For a little bonhomie before the symphony, this buzzy yakitori and izakaya spot serves stellar Japanese pub food, made from Bay Area ingredients, and it encourages sharing. The menu is divided into items "on a stick" and "not on a stick." For the stick items, much of it is yakitori (grilled chicken), like chicken skin with matcha sea salt, neck with tare (a thick grilled sauce), or tsukune (a chicken meatball) with egg yolk sauce—all the different
notes in the varied sauces are part of the taste adventure. The savory, rich custard, chawan mushi, has chunks of Dungeness crabmeat and shiitake mushrooms. Seating is at bamboo tables in a mod-Japanese-slash-San Franciscan setting with large windows overlooking Hayes Valley's main thoroughfare of Franklin. There are 20 sakes by the glass. Nojo requires a credit card number to hold a reservation.