Tag Archives: Japanese whisky bar

Taking a Stab at Stickbar at Gozu

Canapes of Wagyu tartare topped with Wagyu "caviar'' at Gozu.
Canapes of Wagyu tartare topped with Wagyu “caviar” at Gozu.

Nowadays, there are many restaurants where you can enjoy a Wagyu steak. But at Gozu in San Francisco, you can sink your teeth into smoky skewers that spotlight both familiar and unusual specific cuts of the prized Japanese beef.

When Chef-Owner Marc Zimmerman opened his hearth-centered restaurant in 2019, it was thought to be the only restaurant in the United States to directly import from Japan full cuts of top-grade A5 Wagyu. That amounts to a whopping 750 pounds in one shot.

That gives him the ability to use nearly every part of the outrageously marbled beef, often in audacious ways, including burning the bones as charcoal and fermenting lean cuts to make shoyu.

Japanese A5 Wagyu being aged at Gozu.
Japanese A5 Wagyu being aged at Gozu.

You can experience it for yourself with a $125 four-course menu or a $225 tasting menu. Or opt for the a la carte Stickbar menu that allows you to try individual skewers, priced from $14 to $55, depending on the cut.

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Dining (And Drinking) At Adrestia and Nokori Japanese Whisky Bar

The Corvina Nikkei -- sans konbu dashi.
The Corvina Nikkei — sans konbu dashi.

Admittedly, when it comes to whisky, I am a total light-weight. It’s not that I don’t enjoy its smooth smoky, vanilla and caramel richness. It’s just that I fear keeling over after two sips.

That’s why I was glad to get introduced to Nokori Japanese Whisky Bar in the Tetra Hotel in Sunnyvale. It’s designed not only for true connoisseurs who like to sip premium and potent whisky neat, but for more wimpy imbibers like myself who can kick back instead with a lightened-up, tall whisky highball instead.

Last week, I was invited in as a guest of both Nokori and its adjacent restaurant Adrestia. Both are housed inside the upscale Tetra Hotel, which is actually right across from the AC Hotel Sunnyvale Moffet Park, which has a bar that conversely specializes in gin. Both are Marriott properties.

The Tetra Hotel in Sunnyvale.
The Tetra Hotel in Sunnyvale.
The hotel's Japanese whisky bar.
The hotel’s Japanese whisky bar.

Since it’s located near several Google buildings and Lockheed Martin, don’t be surprised to see plenty of tech types with laptops and suitcases biding their time in the lobby, bar or restaurant until they depart for the airport.

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