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Best Sushi in San Jose area


I'm looking for sushi recommendations in the San Jose area. I'd like to avoid driving to Palo Alto or Milpitas and would prefer to stay around Campbell/San Jose area. I simply haven't been able to find a good place around here for sushi.



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  1. Here's a thread that should help you -

    Cupertino and San Jose can easily beat out Milpitas sushi-wise.

    P.S. Should have asked what style you're seeking. Tomi and Kitsho are both traditional and emphasize the quality of the fish and knife-work over American-style fried sushi rolls.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      And, if you want something less expensive, try Sushi Maru in San Jose or Sunnyvale. It's kaiten sushi (on a conveyor belt), but don't forget that you can always ask to have your sushi made to order here and it's the same price.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Another vote for Sushi Maru. Great neighborhood sushi place!

    2. Blowfish would be one of my first picks. It is located in Santana Row. If you do not mind techno and Japanese anime this would be the place. The other food is also good as well. I must say it is on the pricey side but I feel it is very good.

      1. I would eschew Blow fish and go to Kitsho or Sushi Kuni in Cupertino, or Sushi Tomi and Tomisushi (San Jose and Mountain View, same owners).

        1. TOMI SUSHI - 4336 Moorpark nr Saratoga Aves in SJ - one of the best in SJ IMHO.

          1. Where have you already tried?

            You've received some good recs so far, but I'll add Kubota in Japantown to the mix. I haven't eaten at many south bay sushi places to proclaim this my "best", but I enjoyed our one visit to Kubota for sushi. Fish was fresh and nigiri were made well. Have heard their cooked items are solid too. Nice space. Anyone been recently?

            Kubota website:

            I haven't tried it, but I've heard good things about Sushi on the Run in Los Gatos. Supposed to be a tiny place w/ about 8 stools. Even the tiny places seem to have a web presence these days...

            Sushi on the Run website:

            1 Reply
            1. re: Carb Lover

              website seems to be out of order.

              but i heard about this place missed out on it both times i was in the sf area, is los gatos closer to santa cruz than san francisco/

            2. There's really not much more for me to add value to the discussion other than stick with Kitsho, Tomi Sushi, or Sushi Kuni, though you cannot go wrong with the first two (Sushi Kuni is great but it is overall a decent standard but pales in comparison with Tomi and Kitsho). Tomi Sushi would offer the higher price to performance ratio while Kitsho is pricier but highest quality.

              Kitsho is by 280 and Wolfe, Tomi Sushi 280 and Saratoga, and Sushi Kuni is closest by 280/De Anza. I'd say start with Tomi Sushi since that is closer, sit at the bar and see if you can get Mike to assist you, he's a hit with the locals (non Japanese and Japanese expat like tastes). Speaks fluent English and Japanese. He can whip out a superb fancy roll, customize your traditional sushi omakase, and make any requests within reason. Plus his knife skills are very very good. What makes this place even friendlier is that ALL of their white board specials are in plain view behind the counter (a big one too) so you know what they have that's not on the regular menu (versus some other places). This place frequently attracts a wide customer base, there's a bit of everything for everyone.

              Kitsho on the other hand, may take a few visits to like, and service may be slow when it is packed. The only way to truly enjoy it is by sitting in front of the owner and/or ordering omakase (put the trust in the chef to decide the menu), but that comes with a price and recommended only if you've been there enough times to order a la carte sushi to get a feel for the restaurant. Regulars pretty much know the routine there. Might not be as first timer friendly. If it does get packed and you don't get to sit in front of the owner, you won't get the maximum enjoyment out of this place (plus when the bar is crowded the chef is too busy anyway).

              1 Reply
              1. re: K K

                Just an added note about Kitsho. Howard Arita, the main guy and owner, usually works the right-side of the bar (from diner's point of view) and his apprentice/underling works the left side. Depending on when you go, Howard might work the whole bar, but during prime dining hours, sometimes only the left side of the bar is open and you won't get to chat with or be served by Howard. I will say though, that his underling still does a very good job but he gets very busy having to make a lot of rolls for the main dining room.

              2. Three possibilities for you, all have really good fish, but each has it's own aproach:

                Michi is in Campbel on Winchester (south of downtown), and features big portions and fancy rolls. If you like that, it's awesome. Even if you don't, it's still good fish.

                Tomi Sushi on Saratoga has a wide range of items, including unusual (to us gaijin, anyway) choices on it's whiteboard. It attracts a lot of japanese customers, so I assume it's more authentic.

                My personal favorite, though, is Tomo Sushi (5487 Snell Ave, SJ). Tomo is a friendly, neighborhood sushi bar, that delivers the at-the-bar experience that you often don't get in larger places, or sometimes, for different reasons, at more traditional places, either. Sit at the bar and enjoy some great fish and fun conversation.

                Finally, as a bonus: if you're in Downtown San Jose when your sushi craving hits, the best place to go is Smile Sushi on 1st at San Fernando (right next to E&O). If you like rolls, there are some interesting ones, and if you like your fish neat, try the hamachi (and hamachi belly if that's available).

                3 Replies
                1. re: Manuel

                  I tried SMILE SUSHI when it opened around the beginning of the year and perhaps they had not worked the kinks out but it was not very good all. The fish did not seem fresh - I have had better sushi at the sushi counter at nearby Zanotto's market.

                  1. re: plainjane

                    You tried Smile before I ever did, then. The first time I tried - I guess a few months after your experience - the decor was still pretty sad and they didn't have a sushi bar, but some of the fish was decent. It's changed hands since then, is owned by the current chef, the quality has improved as well as the decor, and there's a small bar, now. Though, I'd still say it's the kind of place you want to be selective: the hamachi is quite good, but the tuna is rarely worth getting, for instance.

                    Ultimately though, it's a rec for those who want sushi in the downtown neighborhood - not so much a destination, just better than other nearby options.

                    1. re: Manuel

                      I may give it a try again if I am in the neighborhood and craving sushi. Generally, my preferred sushi in downtown is Fuji Sushi on Santa Clara.

                2. YUKI SUSHI (Cedar Tree Shopping Center at the corner of Pruneridge Ave. and Winchester Blvd. in Santa Clara, California)

                  The fish is fresh and they are generous with their cuts. Simple, authentic and oh so tasty!


                  1. When my SO lived in Campbell (3 years ago), our Japanese/sushi goto place was Sushi Zono. Now that we're married and living in Pleasanton, I REALLY miss that place. Their sushi was good and fresh. Their hot menu was also good. I remember their hamachi cheeks and katsudon fondly...

                    Sushi Zono
                    831 W Hamilton Ave
                    Campbell, CA 95008
                    408) 374-8366

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Foodrat

                      Sorry adding to what has been said but Kitsho Sushi = Eye opening experience, i.e., sublime. Sit in front of Howard at the bar, say the Magical word, "Omakase" Please let Howard do everything for you, you will not be disappointed. The guy's a master. This is no frills, no CA rolls, no rainbow roll type of place. Prepare to spend a few $. Post paying for meal, you will not think to yourself: "man, i just paid too much." you will float away on a transcendent cloud of 'sushiness' thinking of everything else in terms of "sushi dollars" E.g., new camera 399, oh well, I spent xxx at Kitsho...this is easy. Take your time, omakase there is a wonderful experience, trust in the Master. One can get obsessed with this place. It's messing with my head even now as I type this. Good Luck.

                    2. what about the infamous sushi sawa in sunnyvale?

                      is it still around?

                      1 Reply
                      1. Kitsho had a nice surprise today, filefish....which turned out to be a member of the blowfish family. Served with the fish liver on top. Wow....loss for words for this surprise. I'm sure this is perfectly legal and safe (unlike poorly handled torafugu liver), otherwise I wouldn't be typing now.

                        On the white board near the entrance:

                        - tai misozuke (marinated snapper in miso sauce)

                        - sea bream head steamed in soy sauce (tai atama nitsuke)

                        - scallops tempura

                        - grilled eggplant with meat of some sort

                        1. how are the prices at kitsho?

                          sounds good, with the fish liver and all, is it farmed or wild/

                          1. Yuri in San Jose is hands-down the BEST sushi in the Bay Area!!!!! Aborn and White Rd near the Albertsons

                            1. Sushi 0 Sushi at El Camino and Kiely in Santa Clara is a gem, busy but not well-known outside of our town. They have a great roll - the Jimbo roll - that is a meal in itself. Their Hea-dup-bop (sp) is an awesome sushi, rice and greens salad. We have almost given up trying other sushi places - none are as consistently good.

                              1. I'm coming in from Portland Oregon and was thinking of checking out Kitsho based on these recs, but can't find a business listing for San Jose, only Cupertino. This thread is a little outdated too. Any new recs for great sushi?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: tammimcd

                                  Kitsho is in Cupertino, but it neighbors west San Jose. Relatively easy access by highway 280.

                                  Top places are still the same: Kitsho, Sushi Kuni, Tomi Sushi (and sister restaurant Sushi Tomi). you can try Sawa Sushi in Sunnyvale but I haven't read any updates about this exclusive place.

                                  1. re: Cary

                                    Thanks Cary I appreciate your help!

                                2. Oh....Any info on either Umi or Tengu? I can't *really* trust Citysearch!