If you’re going to Kufuya, you’re probably going because you live way out west – it’s in the Outer Richmond, a solid 20-30 minute Uber from downtown. It’s a medium-sized space, but it was packed when we got there at 8. There are a few big TVs around that were showing the Warriors and the World Series.
$39 for all you can eat and drink for 90 minutes. The alcohol is your usual – house sake (cold) and Japanese beers (Sapporo, Kirin and Asahi). The food is primarily beef, but they’ll also bring out lamb if you ask. Both meats were nicely marbled, though the lamb didn’t really have a lot of lamb flavor going for it; it was very bland. Veggies are the usual – glass and udon noodles, spinach, tofu, cabbage,
To go with your meats, Kufuya lets you choose from their spicy miso or tonkatsu broths. Neither were especially exciting; the spicy miso wasn’t spicy at all when it came out, and the tonkatsu was very watery. You get radish, scallions, garlic and peppers on the side; if you’re liberal enough with them in the broth, you can get some solid flavor.
The one highlight here was their sauce. Rather than serve one for meat and one for veggies, they just had their one house sauce, but it was just a bit tangy and a little sweet, which proved a nice complement to everything.
We had a reservation for seven people, but only five showed up on time. They sat us, but then they totally ignored us until one of the members of our party stood up, walked over to someone and asked them to come serve us. She explained that if we started doing bottomless, the 90 minute clock would start for everyone, even those not in attendance. That’s totally fair, but not a reason to ignore the whole party.
After that, I felt like we were constantly being judged – the waiters would command us to move this or that so we could set things down (the table wasn’t huge for 8 people). We also had to repeatedly ask for things; if I asked for more beef and more sake, I’d just get the beef. Rarely did anything show up unless we asked for it. Just generally not great service at Kufuya.
If you’re in the Outer Richmond or thereabouts, this place is probably worth going to because it’s better than spending almost an hour round trip in an Uber to get to another shabu shabu place. That said, for anyone who doesn’t live that far out, it’s just not worth the trip.