Tales of San Francisco: a paper path in Japantown, as advised by origami artist Linda Mihara

Three restaurants to visit in Japantown

There’s no shortage of places to enjoy classic Japanese cuisine. Look out for shabu-shabu – a steaming broth made on butane stoves

1. Mothers

Mums, the retro family-run restaurant at the Kimpton Buchanan Hotel in Japantown, is famous for its eat-only shabushabu: translucent thin ribeye, vegetables (including four types of mushrooms), and tofu cooked in a seaweed broth. The Tam family – the first to bring Shabushabu to San Francisco – prefer traditional flavors, but they have sauces, condiments, and different types of meat if you want to get adventurous. $ 32 (£ 27).

2nd hub

A nabemono or nabe is the collective term for Japanese hot pot dishes. In both Nabe stores in San Francisco, sets begin with shabu-shabu and include other stews like kurobuta pork belly in kimchi broth and kamonamban (duck breast, leek, and soba in dashi broth). From USD 22 (GBP 18).

3. Mokuku

Book a table in the tatami dining room and make yourself comfortable on straw tatami floor mats for your Shabu-Shabu. Mokuku opened in Inner Richmond (near Golden Gate Park) in 2019 and offers six meats of Shabu-Shabu with a choice of broth. $ 35 (£ 29).

Tuition at Paper Tree starts at $ 20 (£ 15.60). Linda’s friend Kristin Posner shared a Japantown audio tour that can be downloaded from nourish-co.com

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Published in the November / December 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveler (UK)

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