My girlfriend and I recently returned from a trip to Japan, and we were looking for a culinary experience that would help take us back. Something beyond the Americanized standards: sushi/sashimi, udon, teriyaki, tempura. And so we found Kappa, who clearly state that they DO NOT serve sushi.
The intimate setting as well as the welcoming and kind owners transported us back to the alleys of Japan. After we entered through a sliding wooden door next to a Japanese-only sign, the daily specials (fried sweet corn, Japanese eggplant) and the rest of our meal were simply divine. While we did not have the Koryori prix-fixe menu (1 day in advance reservations required), everything from the iced green tea to the halibut to the black skinned pork was truly reflective of traditional Japanese cuisine - simple, fresh and impossibly delicate. While the menu changes daily depending on what's fresh for the season, you can expect a welcoming and intimate Japanese experience - a true gem in SF!
As a seasoned restaurant SF junkie - Kappa has made my SF top 5 - and already planning my next visit.
Reservations highly recommended, as due to space there is only 1 seating.
Pros: Truly traditional Japanese food, service, ambience