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Old 04-09-2013, 11:24 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,344 posts, read 17,305,541 times
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I recommend Sushi Sam's in downtown San Mateo. All my Japanese friends vouch for it.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:19 PM
 
10,931 posts, read 4,981,070 times
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I love Japanese, and I also happen to live in downtown San Mateo. Yes, Yelp of course works, so definitely look at that.

But just for your information, since many of the "top" places are very crowded on busy nights, I'll give some of my favorites:

Joy Sushi: Japanese, plenty of great sushi options (Joy Sushi - Japanese Restaurant)
Sushi Sam's: Japanese, plenty of great sushi options (Sushi SAM's EDOMATA: Best Japanese Sushi Restaurant in San Mateo)
Dash: Pretty much just sushi (Menu)
Hotaru: Japanese. Always pretty consistently good. And there is never a wait. This is where I go if every place is jam packed and all I want is a solid Japanese meal. (HOTARU Japanese Restaurant)
Suruki Supermarket: Yes, it's a supermarket, but it's great to check out for many Japanese food items. Worth a stop in if you're walking around downtown. They're "to-go" food "restaurant" has some awesome quick and cheap Japanese meals, although I'm pretty sure sushi isn't on their menu (Suruki Supermarket - San Mateo, CA)

These places are all pretty highly-rated on Yelp.

I've heard these places are good from friends, but haven't tried them:
Izakaya Mai (Izakaya Mai - San Mateo, CA)
Kitcho (Kitcho - San Mateo, CA)

All of these restaurants are located downtown (because this is where I live, and I don't really like driving anywhere if I can avoid it). A good thing to do is to find a good parking spot, and then walk by one/a few places to see what you think and to assess the wait at each. Then go from there. You can always go for a stroll before/after the meal, too.

Full disclosure: I'm a white guy who feels he is pretty open to many different cuisines, and loves to try many types of foods. I don't pretend to only like "authentic" Japanese, though...but many of my Japanese (American) friends happen to really like the same places, so take that for what you will.
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:51 PM
 
184 posts, read 229,630 times
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I'd back Sam's sushi, but wait time there can be up to 1 hour at night and they seem to have a lot of special friend who are coming as a special guests.

For this reason we go to Shiki in Laurelwood, little wait time as it's not a downtown and a little bit cheaper than Sam's sushi, but not by much
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:42 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,039,357 times
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A few years ago I would have recommended Mutsu however it went downhill. In my book, the normal sushi places in San Mateo pretty much all suck (expensive yet nothing to write home about on the culinary / sushi making front). When in San Mateo I generally get my sashimi and nigiri at non sushi places like the various Korean owned "Japanese" (actually Japanese-Korean hybrid) places or Izakaya / Ramen places that also happen to have a sushi bar.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:58 PM
 
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I'd recommend Sushi Sam's or Joy Sushi. Both are really good. Joy seems to have a lot more sushi options.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:54 AM
 
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All, thank you very much for time and feedback. I look forward to trying those places! Cali, here I come!
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:06 AM
 
38 posts, read 80,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyMac18 View Post
I love Japanese, and I also happen to live in downtown San Mateo. Yes, Yelp of course works, so definitely look at that.

But just for your information, since many of the "top" places are very crowded on busy nights, I'll give some of my favorites:

Joy Sushi: Japanese, plenty of great sushi options (Joy Sushi - Japanese Restaurant)
Sushi Sam's: Japanese, plenty of great sushi options (Sushi SAM's EDOMATA: Best Japanese Sushi Restaurant in San Mateo)
Dash: Pretty much just sushi (Menu)
Hotaru: Japanese. Always pretty consistently good. And there is never a wait. This is where I go if every place is jam packed and all I want is a solid Japanese meal. (HOTARU Japanese Restaurant)
Suruki Supermarket: Yes, it's a supermarket, but it's great to check out for many Japanese food items. Worth a stop in if you're walking around downtown. They're "to-go" food "restaurant" has some awesome quick and cheap Japanese meals, although I'm pretty sure sushi isn't on their menu (Suruki Supermarket - San Mateo, CA)

These places are all pretty highly-rated on Yelp.

I've heard these places are good from friends, but haven't tried them:
Izakaya Mai (Izakaya Mai - San Mateo, CA)
Kitcho (Kitcho - San Mateo, CA)

All of these restaurants are located downtown (because this is where I live, and I don't really like driving anywhere if I can avoid it). A good thing to do is to find a good parking spot, and then walk by one/a few places to see what you think and to assess the wait at each. Then go from there. You can always go for a stroll before/after the meal, too.

Full disclosure: I'm a white guy who feels he is pretty open to many different cuisines, and loves to try many types of foods. I don't pretend to only like "authentic" Japanese, though...but many of my Japanese (American) friends happen to really like the same places, so take that for what you will.
Very nice!
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:15 AM
 
1,546 posts, read 2,968,559 times
Reputation: 1428
Izakaya Mai is great. In addition to sushi, they also have chambon/ramen (I think it's made in house) and other Japanese appetizers such as takoyaki.

I personally find Sushi Sam's way overpriced and overrated.
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