Japanese Food - not sushi
Last weekend a craving for teriaki steak struck and I realized I have no idea what Japanese places are good for that sort of thing, cooked, slightly americanized food.
Does anyone else ever have this craving? And do any of you have a place you would recommend? I am in Noe but have a car and am willing to drive for it.
In Silicon Valley... I'd recommend the following:
For teriyaki in general, Gombei in Menlo Park (with a second location in downtown San Jose). The chicken is excellent; salmon good. They also do beef and pork, but I never order those. The specialty of the house actually is deep fried stuff: the fried tofu (agedashi) is tasty, and people come from all around for the katsu.
For dinner combinations containing any of the following: sashimi, California rolls, beef sukiyaki, beef teriyaki, or deep fried gyoza, Sushi Tomi in Mountain View. Two item dinner combo with soup, salad, rice and a little seasonal fruit is a steal at $13. On a good day, they serve the best sashimi in the immediate area, but sometimes it's merely average.
Several places come to mind:
In Japan Town, try Takara for some traditional, non-sushi type dishes such as shabu shabu and rice with tea. I also like On the Bridge for some good Japanese curry and pasta.
Taraval Okazu Ya is a great place is you like cooked fish. It offers a great selection of sushi but also has more than a dozen cooked fish to choose from. Their bento boxes are a bargain for the amount of food you get. I really enjoy the stirred fry clams, agedashi tofu and short ribs.
Tokyo Teriyaki in Daly City (across the street from the Safeway @ Westlake Shopping Center) is another good place for non sushi food. Other than the standards, there are some more unique items on the menu. My husband always get the beef rolls, thinly sliced beef with carrots and green onions wrapped inside. I enjoy the shabu shabu (already cooked for you) and suziyaki (sp?).
it's a bit of a ride but Sushi House in Alameda is really good for non-sushi type food. It used to be in the strip mall part of the South Shore Mall and the only reason I found it was because I went to pick up a Y'all-Haul and had to wait for my truck so the guy at the U-Haul place said to go have lunch there. My boyfriend and I both kind of turned up our noses at the thought of a strip mall sushi place but went anyway. . . they do great amounts of business so the sushi is always super fresh (so says those who I've dined with - I don't eat sushi) the non-sushi items are very good. Bento boxes are $13.95 and are massive - two choices (I usually get TonKatsu and Chicken teriyaki) plus miso soup, salad, tempura, rice, and fruit (usually melon). They recently moved to a much larger space and are right on the corner with a bay view - they still are always hopping but the quality in food has remained the same. I think it's really good food in a nice atmosphere - service is efficient - maybe not the most friendly as most of hte servers speak very little english but they sure know how to turn a room!
Like you, my boyfriend and I love a good beef teriyaki/tempura combo, and my best two options for you are:
Akagi in San Bruno
I recently reviewed it, and was amazed by the cheapness and good quality of the bento boxes ($6.75 for a 2 item combo).
Kamakura in Alameda
Kamakura is the same quality as Akagi but just slightly better food-wise, but $5 more per person. It's a nicer environment and the proprieter is an older woman named Faith, who is super sweet.
We've been searching for awhile, and those two topped our list (after many misses in the East Bay).
Sushi Boat in the Union Square/Theater Disrict has gotten good reviews on this site.
Someone on this site recommended Mutsu in San Mateo, which I tried but thought was just OK overall (and was pretty pricey).