Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.03mi
  2. Distance: 0.51mi
  3. Distance: 0.56mi
  4. Distance: 0.76mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.03mi
  2. Distance: 0.51mi
  3. Distance: 0.56mi
  4. Distance: 0.76mi

About 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.

8960 University Center Lane
San Diego, CA 92122
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Asian, Sushi

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

Cross Street:
La Jolla Village

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(858) 450-3355

Website:
http://www.cafejapengo.com/

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

Parking Details:
Validated Hotel parking and street parking are also available.

Executive Chef:
Jerry Warner

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
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

Specials

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Specials

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Details
Mon - Fri 12:30PM - 1:00PM 1:15PM - 1:30PM 5:30PM - 5:45PM 8:30PM - 11:00PM

Sat 9:00PM - 11:00PM

Cafe Japengo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.2

ambience

4.2

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

84% would recommend it to a friend

Business Meals (14)
Creative Cuisine (12)
Good for a Date (12)
See All
Casual (10)
Happy Hour (8)
Hot Spot (7)
Fit for Foodies (6)
Great for Lunch (6)
Good for Anniversaries (5)
Bar Seating (5)
Good for Groups (4)
Neighborhood Gem (4)
Special Occasion (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Good for Birthdays (3)
Fun (3)
People Watching (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Romantic (3)
Authentic (2)
Healthy (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Spicy (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (2)
Comfort Food (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Great Beer (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Tapas (1)
Vegan (1)
Cozy (1)
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1027 reviews
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vip
 (San Diego)·Dined a day ago

Everything was amazing! Thank you!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 11, 2018

Nice variety of fresh sushi. Wasabi was perfectly spiced, plenty of soy served with appropriate dishes.
Tea pot weighs about 7 lbs...seriously. Looks cool. They could serve better tea...yet, it wasn't bad.
Good selection of wine and soft drinks.

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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 10, 2018

The food and the service were both notably good. The only weird part was the music— unless you consider The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, and The Doobie Brothers appropriate for sushi...

Tags: Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Been to Cafe Japengo many times in the past but it has definitely slipped downhill. Appetizer was just ok. Our main courses had either too much sauce or not enough. Very inconsistent. It was New Years Eve and the place was empty at 7:45pm, so our service was very good. There was nothing special about being New Years Eve in the restaurant - was just like any other day. Definitely a far cry from the prominence it once had. Probably won't return any time soon. Just way too many other options in the area to choose from.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Amazing food and service. Very creative menu.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Was my choice for NYE 2017 dinner and it did not disappoint. Been there before and will return I'm sure.

Tags: Casual, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Chicken was over cooked did not taste fresh. It was the wok prepared chicken. It tasted as though it was recooked. Japengo used to have a higher quality food. Very small amount of Butterfish.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on December 29, 2017

We like the food and price is mid range but service is bad. I wanted a refill of my water and tried to get the attention of at least 3 servers who walked past our table but i was unsuccessful. This is not the first time that this happened. After they served our main course, nobody came back to check check on us

Tags: Business Meals, Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
·Dined on December 28, 2017

We were stayed at the Hyatt and looked up best sushi in the area and it just so happened to be across the complex. We weren’t disappointed... as we entered we watched the sushi chefs preparing rolls in front of us. We were introduced to James our waiter who did not steer us wrong with edamame, carne asada sushi rolls and crispy rice sushi treats!!! My daughter said her fried rice was amazing and my son had the shrimp and scallops- we all said it was incredible! The food and staff were terrific! Highly recommend!

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 21, 2017

Good solid sushi in a fun environment with good service.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 14, 2017

I have done at Japengo many times in the last 3 years. This could have been an off night but food was only average on this occasion.

Tags: Good for Groups
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 7, 2017

My girlfriend loved the whiskey smash cocktail. We’d definitely go back for more.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 1, 2017

The summer roll is by far my favorite. Always great food and great service.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Handcrafted Cocktails, Cozy, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 22, 2017

The Calamari was out of this world!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 18, 2017

I’ve been coming to Japengo ‘s since I was 19...it was the first place I ever had sushi (lucky me!). It was the best then and it is still the best today!
We just celebrated my twin boys 18th birthday here and the food was amazing, as always. My boys loved it as much as I did. Japengo’s has somehow managed to stay “current” for the past 25 years, which is very impressive, especially in San Diego’s cut throat, foodie culture.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 11, 2017

We had sushi. I was fresh and tasted good. It had been a long time since we ate there. Watch out for the additional 3% protest tax that they charge to pay for the minimum wage increase

Tags: Hot Spot, Casual, Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Spicy, Happy Hour, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

Food was great, service was great. Check was not great... charged 4$ for 1 added gyoza appetizer so we could share( server offered this, did not say we would be charged) and also a 3% extra charge to bill to"cover the cost of increased wages"???? What? Isn't that illegal? You don't just add charges without letting people know first. That's just bad business.
I used to love this place. Not anymore .

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 4, 2017

There’s no question that everything a Sushi experience should be is spot on at Japengo. A bit pricey but when the quality of fish and the fine level of service is considered then it’s worth the expense. If you sit at the sushi bar as we did request Brian for a top notch presentation

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Always consistent quality with menu. Sushi is fresh and well presented. Other menu items are fantastic.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Great for Outdoor Dining, Authentic, Casual, People Watching, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Healthy, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 28, 2017

What a change from the Japengo of before. It’s not even barely a Japanese restaurant anymore as many cuisines from Asia are now represented on their menu and none of it was good.

It was not the delicious experience because of the quality of the food, its preparation, the taste- none of it was good. For example one of the dishes we ordered was beef yakitori. I frequently go to Japan and have been there at least 30 times and this was unrecognizable. It was a tenderized piece of meat that had been compressed in some kind of a form so each piece was identical to the next. it was not genuine and had flavor enhancers or something in it that was nothing like an actual real piece of meat.

I will never go back; the waiter had no idea about half the things as he was new and obviously no one bothered to spend the time to train him properly so it was not his fault that the management didn’t bother with sufficient training for their personnel.

I felt that that was indicative of everything else that has happened to this beautiful restaurant that looks like a Japanese restaurant but it’s not. what shame.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 24, 2017

One of our go-to restaurants in the University City/La Jolla area. We were once again pleased with our overall experience and would pay the restaurant another visit should the right opportunity present itself.

Tags: Happy Hour, Handcrafted Cocktails, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Bar Seating, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 6, 2017

Waiter brought 2 entrees to my husband instead of miso soup and cashew chicken. Other member at table ordered cashew chicken without rice. She received tofu, no chicken

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food2
ambience4
service1
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 23, 2017

I've been here many times but not for a few years. Used to be great. Very mediocre and "worn" looking.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on September 17, 2017

Excellent nice meal. Friendly staff. Thank you Please have a nice meal.

Tags: Healthy, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 13, 2017

Beautiful food and presentation! Everything is done quite well, mostly undone by mediocre and unprofessional service. Amazing combination

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food5
ambience4
service2

 
·Dined on September 13, 2017

I visited Cafe Japengo several times during my business trip to San Diego and simply loved it. The food is absolutely delicious, with the calamari appetizer and sushi selections being stand outs. Everyone in both groups I dined with thoroughly enjoyed their meals and I heard the same from other conference attendees. The service was also excellent!

Tags: Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Outdoor Dining, Healthy
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 9, 2017

Superb service at sushi bar. Typical price range. Better than average sushi, with average presentation and inventiveness. Very fresh fish.

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food4
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 3, 2017

I was crazing sushi and I believe Japengos has the best sushi in town! They didn't let me down Saturday. Yum!!!

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Fun, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on August 31, 2017

Enjoyed the food, it was excellent. Service slow, servers good just needed more. Will return, hostess kind of haughty felt like we were an intrusion but it could of just been the night

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
·Dined on August 27, 2017

My wife and I have been dining here for many years, for business parties, special occasions and anytime we wanted premium sushi but after this last visit, we decided never again. Good luck in the future.

PROS: Location, ambiance, decor, sushi quality and staff
CONS: Very expensive, empty (Ghost town) on a Saturday night and the worse thing of it all, you're forced to pay an extra 3% on the bill for the minimum wage increase. Very bad idea.

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food4
ambience2
service3
value1

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Awesome sushi as always. Put yourselves at the mercy Mr. John Stroble. Superb Sushi👍👍

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Richmond)·Dined on August 23, 2017

The food and service were fantastic. We asked to share plates and they were served split on two plates for us. Everything about the meal was perfect.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 17, 2017

have had much better service experiences here previously, our server didn't know the menu and service was very slow. maybe just an off day. food and space is usually reliably good.

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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 17, 2017

I come to Cafe Japengo all the time for their HH, which runs from 4-7pm, everyday. It's crowded to be sure to get there early.
They have the best HH menu, it's the same food as in the main dining room, and same portion size, but it's 1/2 off. Great beers on tap for $5.
It's a real full meal, you won't leave hungry.

Tags: Bar Seating, People Watching, Comfort Food, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 16, 2017

Cafe Japengo is a long standing "go to'. Sushi is consistently fresh and creative. Love this place!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Tapas, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Lunch, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 13, 2017

Went for dinner before heading to a play because we've enjoyed this restaurant since 1997. The dishes are creative and delicious Asian fusion. OpenTable has space for comment in your reservation so I wrote that it was our 28th wedding anniversary, but apparently they don't read the comments since no one even mentioned it while we were there. Perhaps because it was a same day reservation?
We had a booth, but they keep the lights so low that we had to hold up our menus in the light from the door to read them. The wooden table felt a bit sticky which was a little off putting.
Finally the waiter kept coming over too often to try and clear the table. We resorted to lingering with hands over dishes and glasses to prevent him from taking things before we were done.
Food and dessert was great, but service and ambiance could be improved.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (México)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Pésimo servicio, muy poco personal para atender y los meseros desconocen las bebidas y alimentos que el restaurante ofrece

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food4
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Fantastic Asian fusion food. Love the flavors in the dish I had with shrimp, scallps, and noodles. I would come here anytime I'm in the area.

Tags: Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 6, 2017

We always can count on a GREAT EXPERIENCE at Cafe Japengo! Wonderful evening with out of town (European) guests and their first time at a sushi bar. Kudos to chef, Mark, for his interest in our party and the conversation.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Vegan
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 1, 2017

Cafe Japengo has been my go to place. Good quality sushi and rolls.
They have a great HH menu, good selection and portion. Best part, their HH doesn't end til 7pm.
The dining room is nice and quiet, intimate.
Consistent good food

Tags: Business Meals, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

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