We're not sure what your list of priorities looks like when it comes to promising soulmate candidates, but for us, that person better damn well know how to cook. Here's one nifty little trick for finding out if the person across the table can adequately steam your beef: schedule a shabu-shabu date. The Japanese cuisine, which requires you to use chopsticks to cook your own thinly sliced meats and veggies in a shared hotpot, is incredibly fun and tasty — once you get the hang of it. The friendly Shabusen in Japantown is our favorite, because it has an authentic atmosphere and a klutz-patient staff who don't mind a little splashy ineptitude. And if your companion happens to be a butterfingers, you can always save face with one of Shabusen's umami-riffic sukiyakis.
1726 Buchanan, SF. (415) 440-0466