Gyu-Kaku - San Mateo

Gyu-Kaku - San Mateo

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.gyu-kaku.com/ca/sanmateo.htm‎
  • Phone: 6503433255
  • Hours of Operation:

    Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 10:30 pm (last call)
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Barbecue, Japanese, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: E. 4th Ave
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Gyu-Kaku - San Mateo
Social dining - spending time with friends and family - is what Gyu-Kaku (GEW-KAH-KOO) is all about. Gyu-Kaku offers the fun of ‘shared plates," inspiring laughter, conversation, and good times. You can't help it with a personal grill installed at every table, everyone instantly becomes an expert cook. The staff at Gyu-Kaku are friendly, leading you through the night with helpful suggestions. The sounds around you are of parties and laughter - the perfect choice for first dates, families, and catching up with friends. Gyu-Kaku, meaning "Horn of the Bull" in Japanese provides the authentic Japanese Yakiniku (barbeque) dining experience where our customers share premium cooked meats over a flaming charcoal grill while sipping on Japanese Sake, Shochu and frosty cold beers.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
Gyu-Kaku - San Mateo reviews from OpenTable diners
73 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelEnergetic
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (39)fit for foodies (31)kid-friendly (27)great for lunch (20)special occasion (19)neighborhood gem (17)hot spot (15)late-night find (12)great for brunch (6)romantic (4)great for outdoor dining (2)notable wine list (2)Show More
  • awesome experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    great service and food. affordable too. will come back!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun casual cook it yourself dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Came here with son to check out this new hot spot in San Mateo. Read about other reviews on slow service, so I was prepared. We were seated in 10 minutes despite many empty tables, but the hostess was friendly and pleasant. The server came fairly quickly to take our order. Giving some tips on what to order and how to cook. The dishes are small, so we ordered 5 meat dishes, two veg, yaki onigiri, and rice. This turned out to be way too much food. Overall, we really enjoyed our lunch here. We got good friendly service. The sweet potato took a lot longer to cook and it was not even sweet. Will come back again.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Horrible Wait Times
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We showed up and had to wait 15 minutes to be seated even though we had a reservation (not a big deal). We ordered right away and then sat there for 45 minutes with nothing but our drinks and the vegetables. Normally the meat and vegetables all come at once so you cook and eat them all together. We cooked and ate our vegetables (as there was nothing else to eat and we were starving). After 45 minutes we asked where the meat was (remember that all they bring is a plate of raw meat - should be pre- prepared and shouldnt take an hour to plate) and they informed us that the kitchen was backed up. It took over an hour to get 3 plates of raw meat delivered to our table. Totally unacceptable and they should have been forthcoming about the wait.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hawaii28VIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    What a fun place to have dinner, food was tasty but service is off and timing in the kitchen is not great. I come to this restaurant twice and both times there were mistakes on our bill and the kitchen seem to be not on point. The first time items were not brought to my table and was on my bill and the second time, not sure if it was company standard but the veggies came out before any of the meats and apps came out when we were almost done. We blame the server for the timing in the kitchen. The server did charge us for regular prices when we order items from the HH part of the menu and they didn't believe us when we pointed it out. The server was very nice but I feel management didn't do a good job training her.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    always busy during dinner so had to wait a long time for food to come out. only go if you have a lot of time to spare. servers were very apologetic however and extremely cordial. food and ambiance were great.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Addictive!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Amazing!!! Never disappoints. Although we had to wait even though we has reservations they have us 10% off for having us wait. Always busy especially for dinner so definitely make reservations
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love Gyu-Kaku
    kry510
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    I've been to Gyu-Kaku in Chicago and San Mateo and it has been a great experience at both places. Not only does their have a lot of flavor, but their service has been amazing as well. They offer 3 different kinds of sauces to go with your meat and the spicy one is by far the best. They have HH 7 days a week - AWESOME!!!!!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just Right
    Mangia
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Two adults and two kids had a fantastic meal that pleased everyone. Grilling your own dishes was fun! Meat and veggie options were great. The staff were enthusiastic. We will definitely go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    elemenohpee2k2
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    The food and drinks were excellent. Our server did an amazing job with keeping our drinks filled without having to ask him
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • J-bbq Spot
    Candy
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Gyu - kaku holds their standard for J-bbq. I love that they have happy hour specials everyday from 9:00-10:30pm and some other times. I've always had a great time here except for tonight. Our server pretty much ignored us after taking our order. The wait for our spicy - cabbage salad even took around 25min. It got a little ridiculous when we were pretty much done with our food and the grill was burning but our Toro beef was still missing. Our server never checked up on us and we had to ask other servers to help out. I love their food but good service should come with it. This doesn't stop me from coming here don't get me wrong...but I hope to have a better experience next time. :)
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great grilling fun...
    fitndineVIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Fresh ingredients and fun cooking your own meets and veggies. They have happy hour 7 days a week.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Your waitress did a great job explaining to us about your restaurant and introduced to us your most popular dishes. Her information was helpful. The only regret was that the music was too loud for us. We had a difficult time talking at our table.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • nice but not worth the price
    vysf
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    First time to be there. Food is fine but too small and quite pricy. Suggest to go under happy hours with discount price. I ordered the combination and the result is average. Mixed vegetable with too much onion and we don't like it. Suggest to order your own choice of dishes.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 2nd visit in 4 weeks
    WizardMickey
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    After our first visit with ordering too much food, my wife and I had a mini "game plan" going in Friday night. This time we got a reservation at 10 pm (earliest available) instead of doing a walk in. Sat next to a drunk group that was quite loud but did not bother us too much. Compared to our first time visiting, both service and food was not as good this time. This time the horumon was not fresh, very little in quantity, and you can tell they just took it out of the freezer with all the liquid on the plate. Furthermore, our grill was never re-oiled or changed out like they did the first time we visited. One of the new hires, Isaac (I believe), was pretty good but he needs to be more enthusiastic and be more confident in his work.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    And awesome service, got good tips on what to eat, friendly people and got a nice seat too
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great to Grill
    mikeylikesit
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Nice and clean place. Some places that serve food to be grilled at the table have a strong smell, and actually you walk smelling of the grill. Didn't happen this time. Nice place for lunch. The marinade on the meats are really good. You can always ask for a new grill plate if the build up gets too much. Other places don't do that.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Grilling a Delicious Meal
    SouthcityCAVIP
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Some of us have had bad experiences grilling your own meal, but none here! Restaurant is large, modern, spacious, and (get this) free of grilling smoke! A lot of us shy away, since we don't want to smell like BBQ for days (our clothes, hair, or car). And I agree with previous reviews that the food is fresh, well prepared/marinated, and delicious! We just had Father's Day lunch there, and we couldn't have picked a better place. You feel relaxed and at ease. The beer comes an in icy mug waiting for it to be washed down with a mouthful of fresh cooked meat. Doesn't this remind you of backyard grilling on your little hibachi? Great meat/meal selections to choose from. Very long Happy Hour. Lots of parking next door.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad management team
    Foodie4real
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Came here first with RSVP, was seated right away. Food was good, pricey not very impressive. Went back for 2nd time since we were in the area without RSVP. The front girl told us the wait is about 45mins. We walked around then came back and they said another 20mins and there were 6 parties in front of us. So obviously someone messed the waitlist. The manager came and still said 20mins for the wait. Good food, but management team needs to step up with their wait list. Don't go to this place if u can't RSVP before.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Gyu Kaku
    Kazkazak88
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    We went to Gyu Kaku - San Mateo this Monday! We liked Toru the best!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Good food but service seems to be very slow most of the time we eat here.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Slow Service and Over Priced
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    Service is slow, probably due to new staff and small portions for $$$ won't be going back. And also I never wanted to be on their email list and after eating there with OpenTable I started to receive emails.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Surprise!
    Jean
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    What a great surprise this little restaurant is...the service is awesome, pleasant and attentive. The mix of Japanese and Korean food fare is very nicely done with cooking grills right in each table...from prawns through many types of meats in various marinades to s'mores for dessert - the table grill is fun and efficient! Will definitely go again and recommend to friends!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • dont order precooked food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    ok, so I know this is a BBQ restaurant and their specialty is the meats that you grill yourself, but my friends and I just didn't feel like cooking our own lunch this particular day. how bad could the precooked food be anyways? So, I can't say if the BBQ is good or not, but the precooked food is DEFINITELY a no-no.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 50 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 19, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 19 reviews are from the Gyu-Kaku - San Mateo reviews archive.
  • great find!
    luv2eat
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    Delicious food and fun to bbq at your table. The food is always prepared fabulously and tastes fantastic. Great for friends getting together or for a couple's night out. Yum!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food and great variety!
    Yummyfud
    Dined on 4/21/2014
    It was a good experience! Noise level a little loud. Hard to hear the waitress!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice ambience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    Gyu-Kaku is a very nice place to dine at for families. it is a place where everyone enjoy grilling food especially to young ones. it is a place where young people can learn how to cook food in a way. thank you
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently Delicious
    bigdawg
    Dined on 4/1/2014
    Fun and delicious is what comes to mind whenever I think of this restaurant. Been here three times and have had an impeccable experience every time. Love the idea of cooking the food yourself. Happy hour is amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food!
    thaDRZA
    Dined on 3/24/2014
    Brought my son here for his birthday dinner. HE enjoyed all the food, especially the kalbi. Great to go during Monday; happy hour prices all day! 9.99/pitcher of Saporro
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Go for HH!
    foodiegirl
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    Go for HH!! $1.99 Sapporo Draft and a bunch of discounted apps and meats. $15 min pp FYI.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • awesome food, great price!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    Come for happy hour! Delicious food, great location and nice inside!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First Timer Experience
    GFamily
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    Food - Taste-wise, very good. Portions for the sides we ordered like mushrooms, asparagus and broccoli were skimpy. Not meant to be shared. Service - Very good except for one thing. This outing was to celebrate our daughter's birthday which I had noted under comments when making reservations via OpenTable. When we checked in, the hostess even acknowledged that this is a birthday occasion. Throughout dinner, we saw 2 birthdays being acknowledged at other tables with the staff singing happy birthday. However, our daughter's birthday was completely forgotten which was extremely disappointing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice meal
    Hungryman
    Dined on 3/3/2014
    The family and I had a nice dinner the other day. we were given a table right away and had grrat service throughout the night. The kids like seeing the food cooked in front of them and the quality here is always excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not that impressive
    FrenchToast
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    I am not really a fan of restaurants where I have to cook my own food, even for 5 minutes. I enjoy cooking very much and the restaurant is not where I like to have it happen, so this restaurant is not for me. The food was nothing extraordinaire but good. The service was friendly but the noise level was high. This restaurant is best for groups but I would not recommend it to foodies.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • yummy food & helpful servers!
    pinknarf
    Dined on 2/24/2014
    I made a reservation for Monday, not knowing that it was happy hour all day! Yay! The food was good and servers were really helpful and clearly trained to offer instructions on how to order and grill. The best part of the whole experience was leaving the restaurant not smelling like food or smoke like you would at other hot pot or bbq places. A definite plus! Had a great experience and would come back with more friends!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun but pricey
    Tina
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    This place is a fun night out with friends or family. We had the meal for 6 package. It is way too much food for 6. Maybe better for 8 or 6 hungry guys. Some of the items in the package were a bit lame. Corn nibblets? Meat was good and salad. Skip the miso.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service and Ambiance good, not food
    KKPulliamVIP
    Dined on 2/12/2014
    Went to Gyu Kaku for the first time after they opened. Had great expectations prior. Checked in on time and was seated right away. Service from the staffs was very good. Had a visit from the manager also asking how everything's was. our waiter explained everything in detail. Food wise, not too good. We ordered a few meat dishes, garlic shrimp, ramen and bimbimbop. Food arrived fairly quickly and filled up the table. Server explained how long to cook the meat / veggie. Upon trying the meats, some were not marinated while some other were heavily marinated, Overall, the meat wasn't 'quality' meat. Very 'hard' and didn't carry much 'meat' taste. The meats that were marinated were very very salty and again not tender at all.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • You made my day!
    yaki29
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    I was really really excited since I've decided to have a dinner at Gyukaku with my friends because it was my first time to eat yakiniku since I moved to the states in March 2013! My group was all Japanese including me, and we all enjoyed the food! We spent $30 for each, and it was pretty expensive for us. But we were totally fine because your food worth it! I already miss it even I just went there few days ago. I loved and enjoyed that much! And not only about the food. Our waitress, she checked our table many times, we could really see that she really cared customers, showed us nice smiles and told us few jokes. I liked it. Thank you for everything that I had there, and I will definitely recommend other my friends, and come back one day!3
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It's over priced and over rated!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    There were 3 of us. We ordered a combo meal for 2 plus 1 appetizer, 3 additional BBQ items and one pitcher of beer. The cost is $165! Also, they were so busy that they cannot seat us on time even we had a reservation. We waited for about 25 minutes to be seated.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun Korean Table BBQ Japanese Style
    Samurai6VIP
    Dined on 1/23/2014
    Japanese Yakinuku /Korean BBQ where you grill meat, mainly beef, in front of you on the table using a smokeless grill. Service was very attentive, prices reasonable, that said two of us ate and drank $140! But a nice addition to downtown San Mateo. The side dishes are so so but meat was good quality. Brand new, clean and hope your partner does the cooking!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun but a bit lacking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/19/2014
    Very fun but the service was lacking and very hard to get the waitstaff's attention to order. Also expect a long wait if you do not have reservations, try to come earlier or later to avoid the dinner rush. The happy hour specials are pretty good.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.