San Jose - near 101 & 880 intersection
I don't know San Jose at all and an old friend is flying in next weekend to lecture at a conference that weekend. I'd like to find a reasonably nice Friday night dinner joint that won't be hard to get into or involve reservations (the exact timing is tenuous).
We are both on a budget. I'm not a huge fan of Korean or Vietnamese, but any other ethnicity is okay. Any good sushi on the cheap?
Milpitas is close by:
First time at Sen Dai Sushi on Fri 11/14/08. We got there before 5pm and there are people already waiting to get in. That is rare for me because I'm the only one that eats at 5pm.
The place is small. There's a small sushi bar area, about 2 tables on the Left side, and 2 tables on the Right, plus some in the middle.
The menu is huge. We tried a bunch of stuff:
Seaweed salad $4.5 - ok
baked scallop $6.50 - 6 pieces of baked scallops - just ok
White tuna tataki $7 - yummy. I love white tuna and it was generous portions. Recommended.
Curry special (beef, chicken, or ton-katsu) $9 - we got the beef. I liked the curry sauce, Huge portion. Enough for 3-4 people. Lots of corn, peas, beef, etc.
Hamachi kama $9.5 - yellowtail collar. Huge. Lots of meat. Ok for me.
Ankimo sashimi $7.5 - Special of the day, 4 round pieces. I thought it was ok.
Uni $7.5 - Special of the day, 2 pc nigiri. Uni is not my favorite, hubby liked it more.
Cherry blossom roll $10 - huge roll. Thought it was ok.
Our total w/ tax not tip $66.58. You can eat cheaper if you don't order as much as we did. We had lots of leftovers so had a second dinner the next day.
Separate bathrooms in the back.
Sen Dai Sushi
224 N Abel St, Milpitas, CA 95035
re: Carrie 218
San Jose's Japantown is right at 101 and 880. The two places I know of well there are Gombei (Japanese) and Hukilau (Hawaiian). I've also been to a few other places like Kazoo but don't remember it as well.
Gombei gets crowded but you usually get seated right away or pretty fast, I don't think anyone makes a reservation. Very good Japanese food, has a following and is a sister place to Gombei in Menlo Park. Not too formal.
Hukilau also has a following, but you won't need a reservation. Slightly updated Hawaiian plate lunch. Should be able to get a decent piece of fish like mahi mahi. Full bar might suit a Friday better.
p.s. do a search for San Jose Japantown and I'm sure you'll get more results.
re: Melanie Wong
I second the recommendation for Sushi Maru. It's my favorite sushi joints in J-town with good quality and reasonable prices.
Gombei, as mentioned, is another favorite of mine if you're in the mood for some Japanese comfort food. My favorite is the katsu curry. They also feature daily specials and have some good appetizers. Not much in the way of atmosphere however.
if you want to head into Santa Clara a bit, 99 Chicken serves up some great fresh KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) and other Korean dishes. This is another casual place with reasonable prices. You wont walk away hungry
Thank you! The San Jose area has the best Japanese food in the Bay Area. Any izakaya you would recommend? I've had the ramen at Izakaya Restaurant, which is not in Japantown but equally closer to the intersection of 101 and 880, but no recent reports on the pub grub. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/580997
re: Melanie Wong
My favorite izakaya is Saizo in Sunnyvale but I wouldn't suggest it for the budget conscious. It's not too expensive, mind you, but it's not cheap either.
For ramen, I tend to stick to the ramen specialists. I feel it takes a certain commitment to make decent ramen. For me, Kahoo gets my business when I'm craving ramen.
There used to be a place on 4th near 101, however, which served up an awesome katsu curry ramen. They'd serve it to you with a pitcher of cold barley tea. The've since changed owners and no longer have it unfortunately. That would have been close to the airport.
re: Carrie 218
Sumiya Yakitori has reopened since the fire took out their previous location. They are in the area, and my guess is within 10 to 20 minutes local driving.
2634 Homestead Rd
Santa Clara, CA 95051
the website does recommend reservations but I suppose you can always call before going over there to put your name down.
Sushi Maru in SF Japantown is a kaitenzushi / conveyor belt sushi place (and an authentic conveyor belt, not a water boat). Reasonably priced sushi, and they have some specials (do inquire) / white board special fish that some higher end restaurants might have. If you do not mind driving, I'd highly recommend the Milpitas location instead for generally better performance and quality (although 15 to 20 ish minutes further away east on the 237, all the way until you hit the town center plaza).
10 min. from SJ airport, two Indo-Pak restaurants come to mind. The first one is a family/friends favorite (esp. tandoori items & biriyani) but have not been to the second. Inexpensive, no alcohol, may be byob but call to check.
Kabab and Curry's