Some dishes look a lot like dreams. You wake up and the things you thought you recognized in that dream turn out to be strange, retextured versions of real people and places. But in the moment, as you were suspended in a world created by your own subconscious, you could have sworn your mother still had red hair.
In many ways, the ishiyaki ($28) at Yuzu, a small Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, captures that feeling of weirdness. Is it bibimbap? A molcajete? Tahdig? An understated show, it’s the brainchild of chef-owner Yoichi Arima, but it’s done in such a way that it has the feel of an age-old classic. You feel like you’ve seen it before, but it’s a total lie that your brain made up.