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Has anyone tried Diner Japonica 593 Woodside Rd., Redwood City

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DeeGlaze May 26, 2013 04:33 PM

Diner Japonica took over the former El Hueco spot.
I haven't seen a menu posted anywhere. Has anyone been?

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  1. Melanie Wong RE: DeeGlaze May 30, 2013 02:46 PM

    No takers?

    7 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      Peter Yee RE: Melanie Wong Jun 2, 2013 09:51 AM

      Okay, I took one for the team. I had a (second) dinner to give the place a try. I had the chicken kara age appetizer and the chicken omu-rice. The kara age wasn't heavily breaded nor was it strongly flavored. (I've had it at places that threw curry powder into the coating, others that decided to make it spicy.) The kara age was served with a lemon wedge on a folded piece of paper towel that helped to absorb some of the oil from the chicken. The chicken itself was juicy and cooked just right, but I'm not sure I'd order a full order for myself again. The chicken omu-rice is an omelet filled with chicken fried rice and topped with a brown gravy. A dab of a (house-made?) chipotle ketchup sits at one end. The flavors of the fried rice were rather muted and I've come to the conclusion (based on this omelet and one in Hawaii) that I don't think fried rice in omelets is one of my favorite combinations. The brown gravy was mild, where as the ketchup actually had some zing to it. I think I might have preferred that the amounts of each be swapped.

      Anyhow, the place was empty when I got there at 8:25 p.m. One couple did show up after I was seated. They ordered bento boxes. The dinner menu has a few items (like the omelet) that are not available at lunch time. I've scanned the two most relevant pages of the lunch take-out menu and linked to them. You'll need to rotate them on-screen or twist you neck to an unnatural angle in order to read them. :-)

      http://www.houseofyee.com/menus/Japon...
      http://www.houseofyee.com/menus/Japon...

      There are also desserts (green tea cheesecake, ice creams) available as well as a modest selection of drinks. Nothing alcoholic that I recall, but then again, I don't partake, so I tend not to pay attention.

      Diner Japonica is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner.

       
      1. re: Peter Yee
        Melanie Wong RE: Peter Yee Jun 5, 2013 03:30 PM

        Thanks for taking one for the team . . . though sounds like not too much of a sacrifice. And especially appreciate the menu scans. I'm interested in trying the curries listed on the menu, sounds like they're made from scratch.

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          Peter Yee RE: Melanie Wong Jun 16, 2013 06:30 PM

          I went back last night for another sampling of their dishes. I started with the tempura appetizer which consisted of cauliflower, broccoli, white onion, red bell pepper, asparagus (2 spears), carrot, purple skin potato, kabocha, and 3 shrimp. Not terribly crispy, but quite tasty with the dipping sauce. For $6.50, this is a really good deal.

          So, since you expressed interest in the curry, I tried a katsu curry pork (see picture). The pork cutlet was juicy and not over salted, making for a nice balance with the curry sauce which has a medium mild heat to it. Accompanying the rice were some pickles. Perfectly satisfying.

          I finished off with a slice of the green tea cheesecake which was dense and crustless. The green tea taste was not overbearing or bitter, although I would have preferred no whipped cream since that tends to mask the taste of the cake.

          I also got a to-go order of the ginger pork for my wife. I was expecting a stir fry-type ginger pork like we had in Mountain View more than 20 years ago at a long lost Japanese restaurant. Nope, it was more like small, boneless pork chops served in a ginger onion sauce. My wife said the taste was very close to what she was hoping for, so that dish was a winner as well.

          I should mention that live blues playing next door did come through the wall and blend in with the Bob Marley playing over the speakers. That may just be a Saturday thing as I didn't hear anything the first time I visited.

          So, any other takers? :-)

           
           
          1. re: Peter Yee
            Peter Yee RE: Peter Yee Jun 16, 2013 07:01 PM

            A few other notes.

            The lunch menu no longer offers the burgers. Those are covered up on the menu board.

            The salad dressing is home made and pretty decent. Much better than a lot of the dressings served with the salad you usually get with a combo dinner at other Japanese places.

            They're pretty good about seating you if you make it there with minutes before closing time and seem the let to-go orders in even after closing time. Just look to see if the "Open" sign is still lit.

            1. re: Peter Yee
              Peter Yee RE: Peter Yee Jun 16, 2013 07:04 PM

              Fuzzy copy of the dinner menu.

               
              1. re: Peter Yee
                Melanie Wong RE: Peter Yee Jun 19, 2013 04:16 PM

                You've been quite the trouper!

                I quite like the mildly spiced, slight sweet personality of Japanese curries. If you've been to Muracci's in Los Altos, maybe you could compare them.

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  Peter Yee RE: Melanie Wong Jun 22, 2013 10:54 PM

                  I think the cutlet was better at Diner Japonica. I can't contrast the sauces because I tried a really hot one at Muracci's, so it sort of overwhelmed the base flavor to a certain extent.

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