While I continue on my never ending quest for the Perfect Biscuit, Daniel has a food related quest of his own -- to finally find teriyaki in San Francisco that matches what he believes teriyaki should be. He’s picky about the quality of the meat -- he’s picky about the flavor of the sauce -- I don’t know what else he is picky about, but there has never been anything in our great city to suit him. And we’ve ordered teriyaki from what seems like dozens of restaurants.
Naturally when I saw a new teriyaki-centric restaurant was opening on Fillmore, I knew we’d soon be checking it out. It’s called Glaze Teriyaki Grill, and it claims to be “Seattle style” teriyaki. While I’m still unclear on what “Seattle style” constitutes, everyone says that teriyaki is to Seattle what burritos are to the Mission -- it’s ubiquitous and a cheap version can be found on every corner. Glaze already has 3 locations in New York, but this is the first west coast location.
Glaze teriyaki Grill is another entry in the new trend of casual dining that seems to be taking over. You order at the counter and then pick a table (apparently there is a back patio, but I didn’t check it out). The servers will bring out your food in no time flat, but you bus your own dishes at the end of your meal. They also seem to do a brisk business in takeout orders. The decor is stylish and very hip, but not self consciously so. It was a very comfortable place to be, though I hope they solve the smoke issue - since they are grilling inside, the door was left open to air out the room. It got a little chilly.
Daniel and I ordered 2 different combo plates so we could try more of their dishes. Each teriyaki plate comes with a hefty portion of a protein, 2 large scoops of white or brown rice, and a side salad. Daniel ordered a combo plate that had 2 types of meat, and I ordered the chicken teriyaki combo that included vegetable gyoza.
I wish I had a criticism to make this interesting, but everything was delicious. Portions were huge -- the gyoza were tasty but I really didn’t need them to complete the meal. Daniel’s steak was very tender and the chicken was flavorful, if a little overly salted (though I found I didn’t notice it anymore past the second bite). The teriyaki sauce was thick and plentiful - so often we have ordered teriyaki and found just a dribble of thin sauce over anemic looking chicken. At Glaze, the chicken tasted fresh and you could see the grill marks that left behind a slight and pleasant charcoal flavor.
There are so many variations of what you can order that it can be a little overwhelming while standing at the counter. For instance, at the time I thought it was an oversight that there was no larger salad and meat option without rice. However, when I go back to theirwebsite I see that they do have salad plates -- I was just too inundated with new delicious information to notice. And while I’m on that note, we tried the carrot ginger and the sesame dressings -- I have no idea what I’m ordering next time because I liked them both equally.
Glaze is simple, fast, cheap and delicious -- how much more could you want? In some ways it reminded me of a very much superior Asquew Grill. They both were cheap and fast and heavy on the protein options. Glaze may be narrower in flavors than Asquew, but the food is 10 times better. And that’s what it comes down to. In an expensive city, in an even pricier neighborhood, Glaze Teriyaki provides a cheap and healthy option for diners. I plan to return, especially once they start their promised delivery service.
And Daniel has finally found his San Francisco teriyaki bliss.