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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Gyu-Kaku - San Mateo reviews from OpenTable diners
76 reviews since June 25, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4
    Service3.6
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelEnergetic
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (39)fit for foodies (35)kid-friendly (25)hot spot (17)great for lunch (16)special occasion (15)neighborhood gem (15)late-night find (11)great for brunch (5)romantic (3)notable wine list (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Japanese BBQ
    AndreaVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Each table has its own barbecue pits. That's pretty new! The portions are small so you have to order many tapas, but there is a good selection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • love2ear
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Seats are comfortable and spacious. But, the meat are a little on the tough side. Overall is pretty good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yum!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    A few of my co-workers recommended Gyu-Kaku. We went for my husband's birthday. We ordered the meat lovers special. We ordered an extra bowl of rice and the smores. It was enough food for two adults and 1 kid. It was really fun to cook the food and boy was it tasty! I can't wait to go back again.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • kimchi
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    I took my boyfriend here for his birthday and we made a reservation before we come. With the reservation, we waited for more than 15mins to get seated and even we ordered right away, the food came out after a really long time. I am not sure if I will recommend this place for special occasion.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lackluster service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Service wad very unenthusiastic throughout. Although we had reservations for an early dinner and less than half the restaurant was populated, we had to wait at least ten minutes to be seated (while the hostess tried to figure out which servers were there and which were on break), with no apology for the wait.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The reservation dosen't work well
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    I had reservation for 8:30pm. I was there around 8:20pm, but got seat until 8:55PM. I understand there are a lot of people, but I couldn't accept that reservation still made us wait for half hour. From my last experience, without reservation, you may be wait for 45 mins at same time range. So hope next time, reservation can really reserve my seat for me.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Don't go there on weekends.
    dandan
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Their service was very slow, probably because the restaurant was very busy and understaffed. We needed to wait about 30 minutes until we got the first meat... And they didn't tell us the last order time, 9:30pm, so we missed some noodles and dessert. I swear that I'll never go there on weekends...
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food Coma
    joannster
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    I came here on a Friday night with a group of friends. It was their first time at Gyu-Kaku and I was definitely excited for them. I walked them through the menu step by step, pointing out all of my favorites. I was glad we came for happy hour, so we could take advantage of the cheaper prices. One thing I really enjoy is the small portions. This enables my friends and I to try everything and anything on their menu. I believe we ordered over 10 different dishes. Can't wait to come back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good, but San Jose was better
    KrazyAsianNic
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    Took my fiance for a birthday dinner. Meal was delicious, but came out of order. Our waitress was very nice and helping, but we feel like we got the new people. The food was delicious, we had to keep turning up the grill because people kept turning it down where nothing was cooking. A little frustrating. I felt like we had more fun at the San Jose location.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • fun2dineoutVIP
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    fun place to try. large selection of Grilling at table fun. Children and adults seemed to enjoy making S'mores
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Customer Services HORRIBLE!
    Tammie
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Walked in greeted nicely. Seated and then the waitress comes and says are you ready to order. No hi, no have you been here before, no do you know how to order (since it is a different kind of establishment). Then she proceeds to tell how long her day has been and she is not in a good mood. Beer and wine were warm we needed to add ice to drink. Food came way to face one after another no time to enjoy. Meats had no flavor (been here before and loved their meats). Rice was hard and some places burnt. Sushi had no flavor even with sauce. Asked for water first thing did not get to 30 minutes later. Best thing was the smores. unfortunately, I will never return.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 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 2013VIP
    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
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 54 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The following 31 reviews are from the Gyu-Kaku - San Mateo reviews archive.
  • 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
  • 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.