SAN FRANCISCO — With rave reviews from the sold-out 2011 Annual Event, Hawaii’s favorite “hidden gem,” Side Street Inn, will return as the featured restaurant at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California’s 2012 Annual Event on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the JCCCNC.

Chef Colin Nishida of Side Street Inn.

The event, titled “Looking Forward, Giving Back,” will also feature a silent and live auction, appetizer stations, and performances by the center’s youth programs.

Chefs Colin Nishida and Chirs Manabe of Side Street Inn will dish up favorites from last year along with new local-style comfort foods, including furikake ahi, slow-cooked braised short ribs, and Big Island smoked pork. Joining Side Street Inn will be nine Bay Area restaurants stationed throughout the venue serving decadent appetizers, making this evening a must-attend event for foodies.

The participating restaurants are Bridges, Chotto, Hukilau, Il Cane Rosso, Izakaya Juku, La Mar, Ozumo, Pa’ina, and Slymn’s Soul Parler. Also at the event will be Haamonii, a San Francisco-based shochu manufacturer, which will be holding a free tasting of its satiny-smooth shochu in the silent auction room.

The theme of the event represents the important roles that youths play in the future of the community, and what all must do to preserve the Japanese culture, history and heritage. During the event, the JCCCNC will honor two outstanding community members who embody that theme — NBC Bay Area and the late Martha Suzuki. Awards will also be presented to the Kay Okamoto Volunteer Service Award and Takeo Okamoto Community Leadership Award recipients.

Registration opens at 3 p.m. with the dinner program commencing at 4 p.m. Cost is $175 per person for reserved table seating and $50 for children 6-12. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available.

Call (415) 567-5505 for information on sponsorships, ads, tickets, and additional details. Event information is also available online at The JCCCNC is located at 1840 Sutter St. in San Francisco Japantown.

Proceeds from the event will go towards the development of dynamic cultural, educational, social, and outreach programs that serve the 185,000 visitors the center welcomes each year. These programs open doors to the Japanese and Japanese American culture, history and heritage, to build community with people of all ages through shared experience.

Award Recipients

Through her vision, undying generosity, and passion for cultural preservation, Masako Martha Suzuki enabled the JCCCNC to create programs like the Shinzen Goodwill Program and the Takahashi Youth Ambassador Fellowship Program.  These programs give youth the opportunity to better understand and appreciate the Japanese culture through first-hand cultural experiences, community participation, and leadership development activities. Since their introduction to the list of JCCCNC Youth Development programs in 2002 and 2011, these programs have proven that there was and continues to be a need among youth for such development, guidance and education.

NBC Bay Area has shown exemplary commitment to make a positive impact across the Bay Area, inspiring others to get involved and contribute to their communities. Most importantly, they truly believe in the work of non-profits that they support, including the JCCCNC.

The JCCCNC also wants to acknowledge the significant role NBC Bay Area played in the success of its Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund (NJERF) through a telethon that raised over $400,000, other fundraising events the station helped promote and host, the coverage of the memorial events, and the station’s ongoing and compassionate coverage of the situation in Japan, helping to build worldwide awareness of the NJERF and the JCCCNC.

Silent, Live Auctions

One of the event’s highlights will be a silent and live auction featuring a tempting lineup of popular trips to destinations like Japan and Hawaii, joined by an exciting list of gift certificates, services, unique experiences, Japanese ceramics, food and wine, electronics, and much more.

Leading up to the Annual Event, there will be an online auction at that begins Sept. 10 with some of the items closing online Sept. 23 and some moving to the silent auction at the event. Preview the auction items beginning Sept. 8 at

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