Mitch Sako's great post on Saizo in Sunnyvale (which I've yet to try) reminded me that I've been meaning to post about the abundance of authentic Japanese (mostly izaka-ya style) restaurants popping up all over the South Bay (especially Sunnyvale). These type of restaurants are scant in San Francisco and the Peninsula but are the type my husband and I have enjoyed in the Sawtelle area of Los Angeles and Convoy Street area in San Diego. They cater to Japanese from Japan tastes and are not necessarily trying to attract non-Japanese clients by serving sushi, teriyaki, etc.
Have only been once to each of these but they are good for small plate style ordering:
Rokko 190 Frances St. - Sunnyvale (serves sushi too)
Andoh 161 S. Sunnyvale Avenue - Sunnyvale
Hattoriya Japanese Grill - 799 San Antonio Road - Palo Alto - a funky diner-like place with dishes like hamburger steak, fried oyster, various teishoku, etc. (sort of like On the Brige in SF but no pasta)
And of course there is old standby Hatcho, which has been discussed on this board before. Excellent kaiseki-type cuisine -- may even be better than Kyo-ya (haven't been there in a long time). 1271 Franklin Mall - Santa Clara.
These are just a few of the offerings. I know there are more and they seem to be multiplying.
Just to note, one I *don't* recommend is Tanuki in Cupertino.