A Japanese inspired hi-fi bar called Yokai will open in SoMa next year. The 60-seat restaurant and cocktail bar will be in a turn of the century building at 545 Mission St. near Salesforce Park and its sibling restaurant, Ittoryu Gozu.
The latest project from MZ Dining Group, led by Chef Marc Zimmerman and serial Tech Entrepreneur Ben Jorgensen, Yokai is inspired by Japan’s after work food and drink culture, as seen through Zimmerman’s perspective during his travels there.
“While spending time in Japan, one of the best things I experienced was the late-night culture, the bars that exuded camaraderie and fun after work dining with approachable formats served family style,” Zimmerman says in a press release. “I can’t wait to share this excitement with our guests. But what I’m most excited about is giving our team the opportunity to grow and contribute to what Yokai will become.”
The menu will feature skewers cooked over binchotan charcoal, such as King salmon belly with matcha, buttermilk and dill; Wolf Ranch quail with fresh wasabi and double fermented shoyu; plus Wagyu tail and kohishikari rice stuffed morel mushrooms glazed in yuzu beurre blanc. Shareable plates will include slow-roasted Wagyu neck served with accompaniments, steamed whole Japanese sea bream, and more.
Yokai means “spirit” in Japanese, which is why the beverage program will focus heavily on Japanese whisky and cocktails, brandies, cognacs, and Japanese gin. Housed in a pre-Prohibition building with exposed brick, natural materials and soaring ceilings, the space will also be outfit with a vintage McIntosh sound system playing an extensive vinyl collection.