Izakaya Sushi Bar and Japanese Tapas Restaurant

920 1st Street, Benicia, CA  94510


Delivery and take-out with dine in expected soon.  Call for hours.

Oh so fresh and friendly with daily special surprises!

Congratulations, Izakaya, on your first year anniversary, March 20, 2021! Formerly Matsuri, now under a new business name, but still with the freshest fish around — much of it flown in directly from Japan.

Popular dishes include the spectacular Omakase platter for “indecisive people,” full of the chef’s best for the day. Omakase is a Japanese phrase meaning “I’ll leave it up to you,” or “to entrust.”  Recent platters have included sea urchin, snapper, squid, needlefish, herring, grouper and more. Several sushi aficionados I know tout their Omakase platter as the best in the Bay Area. Check their facebook page often for specials of… SASHIMI!! Gracie’s favorite. And don’t miss those days when Kumai and Miyagi oysters are $1 – $2.50 each. I can’t wait for the next time! Excitement ensues when the fresh fish delivery arrives daily and the treasures of the sea are revealed.

The regular Izakaya menu offers a variety of everyone’s favorite Bento boxes, sushi combo platters, teriyaki, tempura, and infamous Pink Lady roll, along with other delights. If you’re really hungry, try the Titanic, a real flurry of flavors that you won’t forget.

We offer praise for the delicious food in Japanese: Hoppe ga ochiru! Which literally means “the food is so nice that your cheeks are falling off.”  Sign me up!





Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Documentary, Directed by David Gelb

Jiro Dreams of Sushi Documentary title image

My dad was a strict manager of mealtimes. We were to sit, eat, excuse ourselves, and go. No talking, no squirming. Certainly no voicing of personal preferences! Eat what’s put on your plate, period, the end.

So, in some ways, 95-year-old Jiro Ono, Japan’s National Treasure and world’s greatest sushi chef, and my dad have a lot in common.

By all accounts, including that of Barack Obama, if you are able to secure a reservation in Jiro’s 10-seat restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, in an underground station of Tokyo’s subway system, you are in for sushi extraordinaire. And you will eat it under the strict and watchful eye of Jiro Ono himself. And you had better follow the rules: Fingers or chopsticks, only. Eat each piece of sushi as it is presented to you. Do not let it sit! Eat in one bite – no breaking it in two!

In his documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, director David Gelb (Street Food, Chef’s Table) not only brings his viewers into the world of sushi, he gives us a tantalizing view of a craftsman of singular focus and determination, of a culture as it plays out in the family of a man who raised himself without a family, of art and philosophy as they relate to striving for achievement.

Jiro says of himself, “I have not reached perfection. I continue to climb [toward the grand visions of sushi that come in my dreams.]”

PG 1hour 21minutes

9 out of 10 Whiskers