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New place in the Marina Plaza - Inshou 印象 Japanese tapas and yakitori - San Mateo

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I haven't been yet, but picked up a takeout menu earlier.

In the Marina Plaza (where Myung Dong Tofu Cabin and Marina Foods supermarket is located), where the pharmacy used to be is now a new Japanese tapas and yakitori restaurant called Inshou, with the kanji/Chinese characters 印象 meaning "impression(s)".

The seemingly very Chinese name seems very misleading and had me originally thinking (or first impression rather) that it was Chinese/Taiwanese run.

But glancing at the menu, it seems that it is trying to be part Tanto, part Gochi, and a little bit of perhaps Oidon and the other San Mateo (downtown area) izakaya types. At least nothing screams Taiwanese (or Korean) for that matter.

Lunch menu is nothing home to write about, donburi and udon at the $8 to $9 mark, including the usual suspects of oyako, unagi kabayaki, ebiten(pura), plus some modern versions like niratama ankake (chive, tofu egg), tori bari bari (deep fried flattened chicken breast), haccho miso japanese style berkshire pork cutlet, aburi chashu with onsen tamago.

Dinner and weekend menu, the more interesting looking items I see:

$4.50 starters
Kanzashi kyuri - cucumber with ume, yuzukosho, akamiso sauce
Onsen tamago - poached egg with garlic bread

Tataki, Carpaccio

Katsuo Tekone - bonito, wasabi, onion, dill - $11.50
Hotate Kasuzuke - scallops, yuzu candy sauce - $15

Salads
Mozuku-su - Okinawan Mozuku seaweed - $7
Cream Cheese Shuto-Ae - salted bonito, mizuna, lemon, EVO - $7

They have kushi katsu beef, chicken yakitori (3 skewers for $7, salt or tare), tebashio (salted grilled chicken wing), kamo tattaki (seared duck with fruit sauce $10.50).

Nigiri selection: shiromaguro, kurodai, salmon, hirame, maguro, hamachi, unagi, uni, mirugai, awabi, amaebi. The first four items are $4 for 2 pc, the next are in the $5 range, and last 4 are seasonal price.

Spicy nabemono - three kinds... yasai (vegetables), Japanese berkshire pork, and seafood at $12, $13, $14. Would be good to have a hot pot in this weather, but I'd probably choose to have this somewhere else...

Ochazuke (4 kinds), yaki onigiri, and 4 kinds of onigiri. Taimeshi (grilled seabream with rice in hot pot - $14.50) and a salmon version for the same price.

One Y*LP review mentions two of the chefs are from Tanto and Sebo in SF..... some of the afforementioned dishes are/were available at Tanto in the past (like Taimeshi).

Seems like there's a small trend of JPN restaurant chefs leaving well known restaurants/eateries and starting up on their own....e.g. one of the Kahoo ramen chefs at Shalala in Mountain View....one of the Gochi(?) guys at Dohatsuten (MV and I suppose Fremont).

If anyone tries this place before I do, please post your thoughts.

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  1. interesting review by donnie b. (12/24) on yelp:
    "wen is one of the owners who wrote the first review and gives his restaurant a five stars. most reviews are written are written by friends or employees..."
    rest of review comments unflavorably on the food and sebo. and his relationships with a sebo associate.

    1. Noticed in BaySpo an ad for Happy Hour there: 50% off (can't read the days of the week though)
      5:30p-7pm; 9p-10:30pm

      Still no CH reports?

      Inshou
      2942 S. Norfolk St, San Mateo
      650-212-1272

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      Inshou
      2942 S Norfolk St, San Mateo, CA 94403