French-Californian Fusion, Japanese Style, Basking in History, On The Brink Of State-Of-The-Art Food

1638 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 941115

I must say that having 2 days (and therefore evenings) in San Francisco, and spending one of those evenings at a Japanese restaurant did not appeal to me, as we set off from our hotel near Market Street to Japantown.

I truly enjoy Japanese food, don’t get me wrong, however, it does seem that outside of Japan, in nearly each large city I visit, there are very good, very bad and even very “everything in between” Japanese restaurants.

Bushi-tei actually means “warrior restaurant”. It neither really sounded Japanese or top of the range, it sounded more hairy than anything. bushi-tei is in the heart of Japantown, however, so I was in two minds about what to expect.

As I pulled up outside, I remember thinking that if the food was bad or even not spectacular with an amazing looking décor like at bushi-tei, then the word irony should hang above the door.

The décor is really worth a mention, the oak beams transported from Japan in a 20-ft container dated back to 1863, one of the owners of bushi-tei heard about a house being torn down and bought the aged oak. Most of it was used in thinner panels for the wall (about an inch thick) yet the long centrepiece table which must seat twenty people has a one foot by one foot beam that runs its length.

This dark, history soaked wood is the only link to the past at bushi-tei. But what a contact.

The multilingual staff rapidly yet thoroughly brought us up to speed on the menu, the theory and practises of executive, chef Seiji Waka, and their suggestions.

We chose the chef’s selection; a mix of several dishes; each were as surprising as beautiful and as glamorous as subtle.

The Kobe beef is the best I have ever tasted and for those that do not have the pleasure of being familiar with Kobe beef, it is quite like any other beef in that the word beef is spelt the same, that is where the similarity ends. Kobe beef, (when prepared properly) is the most tender and tasteful of all beef.

Various dishes came and went (all mouthwatering to me now as I think back), they all, at the time, knocked me out by their complexity yet simplicity.

Exquisite taste and artwork are like refined dishes; a 100 % success all-round.

The best news is, you do not need to re-mortgage your home to eat here! As an example, the taster menu is a three-course affair prepared by the chef with quality wine at just $50 per person.

Do not go to San Francisco without trying bushi-tei, but only if you like top quality French-Californian fusion, a perfect décor and perfect wine collection in a perfect setting.

For more information on bushi-tei, visit

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