Japon Bistro
Japon Bistro

Japon Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.japonbistropasadena.com/
  • Phone: 6267441751x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday Closed
    Tuesday: 11:30AM - 2:30PM / 5:00PM - 9:30PM
    Wednesday: 11:30AM - 2:30PM / 5:00PM - 9:30PM
    Thursday: 11:30AM - 2:30PM / 5:00PM - 9:30PM
    Friday: 11:30AM - 2:30PM / 5:00PM - 10:30PM
    Saturday: 5:00PM - 10:30PM
    Sunday: 5:00PM - 9:30PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Sushi, Japanese, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Master Koji
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Delivery, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Japon Bistro can cater your next event, from large to small; from formal to casual. We offer drop-off services as well as a fully staffed event coordination. Each event is individually tailored to your specific need.
  • Special Events: We host & arrange & participate in Sake & Wine Pairing Events, Festivals, Fundraisers and private parties.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Lake
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street or lot parking. In the City of Pasadena, you can park anywhere that is not red after 6. There is also public parking on Mentor Sreet.
A word from Japon Bistro
The award winning Japon Bistro has been serving some of the best sushi & sake in Pasadena for the last 10 years. Well known for our incredibly fresh fish & exceptional sake and savory appetizers, we have earned 2 Michelin Recommendations and have been named a top Japanese Restaurant in North America by Zagat. Please do stop by to satisfy your culinary needs.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSushi
Japon Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
25 reviews since May 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (13)fit for foodies (11)great for lunch (9)special occasion (7)good for groups (6)romantic (6)vibrant bar scene (4)hot spot (3)notable wine list (3)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Japon Bistro
    musicgirl87
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    We started with an appetizer: drunken mushrooms and scallops. My husband liked it, but I was disappointed. For $11, it was boring and bland with miniature scallops. We had the sushi nigiri plates. The sushi is good; fresh and generous sized pieces. There is a bar by the front door. Some man was drunk and noisy. I don't blame the restaurant, but it wasn't pleasant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Kenji's Place
    KokoVIP
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    This is my 3rd at Japon B.The other times were Sat night, this time Sun night.The 1st time, service was ok b/c the owner was there to make things hop.Now only 2 waitresses were there and had raise my hand like I am in class 3X, 2X to refill my tea, 1X for a doggy bag.She came back with 3 styrofoam box and she told me she will be back to bring a bag for the box that never came.Mind you, there was two waitresses and only one other table with guest.That is a 1-to-1 ratio.The owner needs to hire semi-pro staff when he is gone.The place is old and needs to have a brighter redo.The dark Japanese restaurant look is dated.New lighter paint,lighting,remove of floating dusty ceiling thing,redo bar area will freshen it up.++ for Kenji's sake flight!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Top qualifty food; highly recommend the generous chirashi bowl and the hamachi collar.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Japon Bistro #1
    BUCKYVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Dined at many Socal Japanese restaurants. I will rate Japon Bistro in top 5%. Food & service excellent.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great lunch
    Pasadenafoodie
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We tried Japon Bistro through Dine L.A. We Love, Love, Loved it! Plan to return soon. We went for a late lunch on Friday and both the service and food was great. The special Dine LA menu had a great offering and we could barely finish all that we ordered. The sushi and sashimi literally melted in our mouths.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    This is one of our favorite sushi places. Never a disappointment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good tasting Japanese
    AshKashVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    This bistro in downtown Pasadena has some great lunch specials that include soup, salad, rice and entrees. They also have a great selection of sushi and sashimi. One of my favorites is the Southwestern roll, which has just the right amount of spicy flavors.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delish
    Arostar
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    The chef made even my favorite dish better than I have ever had it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Menu Incomplete
    Moonshadow46
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    The waiter/waitress are nice and friendly, and the recommandation is also good. Only thing to improve I believe is to add the desert menu onto it. Without some desert, the great dinner seems incomplete, feels like something is missing to make the experience perfect.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • kristina041
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    the service was very good. however, the sushi was not fresh. only the salmon was fresh.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • go for the fish, stay for the sake
    SarahFe
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    recently took several friends to celebrate their June birthdays. I was a bit concerned at first as there weren't many other patrons and the menu had changed since the last time we visited. The sushi, however, did not disappoint.. in fact, one friend asked "who does he sleep with to get this kind of fish." They bring out the most amazing flavors in the fish, no extra sauce or adornment needed. Plus, Sapporo on draft, and the range of sake offerings are beyond compare in Pasadena. This is our "special occasion" sushi place, and we always leave happy and satisfied.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    Hungry
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    Fresh fish, good presentation, good service. Couldn't ask for more.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OK Place with Decent Prices
    LoveVegas
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    It was an okay place. The food was not noteworthy. Good service. Prices were reasonable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • musicgirl87
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    This is the first time we ate at Japon Bistro. The food was good. We had the Sushi Plates.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous discovery!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    I was so pleased at discovering this place. Delicious food and good sized cuts of fish. Out of uni, but that's okay! Enjoyed it very much.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 10 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.8
    • Food4.8
    • Ambiance4.7
    • Service4.7
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 65 reviews are from the Japon Bistro reviews archive.
  • How lucky we were!
    West
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    If not for Restaurantweek, we might never have eaten at Japon Bistro, but we'll definitely return! The food was amazing, the service impeccable - even though we had to ask specifically for the 'cheap' Restaurantweek menu. We enspecially enjoyed the garlic edamame, the koji tower and the pairing of sake. Even though I try to order different things when I return to a restaurant, I will eat the Pasadena roll again: it was sooo good!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Where is the vibe
    AnaDVIP
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    This restaurant is dark on the inside and so is the ambience, the food is ok to good, not much work is put in to making each sushi piece memorable. hand rolls without cucumber, and color. The service is great and attentive, hope it works on its aura, would like to see it come back to life.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lunchtime Loonies
    AshKashVIP
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    Booked a last minute reservation to get the 100 points. Service was OK, and took a few minutes just to get the attention of someone to seat us. The servers seemed discombobulated, the hot tea I ordered was luke warm and took several minutes to get the attention of a different server. Overall the food was tasty, but if you're in a rush, be cautious if it takes several minutes just to get seated, even when there aren't too many patrons in there.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Travel Zoo find
    DontBeAJerkDiner
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Travel Zoo was the reason we all ended up there. We will definitely return! Very attentive staff, delicious food and a lovely decor. Very quiet, which is great for a romantic date.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The Sushi is incredibly Fresh,
    CHIQUIBABYLAVIP
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    The Sushi is incredibly Fresh, the location is not the best, its kind of hidden, but food its Very good and service super ! so far in Pasadena de BEST sushi ive had and very affordable !
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    danpau98VIP
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    Nice place, great food. Just had to wait a bit to be seated. Nice staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Had an enjoyable Omakase dinner
    reviewVIP
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    Had an enjoyable Omakase dinner here. Fun to see what was presented to us since we did not do the ordering. Sad part is we were served our last dish and did not know it until we were done and was told that was your last course. It would have been nice to know up front that we were getting 5 courses and when the last one came to know it so not try and rush through it thinking something else was coming. Other than that we had an enjoyable dinner.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Getting someone to give us
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 2/23/2014
    Getting someone to give us water and the menu took quite a long time. Although when service finally got started it got better.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meh...
    VdDinner
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    The food was well made, not the best...but ok. We had three different servers, which was confusing. The first was unbelievably rude, she obviously disliked her job. The second was fine, normal level of interaction. The third was really nice and bubbly. We got lucky that the third was the one that stuck with us. The poor table beside us got the grinch... I felt really bad for them, you could tell she managed to ruin their meal. Try it out for a quick lunch, but find a better place for a date or a nice dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pleasant lunch
    dknox
    Dined on 1/30/2014
    Sushi and sashimi were very fresh. After spilling a glass of sake, the waiter made amends in grand style. We had a very pleasant lunch.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • King of Mediocrity
    Katy
    Dined on 1/21/2014
    The food was worse than mediocre. The Spicy Tuna rolls at Albertson's have more flavor. The Yellowtail sashimi was very good but that and the sake were the only things worth commenting on. We were so frustrated to be stuck with such a huge bill after that meal, especially since we drove out from West LA for DineLA. The service was fine but please, hire a new sushi chef to design you some rolls with flavor! My tuna sashimi tasted a little fishy too- a major no-no! I don't consider myself a sushi snob but tempura and soy sauce can not cover up poor design with what was probably sub-par ingredients. I will never be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • omakase
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    very stingy on the serving. mediocre food. nothing to rave about this restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The restaurant was mostly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    The restaurant was mostly empty, but our reservation wasn't enough to get a table because other reservations were coming later ("we only reserve at the 30 minutes"). Put in the corner instead with food coming out in a trickle, with the hot dish arriving 20 minutes before the sushi.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Interesting
    Laura
    Dined on 1/5/2014
    A nice little place with some interesting house special rolls. No cocktails/wine or anything beyond beer and sake though. I think they were short staffed during our visit because the service was incredibly slow. Not a bad Japanese restaurant overall, but not really remarkable in any way either.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Needs more quantity.
    Jaawwsh
    Dined on 1/3/2014
    I ordered the beef tataki, but I felt that its quantity was really small. If it was a expensive part of the cow, I wouldn't have been able to tell. I'd rather it be chuck, but more, rather than any expensive type of meat. Overall the rolls were pretty good and the Yuzu Chicken was good, but I felt that they should label it as spicy or not spicy since my girlfriend doesn't eat spicy food. Also there's a lot of lemon added to every dish.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • overpriced for average sushi
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 12/27/2013
    high end priced sushi for average flavors. bought a travelzoo voucher for omakase for 2. our party of 4 ordered extra food. no one was impressed with food quality. service was excellent, however. sorry. can't recommend this place to others.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Never a disappointment
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 12/26/2013
    Always great food an service. We are long time repeat customers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food but somewhat disorganized
    InfrequentRegular
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    The food, especially the sushi, is very good. No complaints there. It's the service that leaves a little to be desired. Sure, the people are nice, and attentive, but they seem not to communicate with each other very well. We've had our order taken twice, drink orders asked for with drinks freshly on the table, etc. We typically order sushi, a bento for the girl, and when other folks are along, an entree or two. While it isn't super-common for sushi restaurants to time delivery of food tightly, the pacing of delivery is strange. No two things arrive at the same time, even entrees. I still love this place. Just don't ask for anything complicated. Or if you're into sushi, sit at the bar where you can speak directly to the chef.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden Find!
    KimA
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    We happened to find this restaurant through a deal from Travelzoo. The food was excellent! We couldn't get enough of the garlic edamame or the southwest roll! Service was great and it was a perfect location to go to the Ice House afterward. We would definitely return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Quality and Fantastic Owner
    VIP1000dinesVIP
    Dined on 10/2/2013
    It had been a while since I had dined at Japon Bistro. Recently remodeled, looks great. Greeted personally by the owner. Everyone in my party enjoyed their meal. We all ordered seafood salads and rolls. However, the table next to us ordered the Tempura Lunch and it really looked amazing. Next Time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food was ok, went on TravelZoo
    zyggroupVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2013
    The food was ok, went on TravelZoo special. A word of advice; clean the sushi bar-it was so dusty and grimy it was embarrassing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice dinner for 2
    BrazilBabeVIP
    Dined on 9/8/2013
    Had the travelzoo voucher, really great deal. Enjoyed dinner and the different dishes. Nice environment, service was ok, could have been better. One sushi roll took forever to come, had to ask for wasabi. Food was good!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not a typical sushi joint
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    High quality fish with correspondingly high prices. No cheap rolls here, but quality sashimi if that's what you're looking for. Portions are small but tasty.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Went for Lunch
    Kate
    Dined on 7/25/2013
    Had great lunch specials and ended up leaving with a really reasonable tab!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome Service
    Sgvkirbster
    Dined on 7/18/2013
    The staff here was great! Very attentive and courteous! The food was awesome! I would definitely recommend this place to anyone!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.