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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See availability for bonus point tables

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

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.1

ambience

4.2

value

3.8

Noise

Moderate

84% would recommend it to a friend

Business Meals (15)
Good for a Date (15)
Creative Cuisine (13)
See All
Good for Birthdays (12)
Casual (10)
Fit for Foodies (7)
Happy Hour (7)
Hot Spot (7)
Bar Seating (7)
Neighborhood Gem (7)
Special Occasion (7)
Great for Lunch (7)
Good for Anniversaries (5)
Healthy (5)
Tapas (5)
Good for Groups (4)
People Watching (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Romantic (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Authentic (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Fun (3)
Comfort Food (2)
Cozy (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Spicy (1)
Vegan (1)
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1010 reviews
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 (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

 
 (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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
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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
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Key West)·Dined on July 30, 2017

Great sushi, attentive staff, would reccomend for date or groups

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Disabled Access, Good for Groups, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 28, 2017

Japengo never disappoints. Our waiter was James. He was outstanding.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Quick Bite
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on July 27, 2017

Food came out VERY slowly but the waiter and quality of food was excelllent.

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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on July 23, 2017

Food was pretty good. The service however was extremely slow. We are the type to take our time to enjoy our dinner and experience but even with that we found ourselves clock watching after awhile. Drinks took 15 min to get, food over 30 minutes. Server rarely came around to check on us.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 22, 2017

Want good sushi that's fancy but not too expensive but yummy at the same time- Go to Cafe Japengo! Ambiance was fantastic!

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 21, 2017

Asian fusion and sushi bar...nice UTC location. Food is good and rolls from sushi bar were full and tasty. Have gone often since it opened in this location...will go again.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Casual, Tapas
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 17, 2017

We had to ask for service... Food was good, There was very few people in the restaurant so it was a little disappointing to have to ask for our order to be taken

Tags: Casual
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food4
ambience3
service3
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 17, 2017

Wonderful Experience. Enjoyed it alot.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 14, 2017

I ordered the multi-ingredient fried rice main course which was hot and plentiful, but in which were some shrimp that had been around for a while - not pleasant. My dining partner ordered the seared scallops which were inedible. They were soggy, and probably had been frozen, thawed and refrozen. Very disappointing, especially at $35! The vegetables on which the scallops sat had absolutely no flavor. For a restaurant that features a number of seafood items on its menu, the quality of the seafood we were served was extraordinarily poor. Would not recommend, and probably won't return.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

vip
 (New England)·Dined on July 14, 2017

Hands down Melissa is the best server I have ever had.... You would think I have been there 500 times with the way she remembered every detail from what I like and didn't like. I will go back over and over! Food is amazing , CRISPY rice!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on July 14, 2017

We came for the sushi at happy hour. It was really good.

Tags: Casual, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch, Fun, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tahoe)·Dined on July 11, 2017

Happy hour specials were amazing! Food was exceptional, would definitely return

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 10, 2017

It is regrettable that Japengo is surviving on their early reputation. The variety of available raw fish is very sparse, very limited and while it meets the standard of "fresh", it lacked the taste and texture of fresh caught and delivered.
Surimi is automatically served in Spider Rolls and other Rolls unless the customer asks in advance for real Crab.
The Tempora arrived with each item including the Shrimp

Service was attentive, professional ,timely and unobtrusive throughout our dining. HUZZA!
PhilC

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food1
ambience2
service5
value1

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 6, 2017

Best sushi I've ever experienced. A little pricey, but worth it

Tags: Comfort Food, Spicy, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Authentic, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 6, 2017

One of my favorite dining places when visiting San Diego. Creative and expertly prepared food. Service was efficient, professional, and friendly - and the recommendations were spot on. Convenient parking below, easily accessible from the interstate, comfortable ambiance. Highly recommend Cafe Japengo for business meals ... Qualcomm is just up the road!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 30, 2017

Food and service was really good. Everything arrived fast.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

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

Went for Tuesday night sushi. Excellent nigiri and rolls. Service friendly and prompt. Noise level reasonable. Lovely evening

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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