce. The taste is more subtle than the other skewered treats.

There are three dessert offerings for the night, and we choose two. The serving for the Sundae of Black Sesame Ice Cream is extremely generous, with two scoops of ice cream, topped with Hachiya Persimmon, all over a bed of Peanut Thunder Crackers, the understated star of the show.

The Buckwheat & Beer Crêpes’ slightly bitter taste finds a counterpoint in the sweetness of the White Miso Ice Cream.

231 Franklin Street (at Linden)
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 896-4587

Closed Tuesdays

Mon Wed Thu Sun: 17:00 – 22:00
Fri Sat: 17:00 – 22:30
Wed Thu Fri: 11:00 – 14:00
Brunch on Sundays: 11:00 – 14:30

Dinner MenuNojo on Franklin at LindenCounter dining and tables at NojoTempura of Tree Oyster Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes & Meyer Lemon, Daikon-Oroshi SauceWings, Sansho & TareChawanmushi of Dungeness Crab, Nameko Mushrooms & Yuzu
Nankotsu, Sea Salt & LemonTender & Skin, TareTsukune with Egg Yolk SauceDuck LiverSundaeCrêpes

Nojo, a set on Flickr.


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