Cafe Japengo
Cafe Japengo

Cafe Japengo

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cafejapengo.com/
  • Phone: 8584503355x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Hours of Operation: Lunch:
    Monday through Friday 11 am to 2 pm

    Dinner:
    Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm-9:30pm
    Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm-10:30pm

    Happy Hour:
    Monday though Friday: 4:30pm-7:00 pm
    Saturday: 4:30 pm-CL

    Sushi Hour at the Sushi bar
    Monday through Saturday: 4:30pm-5:30 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Sushi, Asian
  • Executive Chef: Jerry Warner
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: catering available up to 40 people, selection of Pacific Rim cuisine and Sushi, drop off in the La Jolla area or pick up available
  • Private Party Facilities: Up to 50 guests .
  • Private Party Contact: Jamie Kelly-Bee 8584503355x
  • Special Events: Book your special event, holiday party or business lunch or dinner.
    Family style and prix fixe menus available. Sushi classes scheduled monthly. For inquires email: Jamie.Kelly-Bee@hyatt.com

Getting there

  • Cross Street: La Jolla Village
  • Parking: Hotel Parking
  • Parking Details: Validated Hotel parking and street parking are also available.
A word from Cafe Japengo
Located at the Golden Triangle, Café Japengo is renowned for both fabulous Sushi and incredible fusion creations that combine Japanese and Western flavors. The energetic atmosphere and the trendy clientele make it make it a 'must' when visiting San Diego. Gluten free menu available.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Cafe Japengo reviews from OpenTable diners
90 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.3
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (51)special occasion (35)good for groups (35)great for lunch (31)neighborhood gem (21)romantic (19)hot spot (17)vibrant bar scene (15)great for outdoor dining (7)great for brunch (6)kid-friendly (5)late-night find (4)notable wine list (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We celebrated my husband's birthday here and they were so nice and accomodating
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Asian fusion food is impressive.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Char siu duck salad was over the top. Miso butter fish was delicious. The Asian fusion is done quite expertly. Service was professional and efficient. I will be back to try other menu items.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • consistent
    BVDiner
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    It's a great Restaurant since 1989.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Artistic and appetizing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    I truly enjoyed my experience at Japengo. The atmosphere was relevant to the Japanese culture and food. The staff was eager to serve and friendly. I will continue to take clients there who enjoy the art of Japanese cuisine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Needs a spark
    FoodSearchVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The menu is tried and true with many items the same as they were almost two decades ago. Problem is that the quality of the preparation has gone down significantly- food was over cooked and had less spark than in the past. Used to go often and our last meal reinforced our decision that it's not a go to place. The calamari was greasy; the duck was dry and gray. Used to love the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, slow service this time
    Crazy2goout
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    We go frequently to this favorite restaurant of ours, food is great, just the service was slow this time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience
    PocketVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We took our two kids and they shared a bento box. I was surprised at how kid friendly they were, yet it was a lively and romantic spot. The sushi was amazing and the service was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, kid-friendly, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    wonderful experience, great food and exellent service
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Expensive, but good. Great occasion night but pricey for an every weekend venture
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    JannyVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    This restaurant, while always excellent is expensive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Swanky Sushi
    luv2dineVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We were limited for time and our server took that seriously. She was quick to place our order and brought our check just after the food so we had it to check out when ready. The sushi was very good. That's all we had time to try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Sushi ever!
    Lv2rkclimbVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We've eaten here before but it has been a while! As usual- this place never disappoints me. We had sushi and it was fresh, fresh, fresh! Ambiance is spectacular and the service is top-notched! Definitely a must come back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointed
    Disapponted
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Sushi at Japengo used to be (10 yrs ago) fresh and very tasty, but on this visit, the fish was not fresh-- it had a peculiar taste. The entrees were disappointing-- the miso butterfish in broth was not to my liking. The broth overwhelmed the fish. The black cod was flaky, but the taste of the broth covered the delicate flavor of the fish. I've had miso butterfish in Japanese restaurants before, an it is one of my favorite dish. The scallops were dry, and the ahi also was dry-- overcooked. Overall, we were very disappointed in the food. In the past, the food was tasty and we enjoyed our experience. Not this time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    travelanddine4us2
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    We have dined at Cafe Japengo since it opened, although just once or twice each year during our annual vacation in La Jolla. We have always loved it. As a matter of fact, I would say it had been one of my very favorite restaurants. This year it was a disappointment from the menu selections to the food. I doubt we'll go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good sushi!
    Barney415
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Great food. Light and healthy! Had a business meeting and they food allowed us to talk and share a meal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Japengo, a reliable sushi place
    mikeVIP
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    The restaurant has been a mainstay of the various sushi restaurants around. It anchors the Aventine spot and is a great place for interview lunches and the like. I have never had a bad meal there. The service is quite good. The food while is of high quality is no longer adventurous.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a pleasure dining at Japengo
    MamaVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    One of our favorite restaurants in La Jolla. Always great service. On this most recent visit I found the food to be much too salty. We ordered Vietnamese pork dish. Best to stick with seafood which is always outstanding. Service, as always, was top notch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very enjoyable
    ScottyVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We dine here every 3 months or so - don't know why we don't do it more often! The food was great, the service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Okay spot for a bite in UTC area.
    fooderizVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Pretty standard place. Okay sushi and the rest the menus decent. Not mind blowing and perhaps the other restaurants by the Hyatt are a little bit better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good sushi bar
    StevoskiVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Not my fave sushi bar but very good none the less. The food and fish were fresh and quite well prepared and presented. The service was attentive but not overbearing. All in all a good place to go for sushi and sashimi when in the mood.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • consistently delicious
    secondtimetester
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    There are very few restaurants that we enjoy the second, third etc. time. Japengo is just delicious every time. The service is perfect, the ambience is fun and the prices are reachable. They also are very obliging to diet restrictions. Highly recommended. We parked in the self-parking lot and they were ample places and they validated.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible Sushi
    We2travelabitVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    This is by far the best Sushi in San Diego. The fish is fresh and flavorful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Palate pleaser for everyone
    MamaVIP
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    My husband loves sushi and sashimi and I don't. Therefore, we don't often dine at Japanese restaurants. I love Cafe Japengo because it pleases both of us. He eats delicious sushi and I eat cooked food. I think the scallop, shrimp dish is superb. Also, love that salad with char shu duck. Be sure to share as portions are enormous. Wonderful service and excellent cocktails. A true favorite.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good, but....
    Tony
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Everything was very good but i was not impressed with the steak and prawns. The filet was tasty, but small and drowning in the sauce. Way too much mash and the root they had there was not very good. Also, the shrimp were dried and small too small to be called prawns. For $49 i was not impressed. Saying this the Sushi was excellent and my wife's noddle dish was fantastic. Just wished I not get the steak
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 10 years later...still fantastic!
    DiningDiVIP
    Dined on 7/7/2014
    Thrilled to see one of our favorite places was still going strong! Dumplings and sushi appetizers were so fresh and delicious. Entrée of duck was perfect as was the shrimp and scallop noodle dish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Most courteous staff -great food
    MamaVIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    From the moment one enters, one is greeted warmly. Not gushing, phony warmth, but the hosts do their best to make the guest feel welcome. This extends to the others in the front of the house. Servers are extremely patient and helpful when one is trying to make a decision. They clearly have been well trained by management. The food is wonderful. Love this restaurant
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always GREAT!
    Mike
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    My wife and I chose Cafe Japengo to celebrate our anniversary. Sitting at the sushi bar we were served by chef, Mark, and James who were very attentive. Loved the nigori sake, sashimi, and selection of nigiri sushi. Great dessert (ice cream) of coconut and green tea. Kudos to the gentlemen above and to head chef, Jerry Warner, for keeping Cafe Japengo a "go to" place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I'm a Regular
    HighonSanDiego
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Japengo is one of my favorite places for lunch or dinner. Food is always very good though I usually end up having sushi. Head sushi chef Jerry is terrific if you sit at the sushi bar. Depending on the reason I'm there, I often choose a booth. Sometimes sitting in the middle of the restaurant and Thursday nights can be a bit noisy. But I love it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not a Great Value
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    I ordered the Ahi Tuna salad [$22] and left hungry ... not sure there was more than 3 oz of tuna on that salad
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sushi Must!
    SpindogVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    This is the second time that I have been here in a month...the Sushi is great - and plentiful! The duck was very good - ask for the plum sauce on a separate bowl. It overwhelms the flavors of the duck and veggies.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JourneyVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    This was our second time visiting the place and the experience was actually better than the first time!! We had Melissa & her trainee Heather and I would recommend Melissa to everyone/anyone!! Not only she was professional, friendly, she was very knowledgeable with the whole menu there! She even introduced us something new that wasn't on the menu and turned out to be AMAZING!! We had calamari for appetizer, sushi roll called 'protein' & duck as entree and again, the portion was enough for 4 people!! The taste of the food was phenomenal and we are definitely making this place as our hot spot!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome sushi place
    pumbitaVIP
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    We really enjoyed our dinner at Japengo. The service was incredible and food was amazing
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food
    wonanVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    the calamari appetizer is always the best! We ordered 2 this time and the waiter was surprised but we told him that's because we love this dish!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • High quality Sushi, great service
    JanetRogerVIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    We're very picky about our sushi. Needs to be absolutely fresh and very high quality. The sushi chefs are friendly and skilled. Always look forward to our weekly visit.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food is excellent!
    LJdiner
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    Great selection of sushi options, as well as a menu of creative Pacific Rim dishes. Professional, friendly waitstaff. Had a lovely dining experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 55 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 634 reviews are from the Cafe Japengo reviews archive.
  • Vacation Dinner at Japengo
    MomDay
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    I can't say enough about this place. It is one of the best sushi restaurants I have ever been to. I took my daughters while on vacation in San Diego and found this gem. Great wait staff, I mean amazing wait staff. The Miso soup was stupendous. The calamari we had was also equally amazing, especially the way they prepare it. We had sushi and chicken teriyaki. In fact, they can make anything, even if not on the menu. Two of the dishes we ordered were custom made. This is a great place to take someone for a special occasion or an awesome dinner. I was very impressed with the entire set up, from ambience to food, from service to ease of ordering and we must have had 3 or 4 people serving us, because a glass was never wanting and every need met!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JourneyVIP
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    The place opens late and provides a good variety of food. We had roasted oyster and fries to start and they were DELICIOUS!! Then we had duck salad, it was ridiculous amount of food, it was enough for 2 of us. We really didn't need anymore food after that but did order the steak and ended up taking home. The steak was ok, probably won't order it again. The duck salad is definitely worth for us to go back to.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best in town
    We2travelabitVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The Sushi is second to none in San Diego. Only complaint was a server that was not up to speed on the menu and off menu specialities.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great food, wonderful service
    JannyVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    I was suspicious about the quality of the food here as it is associated with a hotel...not usually a good sign. However, every dish that my husband and I ordered was delicious. I would highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • wonanVIP
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    great service, food was delicious! Will definitely return!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.