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Teriyaki Chicken places in San Diego (willing to drive far)

long_ballers Jul 24, 2006 10:30 PM

I moved down to san diego in 2003 from seattle. I am having a tough time finding GOOD Teriyaki chicken. I miss it. Could we trade a couple taco shops to seattle for some teriyaki chicken???

Anyways, does anyone have any recs? currently i go to Kealani's in Encinitas. I went to the HULA HUT also in Mira Mesa. There rice was under cooked and the chicken was EXTREMELY greasy.


  1. DiningDiva Nov 3, 2006 08:06 PM

    In case you all missed it, from the current issue of the SD Reader --


    Looks like there might me a new entry into your Chicken Teriyaki derby. Have no clue if this place is good, bad or indifferent.

    1. m
      maestra Oct 15, 2006 04:05 PM

      I know your pain. Whenever I go back to Seattle, I eat teriyaki almost every day and then complain about our selection upon return.
      I second Island Brothers. It's very different from Seattle teriyaki, but the meat has a nice char (not characteristic around here), the sauce isn't overly sweet, and the rice is nicely done. The beef has a good ginger-based marinade that I find unique. Their menu has only 3 or 4 options, so they do little and they do it right.

      1. Danimal n Hustler Oct 13, 2006 12:00 AM

        I have to disagree about Samurai Sam... it tastes like the chicken was soaking in a salt brine and their sauce is too sweet. It's almost like an even more Americanized Yoshinoyas

        1. p
          pandesal Oct 12, 2006 11:00 PM

          since it seems like you are around north county coastal, so i'd recommend samurai sam's (its a chain, but good) located in the costa verde mall across the street from UTC.... there you have a choice of all white meat, all dark meat or combination...

          in encinitas/solana beach on the 101 is teriyaki 101, which is pretty good.... http://entertainment.signonsandiego.c...

          as mentioned already island brothers in encinitas...

          i'm not a teriyaki expert.... but this is what is around san diego and these are ok places to me for teriyaki.... happy hunting

          ps... there is a sansei in carlbad factory outlet mall and also one in mission valley (not sure if its the same as the seattle sansei mentioned in an earlier post)

          1. Danimal n Hustler Oct 7, 2006 03:25 AM

            you guys should try Flame Broiler... it's very American style owned by Korean place... but in the recent years the prices have gone up and the portion size down... I use to go to the one in the La Jolla Shopping plaza maybe 3 times a month when I lived there, and I'm pretty sure there are other locations, one just opened up here in Valencia.

            1. Alice Q Oct 7, 2006 02:33 AM

              That's funny, I like teriyaki chicken, at least in theory - but I never order it because most of what you get around here is dreck. It's usually cold, dried out and drenched in overly sweet sticky sauce. They sell a lot of it at Sushi Deli Too downtown, both in bowls and bento boxes - but I dont know if it's any good, since I haven't tried it, might be worth a shot though.

              1. l
                long_ballers Oct 6, 2006 07:19 PM

                Yes, about the only think i do miss in seattle is the teriyaki chicken. they are everywhere there. Sansei or teriyaki madness in Kirkland were my favorites.

                I am 100% positive a good teriyaki place would do really well here ... its just a matter of whether you want to run it or not. Ill leave that up to you. Let me know when it opens!

                1. n
                  nissafoss1 Oct 5, 2006 07:06 PM

                  I'm dying of laughter right now, how did I know you were from Seattle. I moved here two years ago and thought the same thing. All of us PacNWers are alike...we want our teriyaki!!! It's healthy, fast, yummy and affordable. I've yet to find a good place here. I consider opening a place all the time, but I honestly think people here just dont like it or something.

                  1. l
                    long_ballers Jul 27, 2006 02:57 PM

                    it would be nice to have the choice of chicken breast versus just the thigh. it is a little more healthy. i dont like my stuff drenched in sauce either. should be pretty thinly sliced, and have lots of meat. grilled of course with marks.

                    2 scoops of sticky rice. and either a cucumber salad, or mac salad on the side. sounds easy enough.... but you wouldnt be able to tell by some of the places out there.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: long_ballers
                      Josh Oct 5, 2006 07:31 PM

                      Tajima on Convoy St. in Kearny Mesa has good chicken teriyaki. I don't normally order that item, but I had a bite of my friends. It was very tasty, and not drowning in sauce.

                    2. k
                      KirkK Jul 27, 2006 03:11 AM

                      The Teriyaki Sauce at Teriyaki Cowboy is more "Japanese" style - that would be less sweet. Usually with only a few ingredients, like Shoyu-mirin-sake. Also, many Japanese style restaurants may even use the sauce as only "tare".

                      Sounds like "long ballers" is looking for "American" style teriyaki which tends to be much more sweet - that's why He enjoys Kealani's, which is the type of teriyaki sauce I grew up with, more on the sweet side.

                      One of the things that makes Teriyaki Cowboy attractive is the price. Very reasonable prices for decent food, that approaches almost home-made. I much rather visit Teriyaki Cowboy than Ichiban, though we used to enjoy Yoshino's on Washington, until they changed ownership a few years back. We went once after that change and never went back, but I've heard recently that they are still pretty good.

                      1. l
                        long_ballers Jul 27, 2006 12:32 AM

                        i tried island brothers. not as good as kealani's.. i appreciate the rec though. my girl told me da kine's is delish. i might have to check it out.

                        i am addicted to teriyaki chicken as one could tell.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: long_ballers
                          honkman Jul 27, 2006 01:17 AM

                          As said above I am really not an expert on teriyaki chicken so I am curious what is necessary for a great teriyaki chicken.

                        2. s
                          srk Jul 26, 2006 05:25 AM

                          You might try this. I've only been to the Oceanside location, so I can't vouch for Clairemont Mesa:


                          Incidentally, if you like noodles, they make their own. Tasty!

                          1. h
                            Hackenbush Jul 26, 2006 03:41 AM

                            I really like the teriyaki chicken (and a lot of other things) at the Samurai Restaurant in Solana Beach.

                            1. l
                              long_ballers Jul 25, 2006 02:50 PM

                              WoW! that review sure makes it sound good. we shall see how they stack up. thanks honkman.

                              1. honkman Jul 24, 2006 11:45 PM

                                I haven't tried it yet (and I am also not an expert on teriyaki chicken) but somebody told me that Island Brothers Teriyaki (Encinitas) is quite good. I was quite surprised to see that they have more or less only three dishes on their menu (chicken teriyaki, steak teriyaki and a combi) and exist now for more than 10 years. If you have so few menu items I expect that you should be quite good in preparing them. Anybody has any experience with them ?


                                2 Replies
                                1. re: honkman
                                  Captain Jack Jul 25, 2006 05:34 AM

                                  Nice job honkman,
                                  After checking out the link you provided I am compelled to try that place.

                                  1. re: Captain Jack
                                    KirkK Jul 25, 2006 05:02 PM

                                    Tried Island Brothers a few years back - it was pretty good. Nicely balanced sauce.

                                2. l
                                  long_ballers Jul 24, 2006 11:21 PM

                                  yes, if i wanted to open a restaurant (which i dont) a good teriyaki place would kill it down here.

                                  1. s
                                    sdnativa Jul 24, 2006 10:34 PM

                                    Good question!!

                                    I live in SD too and I can only tell you where to get BAD teryaki chicken!

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