Izakaya Ginji

4.5
97 reviews
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$30 and under
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Japanese
Izakaya Ginji, located in downtown San Mateo, is a Japanese gastro pub specializing in Yakitori and tapas style dishes. Favorite items include Bonbochi (chicken tail), Harami (chicken skirt), and Gyu-Kushi (beef short rib) skewers. Izakaya Ginji also has a vast selection of rare Sake and unique Beers including Coedo Beer on tap. For Japanese spirits, the restaurant also offers a variety of Shochu. The space is also available for parties up to 20. We look forward to providing you with an authentic Japanese dining experience in San Mateo.
What 97 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ive been here many times, and Foods are great, Service is friendly.Never dissapointed. I highly recommend.

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KR
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

A hidden gem in San Mateo downtown. The food was excellent

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F
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Food was great as always. Service was awful at the start of our dinner the last two times I had dined here unfortunately got the same person. He was awkward and had really odd social skills. Fortunately for us the way the tables seemed to be set up is there is more than one person that brings your food so we only interacted with him for about 20 interesting minutes.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My routine restaurant. Comes 2-3 times monthly.

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BD
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We been here over a dozen times and the service, food. was outstanding as always......

We will be back again for sure..........Great job Ginji.............

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OT
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ginji is our favorite place to eat & we come in every other week. Staffs are very friendly & foods are great as ALWAYS.

Yakitori are great!! They might have less choice than others but quality is the BEST !!!!!!!!

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

We got a recommendation from friends so we decided to went there for a Sunday night. We need to book at least one day in advance. The service was fine, the appetizer and sashimi was also fine. What we were really disappointed is the grill which was pretty bland except for the mushroom. If you're looking for a place for food, there are much better offerings in San Mateo and Burlingame in the same price range (like Mokutanya). Won't recommend

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OT
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Foods are great )

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A
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

This restaurant got good reviews on Open Table and Yelp. I’m not exactly sure why. Service was extremely slow and we had to flag down our waitress if we needed to order again or wanted more water.

The menu was definitely traditional Japanese rather than sushi, which was fine. However the hamachi sashimi was cut super fat with pieces almost too big to eat (and it was kinda fishy) and the shrimp tempura roll had cream cheese in it (??!!)

They have an awesome sake list but only one guy seems to know anything about it. We ordered a good bottle of sake and wanted to follow up with a smaller carafe. Once we got the guy who knows sake, we had a nice carafe but it was essentially a gravy boat of sake that cost as much as a bottle. Just didn’t make sense.

Maybe we hit an off night. I don’t get it and won’t be back.

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RL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Service was good but food just so so. The restaurant does look like we are in Japan
But food has room to improve

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AJ
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food here is excellent and very authentic. Their tempura is the best I've had in the U.S. and duplicates the light, crispy coating found in Japanese tempura, not the thick shell of fried dough usually found here. It's small, so either arrive when they open or make reservations. My only complaint is that the wait staff are a bit disorganized (we had 3 different people covering our table) and twice I've had dishes either mistaken or forgotten. Management should assign one waiter per table!

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MV
Adelaide / SA
11 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had several of the grilled items, including: chicken breast, chicken thigh, steak, okra, shiitake mushroom, eggplant and onigiri. In general, the flavor profiles are not very interesting, but the food is fresh and grilled to order.
Hamachi carpaccio was well seasoned and tasted fresh.
Service is friendly and fast, though they forgot one item this meal.
The restaurant gets super busy on the weekends. Reservations are highly recommended.

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OT
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

サンマテオの居酒屋銀次さんへは何度も通わせて頂いておりますが、本当に日本の居酒屋を思い出します。

焼き鳥、雰囲気、一品料理も全て最高でした。また行きます!

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NC
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

I had the worst experience ever. Maybe I missed the boat but when is tipping mandatory? If you received a low tip, it means that the customer did not forget about tipping but rather, had done that on purpose to show bad service. We went there for dinner and one of the servers had the audacity to ask us 'Hey, I think you forgot to leave a tip the last time you were here. It was less than 5%'. First of all, if I have to request for water twice, you do not deserve a 20% tips. Secondly, if you provided no service, why would you expect to get tips? What happen to the notion of getting tips when you provide exceptionally service? Hey, it's not the customers problem that servers are not paid well in that establishment and might need to rely on tips to make ends meet. You should defer this problem to your employer. The way you approached me asking about tips from a previous visit just right after I sat down for my dinner is not appropriate and plain rude. I will never visit this restaurant again. You just lost a regular.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 2

This place is hazardous and should be fixed asap. THE TALL WOODEN WALL FELL ON MY FRIEND'S HEAD. The staff did absolutely nothing about it. After making sure my friend was ok we decided to move tables and didn't have service for fifteen minutes. After we finished eating the check was brought out we were then asked to get up and leave immediately because another reservation was coming in. We arrived on time for OUR reservation but weren't taken care of in a timely manner. Unfortunately the food is amazing but I would not come back because of the lack of attention to safety.

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

A bit rushed, but service was quick

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DO
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delicious esp. the sashimi and unagi over rice. Will definitely come back to try other dishes.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We always enjoy this restaurant. The food is good and the wait staff are friendly.

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s
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very authentic Japanese Izakaya. Great grill food and “ippin” ryori. Tasty. We will definitely go back

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SL
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The food was excellent. The only suggestion I would make is to not overbook the tables or at least let us know when we make a reservation or arrive that there are time limits. We were told we needed to vacate our table due to another reservation, about 1 hour into our meal.

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r
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

日本からのお客様と行きました。
お店はとても混んでいましたが、予約していたので直ぐに案内して頂きました。
ここはお酒のセレクションがいいので、安心してお客様をお連れ出来ます。ちょっと日本でなかなか手入らないようなお酒も置いてあるようです。焼き鳥のナンコツとレバー、ネックは絶品です。
お刺身の盛り合わせも綺麗でとても美味しかったです。
出来れば、串を持つと手が汚れるので、お手拭きが欲しかったです。

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BL
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is hands down my favorite Japanese restaurant! And I'm not the only one who thinks so, there is always a line to get in!

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m
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good foods and good service. I will come back again!

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C
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

One of the best Japanese restaurants we ever been in Bay Area.

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JO
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Great Izakaya style food and drinks!!

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OT
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything we had there were great!!
I love the place & I will come back soon :)

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

色んな日本食のレストランに行きましたが、ここはまるで日本の居酒屋さん。
お酒も豊富で、日本語を話せる店員さんもいて、珍しい部位の焼き鳥もあり。
炭火で焼いた焼き鳥は最高です。
お腹いっぱい食べましたが、シメにゆずラーメン。
あっさりサッパリなので、ペロリと食べてしまいました。
大将も茶目っ気たっぷりで居心地よく過ごせました。
まだまだ食べたかったので、最後にいくつかのメニューをお持ち帰り。
日本の味、雰囲気を思い出すならオススメのお店です。

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was very nice! All the food was so tasty and yummy :) Loved the restaurant!

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CS
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been going to this family-owned restaurant for years. You can expect good service, great food, and most importantly consistency during every visit.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 4

Love the food here. I think it’s great! We’ve been here many times but this time it took between 1.5 to 2 hours for our yakitori to arrive. It was not a great experience to wait an hour between our regular food and our grilled food. They could use a better system for managing this.

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FW
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I have been to Ginji several times. It has a very nice atmosphere and very pleasant staff. They have an extensive sake menu and the food is generally very good. Perhaps some of the dishes were a bit heavy handed when it come to salt on my last visit. Overall it is a very good restaurant and I look forward to my next visit. Reservations are a good idea.

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r
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

いつ何を食べても美味しいです。
焼き鳥を食べたい時は、ここに決めています。
レバーとナンコツ、ハラミは絶品ですっ
おすすめされたの日本酒も、とっても美味しかった。

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JD
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Great grilled meats and seafood. The food is healthy, fresh, and delectable.

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JF
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience! Really good food, staff, atmosphere. Portion prices are a little high.

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M
New England
12 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

This is my sixth time there. Food are good. This time one of the server seems comfused and deliver wrong dishes twice and I had to tell him that is not our dish. The head male server is kind of rude. May wait a while before going back until the memory fade.

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AJ
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

My first time at Izakaya Ginji and it lived up to my expectations. All the dishes we ordered were tasty, and they increased the servings in a couple dishes from 3 to 4 to accommodate our group. I liked the fact that they served soda from the can. There's a convenient call button if you need to summon a waiter. They easily accommodated my friend in a wheelchair. Their only miss was that they failed to deliver one dish, twice, but we weren't charged for it either.

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Mothers Day

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OT
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Not worth it. The food was average and portions small. The prices are high for what you get. Won’t be back.

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r
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

母の日の前日にお客様を招待して行きました。
お店の前に沢山の人が並んでいましたが、予約があったので直ぐに席に案内されました。
ここ焼き鳥はいつ食べても、間違えなく美味しいです!
火の入れかたが絶妙です。
お刺身なども今日のスペシャルあれば、必ず注文します。
ハズレがないので、安心してお客様を招待できますが、、
ただ、どうしても手が汚れてしまうので、おしぼりなどを出して貰えたらと思います。
このお値段では、一番のオススメお店です。

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

My husband is a chef and we are tired of overpriced restaurants serving mediocre food. Ginji is by far the best food we’ve had lately. Presentation flavor freshness Innovation everything About the food here is top notch

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