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Yoshinoya beef bowl

lemoncoke Jun 18, 2007 09:40 AM

Hi! I am new to this board.

I am just curious to know what happened to Yoshinoya in down town San Francisco. I remember going there for lunch and it was cheap and GOOD.

I am trying to look up the info for the restaurant, but nothing seems to show up. Is the restaurant still there?

If not, is there any other place close by? I really want to satisfy my craving for the beef bowl with the red ginger....


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  1. k
    kinipela Jun 18, 2007 09:43 AM

    There's one on el camino in santa clara...

    1. w
      Wolfy_sm Jun 18, 2007 07:30 PM

      The other NorCal location is in Cupertino.
      19825 Stevens Creek Blvd.

      There's a list of them at www.yoshinoyausa.com/west.html

      Didn't realize SoCal had so many. Even Bakersfield has one.

      1. Gary Soup Jun 18, 2007 11:52 PM

        Yoshinoya's Drumm St. venture came and went well over 10 years ago. I found nothing memorable about it; instant ramen-like noodles in plastic bowls with very little beef is what I recall. It was the first Yoshinoya in the contiguous 48 States (one in Honolulu may have preceded it) and was viewed as a disastrous attempt to crack the mainland. They later tried again in chain-happy LA and struck paydirt.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Gary Soup
          kinipela Jun 19, 2007 11:57 AM

          well lemoncoke had a craving... i don't find it memorable either.. BUT... when i have a craving, i must have it...so i can relate =) hahahah my first yoshinoya was when i visiting a friend in the hospital in la... and it was really very late in the night/early in the morning, so it was pretty fulfilling considering the circumstances...

          1. re: Gary Soup
            soyo Jun 19, 2007 12:45 PM

            It is real good if you are a student. I remember in '87 while going to Santa Monica College. They used to advertise 2 for the price of 1. We would get 2 large combo, I ate 1/2 and hubby ate 1-1/2..... We were there almost at least once a week.

            1. re: soyo
              Gary Soup Jun 19, 2007 10:06 PM

              I think I was wrong about the dates. Yoshinoya's own web page said they opened their first LA operation in 1979, which would have been well before the short-lived SF branch, as far as I can recall.

              Maybe not a fair comparison, as the Yoshinoya I tried was in SF and the only Ajisen Ramen I've had was in Shanghai, but I would pray for an Ajisen rather than a Yoshinoya.

              1. re: Gary Soup
                soyo Jun 19, 2007 11:40 PM

                yosinoa doesn't have ramen....

              2. re: soyo
                kinipela Jun 20, 2007 12:31 AM

                yeah.. lots of food for a student's budget.... =) now i don't find it memorable.. BUT when i was a student.. man... there was a lot of yoshinoya, in n out, and shakey's pizza to go around... =) if i'm in the bay during a particular time, and i can't wait to go to la for some of this weird craving of mine, then i'll make the trek to santa clara... ALTHOUGH... the one in santa clara can't compare to the ones in la.. if that makes any sense...

            2. m
              misspiggy Jun 20, 2007 02:29 PM

              I sure know that feeling - I had to have some today and headed down to Santa Clara off Stevens Creek Road. The food is cheap and its good. Sure the veg is neon green color and kinda bland but the beef and rice make up for it. I like their clam chowder too. What more could you possibly want for $4.95. Beef bowl just brings back good memories of LA. And no Yoshinoya does not serve ramen - maybe you are thinking about some other chain. Nothing wrong with Yoshinoya except for the fact that you have to down 50 minutes from the city to get some.

              6 Replies
              1. re: misspiggy
                Gary Soup Jun 20, 2007 02:47 PM

                If not ramen, what kind of noodle do they serve, then?

                1. re: Gary Soup
                  Meredith Jun 20, 2007 03:42 PM

                  No noodles at all. The main product is a beef bowl over rice, kind of a fast food sukiyaki with beef and onions in sauce only over steamed rice. They added teriyaki chicken, random soup and desserts and sushi after a little while.
                  This was the treat we always got in LA after going to the doctor, I still salivate when I see the sign in Santa Clara although kinpela is right, either my taste has changed a lot or there just isn't high enough turn over there to make it as tasty.

                  1. re: Meredith
                    Gary Soup Jun 20, 2007 09:20 PM

                    I definitely had a noodle soup at their erstwhile San Francisco branch. Some Googling reveals that Yoshinoya actually has five divisions, including one that serves curry and ramen. I'm not sure the Yoshinoya in the FiDi was called "Yoshinoya Beef Bowl" but it was definitely "Yoshinoya" something, because I engraved it on my "avoid" list.

                    What are these guys eating?


                    1. re: Gary Soup
                      K K Jun 20, 2007 10:13 PM

                      The Cupertino location never went as far as offering noodles. But interesting that SF did perhaps at one point if what you say is true (I didn't even know they opened up there before).

                      The #1 Yoshinoya store (first ever location) is at Tsukiji Tokyo Fish Market, and supposedly sells nothing but beef bowls in 2 or 3 sizes. They use only Japanese beef there.

                      1. re: Gary Soup
                        tchan2700 Jun 24, 2007 06:50 PM

                        In the pic, the guy is eating a beef bowl. Althought that looks like noodles in his chopsticks, it's actually the beef sliced long and thin. They are simmered with onions in a light broth/sauce and then over rice.Very tasty !!! I did have many beef bowls when I was in Tokyo and for anyone interested, I really couldn't tell the difference between the one in Tokyo and the ones in the Bay area.

                        1. re: Gary Soup
                          PeterL Jun 25, 2007 12:32 PM

                          I don't know what those guys were eating, some thin sliced mystery meat maybe. But it sure wasn't noodles.

                  2. Gary Soup Jun 20, 2007 03:00 PM

                    According to Yoshinoya's website, they have 73 outlets in the Los Angeles--Riverside--Orange County CMSA, 2 in the San Francisco--Oakland--San Jose, CA CMSA, and 1 in the New York--Northern New Jersey--Long Island, NY--NJ--CT--PA CMSA. It must be something in the water.

                    The two Bay Area locations are in Cupertino and Santa Clara

                    1. wchane Jun 21, 2007 11:30 PM

                      haha. a guilty pleasure of mine. their chicken wings are money.

                      1. m
                        ML8000 Jun 22, 2007 03:48 AM

                        Are Yoshinoya franchised? Because I've had different experiences at different ones. The ones in LA seemed better, although I'm no expert and it was only okay. There use to be one north of San Jose J-town...and it was bad.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ML8000
                          kinipela Jun 22, 2007 11:40 AM

                          u know i don't know if they are franchised... but i definitely agree.. the yoshinoya's in la are WAAAY better... i like the one by the kaiser complex... also, i like the ones on the westside... hahahah the ones in the bay are okay for the quick craving if you're in the bay... but if u can hold off until an la trip, then i would do that.. especially if you've never had yoshinoya before...

                          1. re: kinipela
                            Gary Soup Jun 22, 2007 12:51 PM

                            I think chain food just tastes better in SoCal. Must be something in the air.

                            Anyway, this discussion belongs in Chains. YBB is a chain in spades.

                        2. a
                          alina555 Jun 25, 2007 12:04 PM

                          Mmm...Yoshinoya was a regular spot for me as a kid. You would think that me, growing up in So Cal surrounded by hundreds of good Asian restaurants (and being Asian myself) would steer away from this chain....but once they introduced the spicy chicken bowl, I was hooked. It's actually one of the few chains that I miss now that I have moved up the Bay Area.

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