Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.
If you like, we’ll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.
Is this your restaurant? Claim this listing

Permanently Closed - Kauboi Grill and Sushi bar

3.8
68 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Japanese
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Good for Groups

Similar Restaurants

About

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
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Japanese, Californian, American
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Open everyday 4:00 PM to LATE.
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(831) 661-0449
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Matt Perez
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private party facilities
We have different rooms all with full service.
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
Spreckles
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Parking lot.
icon/ic_public_transitCreated with Sketch.
Public transit
Right down the street.
Additional
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
3.8based on all time ratings
4.1
food
3.6
service
3.9
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
3.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined 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

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined 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!!

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined 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!

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined 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!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 12, 2016

Service is grr

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined 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!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on January 2, 2016

A little too dark

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on October 21, 2015

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

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined 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.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on October 16, 2015

I came for Santa Cruz Restaurant Week and made a reservation. Granted it was a Friday I expected good to at least descent service. Service was terrible! It took the waiter 20 minutes before he came to our table - at least he brought water with him!
The food was really good (except the lamb chops were tiny and there was only 2, really?!)
We had to ask for the 2nd appetizer and we also had to ask each time for our sake pairing.
I really want to love this place and I'll definitely be back to try out the regular menu; but the service that night was BAD!!!!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on October 16, 2015

Our server was a great guy but was stretched over way too many tables. Tried the Prix Fixe menu paired with different sakes. Food was good but came with no explanation. We had no idea what type or label sake we were drinking and frankly the only thing that appeared different about each was the shape of the glass. Vibrant atmosphere and warm and quirky set up. Kau Boi was fun but not enough to come back to.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on October 16, 2015

House salad with beets really good but but vegetarian rolls bland. Willing to try again but not my first local choice.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on October 14, 2015

We never go to this restaurant, but we will definitely go back. Their food was very good and I love the atmosphere. The service was just mediocre, but it was a busy weekday evening.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on September 30, 2015

The food was delictios im going back for more soon(:

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on September 13, 2015

Usual selections for sushi and sashimi as well as other dishes frequently found in Japanese restaurants are joined by Kauboi's own combinations of tasty ingredients. We were glad to have a group of three so we could taste more selections. The waitstaff were friendly and very knowledgable about both food and beverages. Dining room was cozy and it was easy to hear. Great fun!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on September 10, 2015

I was very happy to find this restaurant. It was romantic and the food was delicious. The service was on point and knowledgeable servers. I loved it!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on September 7, 2015

Food didn't align with price point. Ramen was 14$ that had tough pork belly and about 13 noodles, didn't leave full at all. And the appetizers came at the same time as the entrees. My date's sushi was nowhere worth the price, however immaculately rolled. The tempura green beans were really good. I enjoyed the ambiance, cool spot, I would certainly come here often for date night if the food was better!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on August 14, 2015

The food at Kauboi is ecclectic. Everything we had was tasty and we particularly liked the chicken wings and yakitori beef. The house cocktail selection is extensive and very creative. Kabuki is a very good choice for a few diners sharing many plates.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on July 9, 2015

Great sushi, service was fast and rolls were tasty. We sat upstairs early in the evening, so it was quiet. Parking was easy.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on June 17, 2015

We had been craving tempura vegetables and shrimp, so we stopped by Kauboi. Bonus! It was oyster night, so we enjoyed a dozen fresh and tasty oysters before digging in to the tempura goodies. We also enjoyed a bottle of wine from the list. Everything was very good and the service was congenial and attentive. We had a lovely experience!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 13, 2015

So i have been reading reviews about Kauboi on another site and have found that the majority of the bad reviews are coming from in my opinion "stupid in the box thinkers", which Kauboi is definitely not. The whole feel and theme of the place felt good, having been to the Britannia Arms before (sad to see it go) I like this new incarnation. So to all those who think a restaurant needs to stay within that box stick your big box corporate restaurants, we'll we have more fun without you anyway.
Now to the Food. We started with drinks, i had "the roaring 20s" (sailor jerry rum, ginger liqueur, grenadine, fresh lime) awesome is all i can say. My fiance had the “the blue one” joto (junmai nigori) Sake and she loved it. We ordered the Edamame, kamikaze poppers and the Sashimi tower appetizers, the tower was well made and full of flavor, the poppers were not overly spicy and crunchy (can't stand soggy poppers). The U2 was great and the Yam roll (can't for the life of me remember the proper name) was awesome, the miso soup subtle but flavorful. We had the cowgirl sliders which i highly recommend, all the flavors blended well. The crown of the meal was the desert, WOW, just wow the Mixed Berry Shortcake (strawberry, blackberry,blueberry) in between two tempura donuts with whip cream, simply amazing. Our server was awesome and helped with some of the food recommendations, which made our time fun.
So if you want a fun place to eat and great food i highly recommend Kauboi. Don't go thinking traditional, just go have fun.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 1, 2015

We had the ramen, yakitori chicken and sunomon tako salad. All were quite good. Something of a hybrid Japanese/Californian cuisine, but very tasty. I would gladly go again.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 17, 2015

This was our third time At Kauboi , this time we invited friends who we're visiting the area. Our guest were running late meeting us there , but it was no problem for the staff , they had kept our table and were ready for us. Love the garlic edanamme ! Everything we ordered was great , from the sushi to the Kobe sliders.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on February 13, 2015

Wonderful menu, with creative choices. Not an ordinary sushi place. We loved everything we tasted and look forward to going back to peruse more of this interesting restaurant. Ambiance is very pleasant, and service staff attentive.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on February 7, 2015

Out with a group of friends to celebrate a b-day. Our waitress Lauren was exceptional. Service was very good, but we did have a kitchen mix up with one of our orders. Would have given 5 stars for service had it not been for the delayed order. One person in our group had to wait about 20 minutes after everyone else's food had arrived, but they did deduct the cost of his entree from the bill. Food was hit and miss. Jalapeno poppers were good, House Ramen was not so good. We brought a cake for dessert and they were very accommodating. Overall, it was a fun place, good atmosphere.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on January 22, 2015

Actually the servers were very friendly and helpful, but the person who stands behind the desk and looks up your reservation was not. My husband and I were meeting 3 friends there and had a reservation for 5 at 6:00. The lady asked if we wanted to be seated or wait in the lobby, and because we wanted to choose a good table before it filled up, we elected to be seated. As it turns out, there are several rooms in this place, but that isn't immediately obvious to someone who hasn't been there before. We were led upstairs where we chose a nice table and began to wait.
About 5 minutes later our friends arrived and said they were here as part of a 6:00 reservation, and asked if we'd arrived yet. The person looked at the book and said the reservation was crossed off, and the people were seated, and wouldn't tell them who it was for. Our friends were seated in a lower room that wasn't visible from the waiting area (neither was ours). So the staff had 2 people seated at a table for 5, waiting for 40 minutes, and 3 people at a table for 5 waiting almost that long. They kept walking by and giving us looks but no one bothered to think that 2 and 3 make 5. This seems very strange to me! Finally our friends went outside and saw our truck in the parking lot and then went through all the rooms till they found us. Then we had a wonderful time because the food was really good and the servers were nice. Though it is odd that they ran out of forks when there weren't that many diners. I think they should buy more forks and do a better job at the reservation desk. And anyone who is meeting friends there should wait in the lobby.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 31, 2014

Unusual combinations for sushi rolls that are just delicious. Same for cocktails. Not your average menu. Service is inconsistent. Can be wonderful but they don't do well when very busy. Our cocktails arrived after our appetizers, and the entree for one guest arrived when the rest of us had almost finished our sushi orders. But the food is worth enduring the spotty service. When they are not too busy the service is flawless.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on December 20, 2014

We obtained reservations on a Saturday night, and arrived to what seemed like a not-too-hectic scene. Turns out, between a group of about eight in the upper room, and a short kitchen staff, orders were taking longer than 30 minutes to fulfill. My wife and I were lucky, as we got our food in a reasonable time - other tables were getting pretty upset. We felt bad for the poor waitress, who was really trying her best to stay on top. The food was actually good, and we'll check it out again. I hope they their operation lined up - it could be great!

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on December 16, 2014

We loved the garlic edamame, the miso clam chowder and the fries! Sushi rolls were good but nothing extraordinary, The cocktail list was great! We work our way through about a third of it and plan to return to finish it off. A very cozy interior and wonderful waitstaff makes topped off the evening for us, We'll be back soon.

Report
Helpful
1
2