Sunday, August 4, 2013

Foodie Adventuring // Yuko Kitchen Cafe

Yuko Kitchen Cafe // Exterior

After hearing several people in the office rave about Yuko Kitchen Cafe, Sam and I decided to try it Friday, especially since the girl had a craving for sushi. We checked their menu online before we left, then walked the four blocks to this hidden, off-the-beaten-path restaurant.

Seriously, it's one of those places where you have to know that it's there, else you'll miss it.

Yuko Kitchen Cafe // Mural 

I loved the mural on the outside wall of the restaurant. Not entirely sure what it is, but the colors are bright and the shapes pretty! We got there around 12:30 PM and the place was packed. Even though there was a lot of seating, all the tables outside were full of chattering people and the inside was just as busy.

Yuko Kitchen Cafe // Interior Artwork 

While I saved the two of us a table outside, Sam waited in line {about ten people deep? Like I said, it was lunch rush hour} to place our orders. The waitstaff is really sweet here. I asked the guy what he recommended and he was really great about explaining the menu and giving recs. Sam said she had the same experience with the girl inside near the register.

Sidenote: that IKEA dandelion lamp. *happy sigh*

Yuko Kitchen Cafe // Address & Hours
Yuko Kitchen Cafe // Menu

They have the cutest bright blue cups for their self-serve lemon water. When Sam first returned to our table with the water, I was definitely concerned that there were things floating in it, until she explained that it was lemon water. Felt better after that.

The atmosphere, even outside, is one of quiet chaos. In a good way. Sam and I were able to hear and understand each other perfectly fine, even though there was a constant hum of background noise-- giant trucks and lots of cars driving by, other conversations being held around us, music playing from the speakers above our heads. You feel like you're a part of the rest of the world, but still with your own space. I liked it.

Yuko Kitchen Cafe // Garlic Shrimp Rice Bowl 

Sam ordered the Garlic Shrimp Rice Bowl {garlic butter shrimp over rice and green salad with zucchini and cherry tomatoes}, even though she ended up picking out all the larger bits of garlic and putting them aside. Also, be forewarned that the shrimp come with tails, so look before you eat.

If you feel your salad is missing something, you can do what Sam did and ask for salad dressing on the side. It didn't quite taste like any "asian salad dressing" I'd ever had before and it looked like it had tobiko in it, but apparently it was delicious? So. There's that.

Yuko Kitchen Cafe // Spicy Tuna Sushirrito

I got the Spicy Salmon Bowl-lito {spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado, and lettuce, wrapped in seaweed and rice}, which oddly enough, didn't actually have any salmon in it... *shrugs*

According to my FB feed, the latest foodie craze in San Francisco is the "sushirrito" which is... well, this. Who knew I was up to date with my popular food trends when I ordered my lunch? It was pretty good, if a little messy. And you had to concentrate a bit to taste the spicy tuna since the avocado was so amazing. I didn't use the sauce, but I did taste it out of curiosity after finishing my lunch. It was a type of flavored mayonnaise? I'm glad my food didn't need it because I'm not a fan of mayo. Ew.

Overall, we'd definitely go back. Their menu has lots of options and they all looked appetizing, their waitstaff is really nice, and the atmosphere is great. Plus, it's a far enough walk from work that you feel like you're getting exercise. *grins* Which might be negated by the fact that Yuko is on the same block as Milk Jar Cookies and we swung by after to pick up giant gourmet cookies...

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