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Permanently Closed - Kauboi Grill and Sushi bar

68 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies (74)
  • Neighborhood Gem (69)
  • Good for Groups (39)

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This restaurant is permanently closed.

Kauboi Grill and Sushi Bar is a sushi bar and barbecue restaurant that offers authentic Japanese and American cuisine on the menu. The house special is the Kauboi beef burger which is made from Kobe beef. The menu at the Kauboi Grill and Sushi Bar includes a range of vegan, seafood, beef and poultry options that are light on the palette. Starters include nori tacos, chicken karage and crispy yams among others.

Kauboi Grill and Sushi Bar has a separate section in its menu for fried starters which include fried shrimp, vegetables and tempura. The Kauboi fries are one of the popular items on the menu and come with the house sauce. In the grilled section, diners can order salmon, yakitori and sliders which come with kobe-style beef or order the Ney York Strip steak. This restaurant has closed down.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Japanese, Californian, American
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Hours of operation
Open everyday 4:00 PM to LATE.
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Phone number
(831) 661-0449
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Matt Perez
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Private party facilities
We have different rooms all with full service.
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Cross street
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Parking details
Parking lot.
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Public transit
Right down the street.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 68 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.8  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on May 8, 2016

Love food and service here usually, but sushi bar just off whack this last visit. I love that are only local restaurant participating in sustainable seafood program, so will keep going. My wife and daighter ordered hot plates whole ordered 4 plates of sushi. I received plate quickly, but other plates did not come after waiting over 25 minutes. By then wife and daughter finished eating. I asked at that point to cancel the order. The waitress was nice enough to take off our bill when arrived 10 minutes later. Anyway, we tipped her generously, but think need to get an attitude adjustment for sushi chef. It was the first time we left there disappointed.

OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
2.0  Dined on May 8, 2016

We went for Mothers Day. The service was slow and not great. Had to wait 15 min just to order drinks then another 10 to order food. Food was mediocre and expensive.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on April 29, 2016

Wake up adam! Awesome rolls bUT pricey. If the waiter had been paying attention we would have ordered more food. We had a question about an app and he never came back. Front of house did not seem to know what to do with a reservation. Best miso soup in sc

vipkaboolie (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on April 23, 2016

The food is good, the staff all very friendly and a fun setting. The pacing is off if you order sushi and another one orders a hot dish they won't come out together.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on March 26, 2016

Absolutely delicious food - even if you are not a sushi lover! Sauces are delish and we highly recommend the tempura bacon for an appetizer!!

vipSandy (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on March 18, 2016

The sushi was really good tonight.
The Brussels sprouts were a bit over done - burnt bacon
Fries and calamari were great
Drinks superb!

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on March 12, 2016

Great cocktails, although they are a little slow to come out. My favorite is the Pawn Shop Pistol. I love the ambiance, like an old west saloon in Japanese anime style (hence the name, Kauboi). Food all around is flavorful and well-presented. Excellent craft beer selection as well.

Edmond (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on March 11, 2016

We took a chance to find good sushi in Santa Cruz and did we ever! We sat at the sushi bar and were amazed. The chef was not Japanese, but that didn't stop getting the best sushi ever. My sister had never done sushi before, so was a real treat for her. Rolls were fantastic, fish amazingly fresh and great variety. The chef also made us a complimentary dish that was fantastic. I don't live in SC, but next time I am near this place we are going.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on March 6, 2016

Since the weather was damp and blustery, my husband and I both had the ramen soups, he the regular and me the seafood. Both were excellent and hit the spot. We opted for the dining room, which was quieter than the bar, and had a very pleasant and attentive server, Emma.
We also enjoyed the halibut taco appetizer and an order of ahi sashimi, and were happy with the tasty flavors. We will return!

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 12, 2016

Service is grr

Particular1 (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on January 2, 2016

This is our neighborhood gem! It took us a couple of visits to figure out what we liked (initially we didn't care for some of the "updated" versions of a couple of classic Japanese items) but once we discovered our favorite sushis and appetizers we were hooked! The drink specials are intriguing enough to sway us from our usual hot sake... Our favorite way to go is to order a few appetizers (garlic edamame is always delicious as is Wednesday night's fresh shellfish offerings) and sushi rolls (current favorites are the U2 and Richies Rainbow.) Embarrassed to say how often we go there!

vipBwoodguy (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 2, 2016

A little too dark

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 31, 2015

We like this restaurant but we are consistently disappointed in the service. We were the only table upstairs and it took ages for the waiter to bring 6 drinks. Food was served at random times and without cutlery. Finished dishes sat so long at our table we finally moved them to the surrounding empty tables. I don't know why the waitstaff is so inept and the bar/ kitchen so slow, but if you can get over that, the food and ambiance is great.

vipOpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on December 28, 2015

We always enjoy our meals at Kauboi. The food is great, and we love that there are always a lot of specials. Service can be inconsistent (this time it was very slow) and sometimes the prices seem a little high, but we'll keep coming back. We love the garlic edamame and the Lemonheads roll.

vipkaboolie (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 12, 2015

We had very good service. We were greeted several times, had attentive wait staff and the food was very good! I had one of the best burgers and my husband had a delicious seafood bowl. We started with the edamame and it was spiced just right. Very nice wines. The service was very friendly and efficient. Definitely recommend Kauboi Grill. Also, while we didn't order the sushi this time it is very inventive and good.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on October 21, 2015

Kauboi is adorable and fun, and the wait staff was very nice. The sake pairings that came with each course were a great addition, but the staff was so busy that our pairings came after we'd finished the course they were meant for. The lamb entree was measly--a very small portion of meat. And the veggie rolls entree was fine, but unmemorable. Dessert was great.

Foodlover (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on October 21, 2015

Tried Kauboi for Restaurant Week. First time. Food was good and so was the service. Looking forward to going back.

radrap (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on October 18, 2015

Overall it was a good meal but not a great meal, and lacked a bit of excitement for the palate. We dined during Restaurant Week and this may not have shown their best face, although we dined early and the restaurant was not especially crowded.
Service was as other reviewers have stated, somewhat variable. Our server was pleasant and somewhat attentive, after a decision was made who would serve us. Our dinners did not arrive together. My husband's entree arrived 20-30 minutes before mine. He was just finishing his entree when my entree arrived. There was no explanation or apology for this.
The food was good but not exceptional. It was interesting but lacked excitement. We started with North Pacific Tombo Two ways: ceviche and nigiri. The tombo nigiri was fresh and very delicate. The ceviche was very good and interesting. My husband had the Veggie Maki, which he thought was quite good. I had the Tokyo Carbonara with Seared Scallops. It was good but not exciting. It was a bit salty and lacked a little punch. It came with 2 large scallops, which seemed a bit light.
For dessert we had the Mini Berry Shortcake. The deep fried "shortcake" was a bit hard and not very tasty. However the berries and cream were quite nice.
We also opted for the sake pairings which were well done.
We noticed customers at a nearby table ordered sushi, and considering our impressions of the tombo, we may return and try the sushi menu, but skip the dessert.

unahappycamper (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on October 17, 2015

We had reservations for restaurant week, our table was not available when we checked in and were asked to wait in bar. We were then sat at a tiny table near kitchen that was not a good location. When the server finally arrived after 10 minutes she stated she was not familiar with the restaurant week menu and stated that she would be back. We got up and left.

scdiner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on October 17, 2015

I came with a group of 6 for Santa Cruz restaurant week. It was a good way to try out the menu. We were at a cozy table in a nice alcove . I had a fantastic sushi spin on a scotch egg, lamb chops and a memorable dessert, a lychee panna cotta that was creamy and delicious. (Unfortunately, another person in my group got the same dessert that wasn't set properly, putting it down a notch.) I really enjoyed my meal, with sake pairings. I didn't try everyone else's dishes, but I think everyone was happy with them. And, the servers were friendly... We'll be coming back! ps. The charred wood walls and large murals make the interior unique.