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

4.4

service

4.2

ambience

4.3

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

87% would recommend it to a friend

Business Meals (15)
Creative Cuisine (13)
Good for a Date (13)
See All
Casual (11)
Fit for Foodies (9)
Happy Hour (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Hot Spot (7)
Great for Lunch (6)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Special Occasion (6)
Good for Groups (5)
Good for Birthdays (4)
Fun (4)
Neighborhood Gem (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Authentic (3)
Handcrafted Cocktails (3)
Healthy (3)
People Watching (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Cozy (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Romantic (2)
Spicy (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Vegan (2)
Local Ingredients (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Great Beer (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Tapas (1)
Comfort Food (1)
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1036 reviews
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 (San Diego)·Dined 2 days ago

Everything was great. Service, food and ambiance were excellent.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 9, 2018

A great place for colorful rolls. Sashimi is also creatively done.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 8, 2018

This restaurant is meant for old white people. All the rolls are just crab and rice. Have your rich white dad take you here.

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food3
ambience3
service5
value2

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 6, 2018

Unlike last time, this time I got my favorite server, Stacie, who is attentive but not intrusive, warm and friendly. She has been with this restaurant for years. The food, as always, was just great.

Tags: Healthy, Fit for Foodies, Tapas, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Our sushi chef, Soloman, was outstanding as he always is. Request him when at the sushi bar as he is the best! They are all goid but Soloman is king!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Food was excellent and the quality was top notch. My wife is a picky eater and she enjoyed all the dishes.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Sacramento)·Dined on January 31, 2018

Excellent! Presentation and flavor.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 29, 2018

I am a regular at this restaurant and I have written glowing reviews on this restaurant in the past but this week I had a business lunch there and the service was horrible! My appointment was a no-show and, instead of drinking my beverage and leaving I decided to stay and have lunch. My server vanished for extended periods of time, never inquiring if he could bring me more than my beverage while I waited. I had to flag him down to get an initial order in and again to order an appetizer entree, then my meals were not plated in a timely way, and it took forever to get my check. Extremely disappointing! I do have a couple of favorite servers and favorite locations to sit -- but in the future, the servers will take priority.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Tasting Menu, Vibrant Bar Scene, Business Meals, Good Vegetarian Options, Vegan
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service1
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Date: Saturday January 27. Tried calling many, many times and no one answered the phone (between 715 and 745). Get there in less than 20 minutes and it was not busy so there was absolutely no excuse for not answering their phones. There were two hostesses that checked me in. I was told it would be 15 minutes which was fair since we were 15 minutes early. At about 20 minutes, I noticed more and more people coming in and getting seated. I walked up to the check in podium and the two hostesses were talking about something. I kid you not- they both looked me straight in the eye and WALKED AWAY. As I am standing there, one of the ladies (brunette) was fixing the place setting on a table next to the podium and she again, looked right at me and didn't do a thing. I left and then went back a few minutes later and told her that I wanted to be assured that we had not been forgotten. Finally, a few minutes later, we were seated. A male waiter came over and it was obvious that he was in a foul mood. By that time, any happiness that I had was gone. So thank you to the waiter and two hostesses for ruining my evening. I hire hundreds and hundreds of employees in my line of work and I always tell them that life is too short. Do something that makes you happy. To the General Manager of Japengo, please pass on this advice to those 3 employees.

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food4
ambience4
service1
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 17, 2018

Everything was amazing! Thank you!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 10, 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 9, 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
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food5
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 31, 2017

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 December 31, 2017

Amazing food and service. Very creative menu.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2017

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
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 30, 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 28, 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
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Key West)·Dined on December 27, 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

vip
 (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 13, 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 6, 2017

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

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 30, 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

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on November 21, 2017

The Calamari was out of this world!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 17, 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 10, 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 Francisco)·Dined on November 3, 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 3, 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 27, 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 23, 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 5, 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 22, 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 16, 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

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 12, 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 8, 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 2, 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

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 30, 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

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 26, 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 25, 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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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