Niku Steakhouse: A Modern American Steakhouse With A Japanese Influence To Open In February - Food & Beverage Magazine

Niku Steakhouse: A Modern American Steakhouse With A Japanese Influence To Open In February

The flagship restaurant at One Henry Adams, Niku Steakhouse, opens under the direction of Executive Chef Steve Brown with Master Butcher Guy Crims

Niku Steakhouse, a boutique American steakhouse with a Japanese influence, will open by mid-February in San Francisco’s SoMa district. At Niku, Executive Chef Steve Brown will deviate from predictable steakhouse fare by offering a ten-course seasonal tasting menu in addition to an a la carte menu, by treating vegetables from Sonoma’s acclaimed Kicking Bull Farms with the same care and attention as the meat, and by using elegant ceramic plateware designed to showcase each dish. Brown has also created an extensive charcuterie program that includes a Wagyu beef jerky trio based on a dish he popularized at CosechaSD, house-cured salami, and freshly made sausages. He also makes his own kimchi and koji. Additionally, guests will have an opportunity to interact face-to-face with the chef at an 18-seat open counter in the center of the restaurant.

Chef Brown’s a la carte menu will offer a revolving selection of 16 small plates and six full-sized protein plates, including Japanese Wagyu from the Hyogo prefecture, in-house dry-aged domestic beef, Porterhouse steak and a bone-in
Tomahawk steak intended for sharing. Niku’s in-house butcher, Guy Crims, who also runs the neighboring Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse, will oversee the restaurant’s nose-to-tail meat program along with Brown. Beginning in March, Brown and Crims will collaborate on The Butcher Shop’s daily sandwich program. Brown will also make his house-made sausages available at retail.

“My goal is to have menu items that guests will recognize as steakhouse staples, like steak, potatoes and ravioli, but to bring a fresh perspective to each of those dishes,” said Brown. I’m taking what’s great about a steakhouse and what’s great about a Michelin-starred restaurant to create a new brand of dining that will be familiar yet beautiful and memorable.”

Crims and Brown have toured Japan extensively, both together and separately, fostering relationships with some of the country’s top farms, including Urban Farm in Yokohama, which was one of the first Japanese farms to bring Wagyu to the U.S., and Ono Farms in the Hyogo prefecture, which is providing its Wagyu as an exclusive to Niku and The Butcher Shop.

Another of Niku’s distinguishing features will be its beverage program, with more than 100 wines available by the glass. There will be an extensive portfolio of small production and hard-to-find wines from the West Coast and from France. In addition, the restaurant boasts a full bar, lit dramatically from floor to ceiling, with a focus on whisky and craft cocktails. Among the bar’s Japanese-inspired cocktails will be Shinki Chen, made with Lagavulin 16, Rum Pampero, Harper bourbon, Oloroso and Oolong tea and Hojicha Mon Amour, made with Japanese whisky, Hojicha tea and Cascare served with a yuzu shortbread. Every wine and cocktail is served in a unique glass—from a custom-made ceramic cup from Issa Pottery, a copper highball, and a dainty tumbler made of recycled glass.

Niku Steakhouse accommodates up to 60 people, including an intimate private dining area hidden behind a wine wall that can seat up to 14 people. The focal point of the dining room is a sunken kitchen with a custom-made binchotan charcoal grill, set in the center of the restaurant and surrounded by counter seating for 18 with an eye-level view of the chef at work. From anywhere in the dining room guests will see, smell and feel the energy of the grill.

Designed by architect Brent McDonald with the help of Kash Feng and Aya Jessani, who created the look for Omakase, Niku’s interior brings together a variety of natural elements—dark wood, stone and polished concrete—to create a space that looks sleek and modern but feels intimate and romantic. The front entrance leads guests directly into Niku’s stylish bar, with a floor-to-ceiling liquor library to illuminate the space and cozy bar tables facing the adjacent Butcher Shop. Once inside the dining room, there is a floor-to-ceiling glass wall featuring a dazzling collection of wines available by the bottle and by the glass. Beautifully crafted ceramic earthenware sourced from Sven in San Francisco and Humble in Los Angeles extend the natural elements of glass, wood and stone to the table setting.

Niku Steakhouse is located at 61 Division Street in San Francisco. It will be open daily for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. with reservations available soon on Resy.com. Street parking only. Visit www.nikusteakhouse.com for more information or follow Niku Steakhouse on Instagram and Facebook at @nikusteakhouse. Niku is adjacent to Udon Time and The Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse at One Henry Adams.

About Steve Brown

Executive Chef Steve Brown, founder of the Wagyu-centric supper club CosechaSD, is a graduate of the Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, Calif., and has worked in fine dining kitchens throughout Southern California. Shortly after starting Cosecha SD, Brown entered and won the Kaaboo Chef’s Roll Rock’n Chef culinary competition in San Diego using A5 Satsuma Wagyu Beef as the main ingredient. After winning the title, he shifted the focus of Cosecha SD to nine courses of A5 Japanese Wagyu. The success of the dinners caught the attention of the Japanese Wagyu Beef Committee and Trex Corp, the Japanese Wagyu importer. Consequently, in 2017, Chef Brown was chosen as one of 15 chefs and butchers sent to Japan to tour various wagyu prefectures.

About Guy Crims
Master Butcher Guy Crims or “Guy the Butcher,” as he’s generally known, is a veteran of the butcher business and a legend in the world of Japanese Wagyu. His first job was at a family-owned butcher shop in Pacifica. Crims followed the original owner to a butchery in San Francisco, where he continued to hone his craft. In 2017, Crims was invited to tour Japan with the Japanese Wagyu Beef Committee—the only non-chef included on the tour. In that same year, Crims was responsible for bringing 4.3 metric tons of Wagyu beef into the U.S.

Brown and Crims met Chef Jackson Yu, co-founder of Omakase Restaurant Group, in 2017 on the Japanese Beef Committee tour.

About Omakase Restaurant Group
Owned by Kash Feng and Jackson Yu, Omakase Restaurant Group (ORG) comprises eight San Francisco restaurants: Michelin-starred Omakase, Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient Okane, Dumpling Time, Live Sushi Bar, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Udon Time, Niku Steakhouse and The Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse.

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