We had dinner tonight at Sahn Maru resturant on Telegraph at 44th in Oakland. This is a new resturant, maybe 6 months old as of Sept 2004.
The food is excellent, very clean tasting and seemingly prepared with high quality ingredients.
The resturant is large, with heavy wooden tables made from solid 3-4" slices of tree trunk. Very decorative. The staff has always said hello when we come in, they're very friendly yet never pushy. They've often asked our names and occasionally remembered them on the next visit. The owner shakes our hands as he sees us on our way.
This is not a barbecue joint. There are no hoods at the tables and you won't leave smelling of smoke.
The combination of good food and friendly service makes me hope the place is a success. At the hour we usually go, around 6, there are a lot of empty tables. Hopefully this changes later at night. I'd hate to see such a good resturant languish.