Unlike every other Japanese restaurant in America, Kiraku strives to deliver a genuine izakaya experience. By emulating the style of a modern izakaya popular in Japan, Kiraku hopes to spread the wonders of this style of eating to as many people as possible. Opening in July 2011, Kiraku, which literally means to relax, wishes to ease the stress of daily life by providing beer, sake, small plates, and the atmosphere to enjoy company and conversation. When you first sit down and receive a warm oshibori towel, it will surely refresh your spirits and set the tone for your meal.
Daiki Saito and his wife Sanae envisioned Kiraku together, pulling from years of experience working in izakaya style restaurants throughout the bay area. Sanae runs the front of house, greeting guests with warm service and warm towels.
Running the kitchen is Daiki, who’s culinary training is based in french cooking which he studied in his home country Japan since 18 years of age. After leaving Japan in 2007, he began working in various local sushi and yakitori restaurants. Gradually their desire to spread the appreciation for izakaya style dining developed and finally they opened Kiraku.
Daiki hopes to find a harmonious balance between the culture, food, and style of berkeley while intermingling his own experience and japanese flavors.
Facts about Kiraku
bottle keep system
The bottle keep system allows one to order in greater quantities and place their name with anything unfinished. This way a regular can enjoy the value of ordering larger quantities and impress friends with their sake and shochu knowledge on a later visit.
Sake can be kept for one month,
Shochu for three months
Asahi just like Japan
Kiraku's Asahi draft beer is not only imported from Japan, but also served from a Japanese serving machine, producing the creamy foam that is so signature of draft beer in Japan.
license to pour
Daiki has a Kikizake-shi license, the sake version of a sommelier.
Daiki has experience creating his own ceramics and much of the stoneware used in the restaurant is homemade.