Okane Offers Japanese-Style Prix Fixe Weekend Brunch
Photographs by Michael Ogata
GEV had the opportunity to experience the new weekend brunch at Okane, a Japanese gastropub in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood (sister restaurant of Michelin-starred Omakase). The results were eye catching, palate pleasing and budget friendly. For either $18, $20 or $22, the prix fixe brunch menus come with individual portions of salad, miso soup, pickles and rice, as well as four small plate items that include vegetarian options, grilled fish, chicken teriyaki, stewed pork belly, sesame tofu, sushi, and many others. With presentations akin to Japanese bento boxes, numerous small plates are artfully arranged on flat baskets. Guests have the option of upgrading the fixed menu to include larger, special dishes that may be shared with the rest of the table.
The brunch menu is inspired by traditional kaiseki—small, beautifully plated dishes served at tea ceremonies in Japan—combined with the type of breakfast offered to guests at a Japanese onsen ryokan, or hot spring hotel. It’s a departure from Okane’s Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning lunch and dinner menu, and differs significantly from an American-style brunch (i.e., less heavy and starch laden). According to Kash Feng, co-owner of Omakase Restaurant Group, the brunch menu allows Okane “to be a little creative while at the same time introduce the neighborhood to something that’s distinctively Japanese.” Feng and corporate chef, Edgar Agbayani, spent time in Japan last year researching breakfasts at hotels with private hot springs. “We tried to make the menu accessible and reasonable, as well as new and interesting.”
Relaxing in the laid-back, casual interior (designed by Aya Jessani who also created Omakase’s space), we sampled several of the prix fixe menus and sides. Some of our favorite small plates included slow-cooked pork belly (below) and miso cod (Saba Shioyaki).
Another favorite was the Ebitama Okonomiyaki pancake, topped with bonito flakes that gently wave due to heat rising off the plate. The unexpected greeting is charming; the tasty dish offers a little bit of sweet mixed with savory flavors.
Fresh from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market, the sushi and sashimi are rolled into distinctive round shapes under the direction of Chef John Ames making them much easier to consume in a single bite and very lipstick friendly.
Offered Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 2pm, Okane’s Japanese prix fixe brunch brings a welcome alternative to standard bacon and eggs. See you there!
The sister restaurant and neighbor to the Michelin-starred Omakase in San Francisco, Okane is a neighborhood izakaya in the style of a Japanese gastropub. Guests can enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine alongside a comprehensive menu of sake, Japanese beer, and wine. The Okane menu features an array of traditional, sharable plates and fish sourced directly from Tokyo’s world-renowned Tsukiji Fish Market.
Okane is located at 669 Townsend Street in San Francisco, Calif. The restaurant is open daily. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Beginning February 11, 2017, Saturday and Sunday brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information or to book a reservation, visit www.okanesf.com or call 415-865-9788.
About Omakase Restaurant Group
Officially established in 2016, San Francisco’s Omakase Restaurant Group includes the Michelin-starred Omakase, a nationally-renowned destination for Edomae style sushi, Okane, Live Sushi and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Owned by Kash Feng and Jackson Yu, Omakase’s culinary team is led by Corporate Chef Edgar Agbayani.