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Apr 21, 2008 06:57 PM

Japanese in Santa Rosa

Can anyone recommend a good Japanese restaurant in Santa Rosa.
Does not have to be fancy - looking for good tempura and maybe chirashi.
Planning on being in Santa Rosa this Saturday night.

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  1. I prefer Osake in Santa Rosa or Hana in Rohnert Park

    Osake Japanese Restaurant
    2446 Patio Ct, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

    Hana Japanese Restaurant
    101 Golf Course Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928

    1. The tempura is good at Osake... they have some Sushi that is good (Salmon Roll with Scallions... Nigiri is decent)... however, I have to warn you most Sushi here is of the hideous, way oversized, Suburban trap variety.. with all the fusiony sins that most Japanese will cringe about. The clueless morons at the Michelin Guide gave it an honorable mention... its decent but I don't know what they were smoking. Honestly, right now I am debating whether the Salmon & Tuna Nigiri is actually better at Whole Foods (granted they are about the same price though!)

      Enough rambling.... yes the Tempura is very good. Oh now that I remember, there is a place in Windsor (I can't remember the name exactly but I believe its Sedju or something like that) that was very good on all fronts.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        I think the restaurant you're referring to is Senju. My parents have been a few times and said they liked it. I want to clear this up because it is a completely seperate restaurant from Ume, where I've been with my dad and did not enjoy at all. For Santa Rosa standards, I found the decor rather stylish and modern, but I was very disappointed in the food. I especially remember ordering ankimo (which I love as well, choconinja) and receiving something fishy and strangely dull to my palate. I remember reading the PD's Biteclub article about the sushi round up, and Heather Irwin chose Ume as her favorite of the bunch. Maybe I went on an off night (Jeff Cox's very favorable review is framed beside the register), but I have no desire to return to Ume.

        I still haven't been to Cafe Japan, so I'd like to go. The only issue there is the staggering costs. I have no problem paying that for the occasional splurge meal at a fantastic restaurant, but to go there for the first time and pay that is something for me to think twice about.

        I think Hana is a pretty safe bet and probably the best of the restaurants I've tried in Sonoma County.

        1. re: LikeFrogButOOOH

          Its been a couple of years... and I just can't remember the name... but I believe we took the main exit in Windsor (that leads to the downtown area).... but went west (I belive on Old Redwood Hwy).... and it was just a small place that reminded me of your typical Sushi joint in West L.A's Little Japan.

      2. I agree with Scott M about Hana - it's pretty decent, and they do serve chirashi (and great Agedashi tofu there, too!); would also add Yao Kiku to the list, but as probably the third choice - it's on Yulupa Avenue, near Bennett Valley road.

        1. I like Yao Kiku. I went to Cafe Japan on the downtown square for the first time recently, it was good-- also packed at 9 pm on a Wednesday!

          1. I'm a big fan of Cafe Japan, in downtown Santa Rosa. Small restaurant with great food. Chef Yo is Japanese and had his culinary training in Japan before moving here. Focus on quality, often organic, often local ingredients. The tempura is some of the best I've had in Sonoma county...light, golden crispy deliciousness. The sushi is lovely as well...I adore their house-pickled saba. Cafe Japan is the reason I fell in love with ankimo (monkfish liver). Don't miss the miso with nameko mushrooms...mmm.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chocolateninja

              Hm...did PlaceLinking break?

              Cafe Japan
              98 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

              Yao-Kiku Japanese Restaurant
              2700 Yulupa Ave # 23, Santa Rosa, CA

              1. re: chocolateninja

                Picture of Cafe Japan's tempura dinner. (I think I may have eaten a couple of pieces before this photo was shot)