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Kirala Restaurant

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Business Details

27

years

in Business

Social Links:
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Hours:

Regular Hours

Mon 5:30pm-9:30pm\nTue-Fri 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm\nSat 5:30pm-9:30pm\nSun 5pm-9pm

Message:
This popular Berkeley restaurant features eclectic Japanese cuisine with a focus on sushi and grilled skewer dishes.
  • Variety of sushi
  • Kabobs
  • Authentic Japanese food
What a treat to find an excellent neighborhood restaurant like Kirala.\n\nKirala is not just another good Japanese restaurant and sushi bar. Kirala has one-of-a-kind sushi creations and delicious specialties from Robata grill that you will not find anywhere else. For 15 years, it's been consistently voted one of the Best Japanese restaurants, where loyal patrons spend a relaxed evening ordering tasty appetizers and main dishes, while enjoying Japanese beer and premium sakes from Japan.
General Info:
* Visit Our New Takeout Locations at Kirala2 at 1511 Shattuck Ave Berkeley, CA (510)649-1384
Services/Products:
* Fresh Sushi Everyday * Tasty Robata Grill Dishes * Sake Bar Offers Lots of Premium Sake
Payment method:
diners club, all major credit cards, amex, master card, visa
Neighborhoods:
South Berkeley, LeConte
Categories:
Sushi Bars, Take Out Restaurants, Japanese Restaurants, Family Style Restaurants, Asian Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information:

Parking: Street, On-street: free, On-street: metered

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Casual

Good For Groups: Yes

Good for Kids: No

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Take Out: Yes

Cuisines: Japanese, Asian, Sushi

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: No

Outdoor Seating: No

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Reviews

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03/22/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great sushi

If you're looking for good sushi in the Berkeley area, definitely check out this place. They also have really good grilled items including the scallops and the asparagus.\nLines are very long though and take an average of one hour!

12/01/2002

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Good but is it worth the wait?

On my first exploration, Kirala showed good potential. However, the potential was marred by some real problems. I went specifically for the robata. What I had was fairly good, though 1) the ume chicken was described as basted where in fact ume paste was squirted a la ketchup a grilled chicken piece. 2) the bacon used in bacon wrapped asparagus was too salty, marring an otherwise nice bit of texture and flavor. My nigori (unfiltered) sake was so thick im guessing i got a whole bottle's worth of sediment in one glass. Which suggested they didnt know to shake the bottle with each pouring. Service was extraordinarily slow; 45 min between a 4 pc order and service. With all that, they showed enough promise that I'd give them a second chance.

05/04/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
my favorite sushi place on earth!

the fish is always fresh! always! i have tried other sushi places... expensive ones, regular ones, trendy ones, and nothing has ever come close to the quality of Kirala. the price is a little on the high end for an east bay joint but comared to some places in the city, its a bargain. i highly recommend the robata scallops & bacon asparagus. for sushi, go for anything! its all delicious. worth the wait if you come during peak hours. try coming around 9PM when its slowing down, and the sushi chefs will often kick down freebies at the end of the night.

09/27/2002

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Disagree

This place is good, but not great like it's hyped up to be. Try the grill, that's pretty good.

12/14/2002

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
All Hype

The rice was hard and the service was bad the first time I went. I gave them another try but the food just isn't that great. It's pretty pricey for what you get.

09/29/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Mmmm...

The food at Kirala is so good that it overcomes the wait. The fish is nice and fresh, the robata dishes are nicely prepared, not drenched in teriyaki sauce like a lot of places around here; just basted on. Speaking from a Japanese guys point of view, this place is very good, and i know whats good and whats not. Trust me, haha.\n\nNot to mention the nice selection of sake too. Try the ""Koshi-no-Kanbai."" Very good but expensive, but why not splurge once in a while right?

10/26/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
It's good, but...

I just don't think it's as good as people say. I've eaten my fair share of good Japanese food, and this is in slightly above average range. The sushi is by far better than anything else I've had in Berkeley, but again I don't think that's saying all that much. Been here several times, and it's usually pretty crowded. Never sat there, but there's a group table in the back, next to the bathrooms if you like that... \n\nHere's my one bad experience. Ordered one of the grilled fish items. I'm not a picky eater, but it came out like fish jerky. There's a time and place for a good, dry smoked fish, but this wasn't it. What made it really bad is that the waitress tried to defend the place by saying that this was how the fish came out, even though other restaurants that make a similar dish make it moist and flakey. That was honestly her justification. For a good 2-3 minutes she went on about it, and then the same thing when she came back with another item we ordered. Pretty comical...

10/06/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Pretty darned good.

Let's start by saying the sushi was really good - I've had tastier tuna poke but it was still tasty. The high-points were the sushi & a special, braised short ribs - absolutely delish. I also liked the minced chicken appetizer but it wasn't a favorite at our table. The definite downers were the asparagus wrapped w/beef & the garlic beef - the vegis w/this dish were excellent but the beef was very dry (it was dry w/the asparagus as well). Service was good and nice. We got there early (about 6p) and it was pretty packed but we got seated immediately. I will go again and try a noodle dish as every one we saw looked amazing.

01/21/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Unique menu to the area, but difficult dining experience. -really difficult.

*The menu at Kirala is unique to it's area, (East Bay) so I'd say they have a bit of a captive audience syndrome. Customers flock from miles around to enjoy well reviewed sushi and noodles at this large and convenient location. I've been there a few times for lunch, but not yet for dinner, And I have to say, it's really not worth the headache. \n\nIf you want to know the truth about the crowds outside their doors, I'm happy to give it to you. 1) They're only open for a small window at lunch time; reopening for dinner a bit later. 2) They seem to have a large following of regulars, who will be expedited to the top of the waiting list and will get your table if you make the mistake of standing outside, or sitting on the railing out of the way of the busy wait staff. 3) If you have managed to make it in for lunch, once you sit down, you may be there for a while. While the menu is vast, a guessing game with your server must ensue, before you can place an order for food. Apparently all the great sushi specials, and many standard sushi selections as well, are being saved for the dinner crowd and not made available to lunch time diners. They can't tell you what you can have, you just have to keep trying until they say yes.\n\nOverall: sushi is fresh, noodles good, -maybe a tad tricky, but any eager restaurateur would do well to open a sushi/noodle place right across the street with the same fare, offering honest straight forward service, seating or standing room for customers to line up and a clear lunch menu and a clear dinner menu. The tyranny of the Kirala rule over Berkeley would be over.

08/13/2002

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
cali review

Although it was really crowded, the service was good, the sushi was excellent and very fresh tasting. Great place to eat with friends.

Map & Directions
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Kirala Restaurant

2100 Ward StBerkeleyCA 94705

(510) 556-3093

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