Kauboi Grill and Sushi bar
Kauboi Grill and Sushi bar

Kauboi Grill and Sushi bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://kauboigrillandsushi.com/
  • Phone: (831) 661-0449
  • Hours of Operation:
    Open everyday 4:00 PM to LATE.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Californian, Japanese
  • Executive Chef: Matt Perez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We have different rooms all with full service.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Spreckles
  • Public Transit: Right down the street.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking lot.
A word from Kauboi Grill and Sushi bar
At Kauboi Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar, our menu is inspired by seasonal organic ingredients and incorporates traditional Japanese cuisine.
We feature fish, chicken, and meat that are raised or harvested in a sustainable manner.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Kauboi Grill and Sushi bar reviews from OpenTable diners
30 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating3.5
  • Food4
    Service3.3
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
72% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (15)neighborhood gem (13)good for groups (8)vibrant bar scene (7)hot spot (5)special occasion (5)kid-friendly (4)romantic (3)great for lunch (2)great for outdoor dining (1)late-night find (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • Good food with fun, quirky vibe
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Kauboi is a fun place to go out for dinner with its modern Japanese cuisine and hipster, cowboy ambience. Our food and drinks were very good (a strawberry infused tequila cocktail, and impressive Japanese single malts). We really enjoyed the roasted garlic edamame and the spicy yakitori, and the nigiri was exceptionally fresh (responsibly caught and sustainable) - all for a good price. Service was very friendly, but you can tell they're still working in a new staff because the service wasn't seamless (forgot to bring us menus right away, didn't bring us soy sauce, forgot our rice which came with our combo meal), but they were quick to fix any issues, and I'm sure things will improve once the place is open for longer. Overall very pleased.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Change of Pace
    1potato2
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Saw their $25 restaurant week menu online and found when we got there that it had been expanded with an additional entrée choice and now included dessert as well (on top of four other courses). The food was plentiful and tasty. Choices included poke, sushi, Japanese style pickled vegetables, as well as grilled salmon and scallops options. Only weakness was the service and pacing of the meal. Within minutes of ordering, our table was covered with multiple plates of appetizer and first course, making us feel a bit rushed. The pleasant but scatterbrained server brought us a red wine instead of the white we ordered. She apologized and then brought us a different Italian white from the one we had ordered (we gave up and drank it).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pretty Food!
    Sandy
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    The food is pretty, the presentation of all the plates we had were great. Most everything was very tasty. The mango in the poke wasn't very ripe; but everything else was good. The uni pasta was fab. The service lacked and pardon the pun, too many cooks in the kitchen. Except for the waitress, we saw a new person every time bringing out the food, collecting the check, bringing out drinks and sending our check to another table. Hmm... at least the food was good. Came for SCRW, so we definitely want to go back for the regular menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • pancho
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    The food was great. Wonderful diverse menu for Restaurant Week.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bummed
    fauxfoodie
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    I was excited for restaurant week at Kauboi as I have only visited for happy hours and was excited to get the whole experience. The food was delicious but the service is seriously lacking. Our waiter was very nice but seemed to have too many tables to even try to give great service. We ended up waiting for over 20 minutes after we were finished with our meal before being checked on for dessert, more beverages or ask for a box and the check. I may just have to stick to happy hours here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Abysmal Service
    epicure
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    We arrived on time for our reservation and were seated at a low, small-round cocktail table and abandoned. We left after long failure to provide contact let-alone service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2014
    thevolcanodoctor
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    My boyfriend and I chose Kauboi for their extremely affordable prix fixe menu during Santa Cruz Restaurant Week 2014. Kauboi stood out from the rest of the featured restaurants due to their extremely low price of $25 for a four-course prix fixe menu (amuse bouche, four piece sushi, starter, entree). When we got to the restaurant, we were elated to discover that they added a dessert course to be covered on the prix fixe menu, bringing it up to five courses for $25! The ambiance in the restaurant was perfect, the servers were quite nice and friendly (not to mention exceptionally quick in seating us and serving us). The food was divine!!!! Great cocktails, too!! We will definitely come back to Kauboi, and would highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant Week Discovery
    SatisfiedKauboi
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Restaurant Week lead us to try Kauboi Grill and Sushi Bar for the first time. The staff was very attentive and informative. We sat at a table for two in front of a gas hearth over which a horned steer skull loomed. The 5 course menu was a pleasant surprise over the typical 3 courses allowing a diverse range of flavors. Leaning away from typical Japanese sweetness dishes enjoyed unique twists of flavor. A Momokawa Sake Tasting Flight let us sample with each courses to discover pairings. From where we sat we did not see Asians in the service or kitchen staff and with our friend, the skull, hanging overhead plus the unexpected flavor profiles we had our "Duh" moment over the name of this fine restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • SC Restaurant week
    fun4food
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Wonderful selection for restaurant week! I was surprised to find a TV on for the world series for the Giants! a great crowd and the manager bought us a celebratory sake when we won!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent local find
    edinsantacruz
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Servings were well prepared, flavors were interesting and appetizing. Serving sizes were large. Ambience was quiet enough for conversation but a good vibe and energy. We truly enjoyed the evening. Service was polite and proactive. Loved the large water bottle in the center of the table. The bar provided an excellent hang out while waiting for our table.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mixed feelings
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We went there when it first opened. We had the worst service ever but the sushi was very good. This time the server did not come to our table even to give us water for 15 minutes. Once we placed our order, the food came pretty fast. It was OK, not great. The ambiance leaves something to be desired. Just can't quite put my finger on what it is.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lot's of choices
    kaboolie
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    There are so many ways to go with this restaurant. Sushi, sliders, great fries (I would not get the fish flakes mixed in next time) wonderful salad and a good wine list with fun mixed drinks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Birthday Dinner in years!
    Welovesushi74
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    The restaurant I work for in Santa Cruz also owns Kauboi so I thought id try it out for my birthday. Overall great experience! I loved the set up of he restaurant, friendly staff and AMAZING food. My boyfriend suffers from Celiac disease (wheat allergy) and they were willing to suggest rolls he could eat and also even had gluten free soy sauce! We ordered a California love, Ritches Rainbow, Ivan the Great (without siracha regular siracha not gf) and ring of fire(comes with tempura so only for me). This is one of the first times my boyfriend has gotten to eat as much as I have at a sushi restaurant in years and couldn't thank you enough! He usually can only eat simple rolls and sashimi at other places.We Will defenitely be back here ASAP!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No sushi at a sushi bar?
    juicycookie
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Kauboi has to be the worst sushi bar/restaurant I've ever been to. After we were seated the 1st thing we were told was half the menu items were not available. Then we wanted to order certain sushi but then told no prawns available. Then we wanted to order different sushi and told no rice available to make sushi. Then they tried to give us calamari as a comp but then came back to say no calamari left. Then they tried to comp a drink and it was the worst tasting drink I've ever had. It was a complete joke we couldn't believe it was happening. We had no choice to eat the only thing they had left because all other restaurants in the area were already closed. Aside from that the table next to us was waiting 2hrs for food that never came.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Management needed
    Laina
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We loved this restaurant from the time it opened, but no longer. They are obviously understaffed, which shows in how long it takes for food to come out. Our appetizer came (finally) with our main dishes. The bar was very slow. Because it used to be so good, this is terrible. Someone in ownership is cutting costs, and it shows. Laina
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food, slow service
    paintknight
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The food at Kauboi is absolutely fantastic. There is just about nothing on the menu is would disappoint. The issue we ran into was that the service was only ok. Friendly enough but the server we had seemed either new or something. On top of that, the restaurant was understaffed when we went so getting the check took forever and then once they took the cards, they ran them like 3 times (Charged, cancelled, charged again) and kept asking how much was to be split on the cards instead of just writing it down. This could have easily been just a one time thing and we will definitely go back; the food is just that good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 14 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.6
    • Food4
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service3.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 9 reviews are from the Kauboi Grill and Sushi bar reviews archive.
  • fun local restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Very much enjoy the vibe and our meals here, whether hanging in the restaurant or at the bar. Nice staff, good sushi. Would love to see some gyosa though!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • tasty healthy fun
    DGBl
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Best spot for good food that works for those of us who have to count our carbs
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • stick with sushi
    divegal
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    They have done a good job remodeling the previous old pub. Cozy, quiet. Good SUSHI But The Kobe Sliders Undercooked And bland. Tempura so so.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • still working out the kinks
    dineNdish
    Dined on 6/16/2014
    The food at Kauboi is inventive and tasty, the cocktails are creative and the ambiance is recovering from its former life as a pub. But it needs to find its niche. If it's going after the $16 a roll sushi crowd, the service and attention to detail need to be impeccable. Our party of eight finally got the water pitcher from the station after despairing of refills. Two of us were charged for the complete meals, although neither of us received them, and by the time our server checked in, we just let it pass. It wasn't until I got home and put on my glasses that I realized they weren't forgotten on the bill. It might have saved us the second $16 sushi roll, since the birthday girl was still hungry after the first. Altogether not worth the price
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome sushi!
    FormerChicagoFoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    I have been wanting to try Kauboi since it opened - I am only sorry I took so long to get here! Loved everything about it - especially the sushi. The food is amazing - the service was friendly and the atmosphere is rustic and fun.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good sushi
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    Great food, very empty on a weekday night, flexible chef and server made a great experience!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food great, service not so much
    hulawahine05
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Amazing food and cocktails. Will go back for those definitely. Service was poor. Took a long time to order. Asked for water for the table twice and finally 2 of us got a glass. Never brought the rice that went with the dinners. Didn't offer to take the charge for missing items off of the bill.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A slightly off night
    Laina
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    We have been to Kauboi many times, both for lunch and for dinner. Love the combination of Japanese and Western foods. Chef is very talented. But this Saturday was an off night. The sashimi did not seem as pristine as usually and there were no specials, which they ordinarily have. But we like it enough to continue going there.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Creative Fresh and Delicious
    Mary
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Kauboi Grill was a great surprise. We enjoyed the drink menu and I chose a Pim's which I drank once years ago on a jaunt through the Yorkshire Dales. NICE The music was a variety of low key country. Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' was playing when we walked in. The music was not overwhelming. We went for an early meal and were the only ones there when we went in but the place steadily filled. There was an extensive sake menu. We started with the garlic edemame (my husband thought it had too much garlic, I loved it) We each had a different salad and they were crisp and fresh and unusual. We had a delicious shrimp tempura and a U2 Roll. Yum!! The decor is fun Western straight out of an old cowboy picture movie. We hope to go again soon.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate