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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 10 times today

Izakaya Ginji

4.7
58 reviews
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$30 and under
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Japanese
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Casual
  • Authentic
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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Japanese, Gastro Pub, Tapas / Small Plates
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:15pm, Monday, Wednesday - Thursday: 6:00pm - 9:45pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:45pm
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Phone number
(650) 348-1110
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Saye Nishimoto
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
B Street
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Parking details
Street parking and nearby parking garage - free after 6PM.
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Public transit
Cal Train and bus.
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Late Night, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 58 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined 7 days ago

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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4.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Delicious and highly satisfying

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Izakaya Ginji is our most favorite restaurant! Always consistent with great service, wonderful dishes that please the palate and their presentation is impeccable. The wait staff is very conscientious and consistent. We always have a great experience and truly enjoy every meal!

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3.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Good food, fun. Don't go when you're in a rush, service seemed slow.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

日本人スタッフが日本語で対応してくれる日本式居酒屋さん。
予約をしないと長蛇の列に並ぶことになるのでその点だけ気をつければあとは問題なしです。味も美味しいので満足でした。

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5.0Dined on March 8, 2018

This was the most creative and interesting Japanese cuisine we have encountered in a long time. The emphasis in this restaurant is on yakitori and other interesting interpretations of Japanese cuisine. The dishes are served in tapas-style sizes, and every dish we sampled was extremely tasty, from two different versions of fried chicken to tofu dishes to grilled vegetables to beef cheeks. The menu also included several Japanese beers that I had never encountered before. We tried the pale ale (known as the "white beer"), and the IPA and found both to be substantive, tasty, and well matched to the food.

Would return in a heartbeat. Ended up being a little bit expensive ($150 for four people for dinner), but we admittedly overdid it on the unique Japanese beers at $12 apiece. Regular beers (Sapporo et. al.) are more reasonably priced.

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5.0Dined on February 27, 2018

BEST SASHIMI EVER!!!
The blue fin tuna was heavenly! Huge chunks of fish to boot!

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5.0Dined on February 15, 2018

Food was very good

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

It was fantastic!
It’s probably my favorite restaurant in the Bay Area.
This dinner is special for my husband and I since we celebrate our anniversary of meeting for first time which was on Valentine’s Day at the university of Houston in 1986.
Izakaya Ginji has the best service and we love the variety of dishes they offer. Everything is delicious and fresh in this restaurant.
Izakaya Ginji has the perfect food for a perfect palate.
I totally recommend coming for a beautiful experience.

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3.0Dined on February 11, 2018

We ordered many yakitori dishes for our party of 6. All dishes tasted kind of similar so not much to rave about. I think Ippuku in Berkeley is much better in terms of flavors and ambiance.

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2018

Great service and outstanding food as always........A reservation should be made for prompt seating.

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4.0Dined on January 27, 2018

Tasty Izakaya, Yakitori & Sashimi. Would recommend. Must try: Lotus (Renkon) Root Chips, Hamachi Carpaccio, Chicken Skin (Kawa) Skewers and Chicken Tail (Bonjiri).

Nice and safe neighborhood, primarily street parking. Very popular - reservations are a must.

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4.0Dined on January 27, 2018

They had very good Yakitori. I've gone other times and they were out chicken hearts and liver some of my favorite items. The thing that struck my wife and I most was how the Tempura was made. It was a very light batter, just how a good tempura should be.

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5.0Dined on January 13, 2018

Excellent Japanese food! Ordered several fried, raw, grilled & yakitori dishes, and everything was delicious. Great interior design and atmosphere. Very friendly service. Will definitely be back!

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5.0Dined on January 12, 2018

One of our favorites!

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5.0Dined on January 6, 2018

Great stop for yakatori. What surprised me was the sashimi. We got the sashimi sampler and everything was so good (melted in your mouth) it's almost like eating sashimi for the first time. We also got the tofu w/kimchi, very nice; the vegetable tempura; the chili prawns; grilled mackerel, and three grilled yakatori sticks: chicken liver (Tare style), chicken skin (salted) and chicken and green onion w/lemon yuzu sauce. All the yakatori sticks were great!

Service is very good, refilled my hot green tea many times. They also have a call button if you need anything in between them checking in on you. Lots of sakes to choose from.

The atmosphere is lively and decorated like you are at a yakatori place in Japan. Go for the atmosphere, go again for the food!!

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4.0Dined on January 5, 2018

we were 20 minutes late but they were kind enough to work in accomodating us on a cold,rainy night. food was, as always, delicious but they did run out of quail eggs.😕

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5.0Dined on December 28, 2017

Nice Yakitori place in San Mateo

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5.0Dined on December 17, 2017

The food and service was excellent. It is aways a pleasure dining at Ginji! 😀

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5.0Dined on December 9, 2017

The tempura was phenomenal, authentic Japanese fare!

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5.0Dined on November 29, 2017

Fantastic food! Love sharing so many tastes. Simple. Good veggies, grilled meats. We will go back.

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5.0Dined on November 5, 2017

いつ行っても、間違いなく美味しいです。
炭火の焼き加減も最高、こだわりを感じます。
お酒の種類が多いので楽しめました。
巻き寿司やカルパッチョなど、少しずつ注文出来るのが嬉しいです。日本から来たお客様にも喜んでもらえてよかったです。

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5.0Dined on October 28, 2017

I have been to Ginji many times. As usual the food was great. The servers are all friendly and efficient. I look forward to the next visit.

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5.0Dined on October 21, 2017

Love the place - very authentic and very high quality consistently.

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5.0Dined on September 1, 2017

Food is extraordinary especially the yakitori. One of the most authentic yakitori in bay area. Everything is excellent except that AC is broken at a 90 degrees afternoon :(

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5.0Dined on August 20, 2017

This is absolutely our favorite restaurant! All the dishes are carefully crafted to please your palate. The entire waitstaff is very attentive and courteous. We highly recommend this restaurant for the wonderful food and great service! Plus, it's spotless!!

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5.0Dined on August 14, 2017

Food is always great here. They were out of a few items and then came back and made them especially for our table- service was great!

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5.0Dined on August 13, 2017

Great Neighborhood feel. Very authentic "tapas", Japanese style.

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2.0Dined on August 3, 2017

Made a reservation on OpenTable but was told that we still need to wait when arrived.

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5.0Dined on July 27, 2017

This place is always busy with a line out the door with good reason. Good food and good service. Every town deserves and should have an Izakaya Ginji!

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5.0Dined on July 21, 2017

Good quality proper Japanese chicken bar-b-que (yakitori) even for Japanese.

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5.0Dined on July 20, 2017

While it may be common for the West coast, this East coast girl appreciated the opportunity to drink sweet potato Sochu outside of Japan. Also, the counter was the perfect place for a solo business traveler to enjoy a great meal. When I come back in September I plan to skip the chicken breast, and double my order of short rib because it was amazing.

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4.0Dined on July 15, 2017

Good food, good service and good atmosphere. If they had the AC on on a super hot day that would of been smart.

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5.0Dined on June 18, 2017

We come to this restaurant all the time (average about 1x per week over the past 5+ years). There are many Japanese restaurants in this part of the bay area but this Izakaya (Japanese Tapas) is consistently one of the best. Very authentic, the owner, main chefs, and much of the staff are Japanese. The food is consistently good and while not cheap, is a good value overall. They have consistently delicious sashimi (I recommend the Hamachi), some great stand-by dishes, and an ever-changing and creative specials menu. This place gives one of the closest representations of an Izakaya you can find outside of Japan.

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5.0Dined on June 12, 2017

The food was awesome and the service was outstanding. Friendly employees, I noticed the team work . I highly recommend this restaurant.

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2017

I loved the food! Amazing!! They have some unusual dishes & the standby yakitori. What a selection of sake. Not sure why they have sushi. The service has some kinks to work out--they were busy & forgot about us a few times. And the decor has too many advertising posters. It would be nicer without so much junk.

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5.0Dined on May 29, 2017

Great izakaya. Very nice ambiance. Delicious food. Good sake selection. Better have a reservation!

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3.0Dined on May 14, 2017

Great service. Food was good but not great - have had better Yakitori elsewhere. Also, portions were pretty small for the price paid. Finally, my biggest gripe is that the fan they use to pull the smoke from the Yakitori grill is very powerful and creates a constant cold breeze in the restaurant. I usually run hot and I (and our group) were freezing during the whole dinner.

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4.0Dined on May 14, 2017

Great service and food. I like yakitori, daily special menu and Shochu. I am a repeat customer.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2017

Authentic Japanese Izakaya experience. Family owned restaurant with creative dishes inspired by traditional recipes and popular dishes from Japan

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