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Best japanese Restaurant in San Gabriel Valley?

I will be staying San Gabriel valley in July, want to hear everyone's recommendations for Japanese restaurant in SG Valley? Mahalo!

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  1. YOSHIDA in San Marino for sushi.

    SHIRO in South Pasadena for Japanese/French fusion

    TOROS in Alhambra for nouveau-type sushi

    DUCKS in San Gabriel for Japanese curry

    11 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks! Thats a great variation of Japanese choices. I used to Love Kayo (or Kaya) in Monterey Park, the old man retired..thanks for your suggestions...

      1. re: hawaiisrfn

        Hmm, there's a Kaya in Temple City that serves a Japanese buffet with shabu shabu. Is that what the one in Monterey Park was about?

        Kaya Restaurant
        5807 Rosemead Blvd
        Temple City
        (626) 287-0587

        1. re: ipsedixit

          this is like a bad imitation of Todai or Onami. Avoid!

          1. re: ipsedixit

            i used to go to kaya with my family when i was much younger. urrk... a bad todai is right.

          2. re: hawaiisrfn

            there are few good japanese place left in monterey park still.

            saga (tonkatsu, fried seafood and tempura )
            fufu tei (20+ types of ramen)
            sushi sai (sushi)
            taihei (trad japanes)

            1. re: rickym13

              rickym13, is fufu tei on valley, west of Atlantic?

              1. re: eatdrinknbmerry

                it on atlantic south of garvey tucked in the corner of same shopping center as old new concept (elite) chinese restaurant

              1. re: yoyo

                Shiro is not a "Japanese" restaurant so I agree with you on that count, but if you aren't strictly looking for a Japanese place then I think it's pretty good.

              2. My vote is Yoshida in San Marino, but why not make the extra 10 minute drive to Little Tokyo. You should check out Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo, especially for their sashimi lunch special.

                1. We just had dinner at Kaya on Rosemead in Temple City. Standard menu with many items; not a buffet. Our take: Cold Miso soup, crumbling sushi, good grilled Japanese squid and sea Bass. When we asked for rice; we were told that they had run out of rice and a batch was being made. It came after the entrees were long gone with no apologies. Good cold Sapporo but no offer of tea or cut cucumber salad. Not going back even though is within walking distance from us.

                  1 Reply
                  1. I would like to add Kiyosuzu in Arcadia to the list and back up the Yoshida recommendation. I've read great recommendations for Z Sushi in Alhambra (?) though I haven't been there myself/ There's Gyu Kaku in Old Town Pasadena which is one of those grill your own meat type places. Hmmm...the only other Japanese places I can think of are in Orange County. Anyway, enjoy!

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: crystaw

                      I 2nd Kiyosuzu - the food is good, except the place is so cramped. Another good place is Yama in Alhambra. Avout Yoshida: is that more of a sushi bar or a regular restaurant, and what are their prices like:?

                      1. re: monkuboy

                        It's definitely a sushi bar, and prices are very much in line with other similar places in the surrounding area (Alhambra, Pasadena, Arcadia, etc.)

                        1. re: Cecilbee

                          i just saw a sign on the corner of garvey/atlantic in monterey park that shin sen gumi yakitori/shabu shabu is going to open.

                          1. re: rickym13

                            Cool-I like the Shin Sen Gumi in Fountain Valley. I didn't know they had shabu shabu though

                            1. re: rickym13

                              I thought it was just going to be a ramen place?

                                1. re: rickym13

                                  Cool. I won't have to drive all the way to Gardena!

                                  1. re: rickym13

                                    wow thats kinda odd to me considering Shin Sen Gumi within my circle of friends is more known for its hakata style ramen and yakitori. I never even knew they did shabu shabu.

                                    P.S. - Ins't ther one of these in rosemead off Valley? I've only been to Fo. Valley but i've heard from several pple theres one there.

                                    1. re: Mando

                                      There's a ramen place in Rosemead ON Valley.

                                2. re: rickym13

                                  opening end of september, according to the guy at their summer festival. that should lighten the load on gardena!

                          2. Tai Hei~ Been awhile, but thats one of the better old school joints for Traditional J-Food.

                            Shinano~Not sure if its still around, but I use to love that place.

                            Tolkyo Lobby (SG)~One of those classic J-Food Joints that isnt the best in terms of quality, but it was one of the few joints that was ALWAYS Consistent, and they give you mounds of food.

                            Good Luck.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: smak34

                              Taihei - my favorite sushi bar of the moment
                              Z-Sushi - also very good
                              Kiyosuzu - nobody does scallops like they do!

                              for hot food:
                              Yama - best chicken teriyaki on earth, good sukiyaki too. You'll feel like your in a time warp
                              Sushi of Naples - has seen better days, but not bad
                              Hanabi - Great for broiled salmon
                              Hanashima - great for a quick bite, couldn't be more "freeway close"

                              1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                SGV is not great for sushi, sadly. But Z Sushi in Alhambra is definitely one of the better places. There are also tons of decent "comfort food" type places around, but few really stand out.

                                Someone mentioned Shin Sen Gumi (http://www.shinsengumiusa.com/R_ramen). I definitely agree with this. Went there for the first time a few weeks ago, and it's fantastic.

                                The ramen was great. You get so many options - everything from the type of broth, to how spicy, to the softness of your noodles. And they do it very very well. But it's not just ramen, they have loads of izakaya type dishes and all in a really fun youthful Japanese style. Highly recommended.

                                1. re: socal

                                  can you list some of those "comfort food" places?

                                  1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                    I grew up on places like Tokyo Lobby in San Gabriel (which, for YEARS my mom called "New Tokyo Lobby" after it burned down and was rebuilt...there's nothing new about it.) But they just bring you this huge photo album/menu with pics of all the different dishes. Probably over 100 combinations of food.

                                    It's a bit americanized, but still run by Japanese speakers, and it's by no means gourmet, but when you get a hankering for some miso soup and cheap tempura/teriyaki, it's hard to beat for my money...

                                    1. re: socal

                                      Tokyo Lobby is not bad, but for mr it's hard to beat Yama. The only chicken teriyaki I can eat anymore, there's is so good it laps the field.

                                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                        Yama up in Monrovia or thereabouts?

                                        I like it also...seems my family started going there much more often than Tokyo Lobby about 10 years ago or so. That's exactly the kind of place I'm talking about. No frills, but just good, filling, familiar food.

                                        1. re: socal

                                          Alhambra on Main between Atlantic and Garfield. Caddy-corner from Triumphal Palace and Toros.

                                          1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                                            Oh, of course.

                                            I go there frequently also. Once again, exactly the kind of place I mean. My previous comments still apply.

                                            Although I do find it odd that you have to walk out the front all the way to the back parking lot to use the bathroom...

                                            1. re: socal

                                              That's because of the health department police. They didn't want customers walking through the kitchen(althogh I have to say it's the only place i've seen that enforces it)

                                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                                    Very nice photos. Haven't tried Z Sushi yet, but after reading your report, it is now on my list.