About Cafe Japengo

8960 University Center Lane
San Diego, CA 92122
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Located at the Golden Triangle, Café Japengo is renowned for both fabulous Sushi and incredible fusion creations that combine Japanese and Western flavors. The energetic atmosphere and the trendy clientele make it make it a 'must' when visiting San Diego. Gluten free menu available.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Asian, Sushi

Hours of Operation:
Hours of Operation: Lunch:
Monday through Friday 11 am to 2 pm

Dinner:
Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm-9:30pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm-10:30pm

Happy Hour:
Monday though Friday: 4:30pm-7:00 pm
Saturday: 4:30 pm-CL

Sushi Hour at the Sushi bar
Monday through Saturday: 4:30pm-5:30 pm

Cross Street:
La Jolla Village

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(858) 450-3355

Website:
http://www.cafejapengo.com/

Catering:
catering available up to 40 people, selection of Pacific Rim cuisine and Sushi, drop off in the La Jolla area or pick up available

Parking Details:
Validated Hotel parking and street parking are also available.

Executive Chef:
Jerry Warner

Private Party Facilities:
Up to 50 guests .

Private Party Contact:
Jamie Kelly-Bee: 8584503355x

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Book your special event, holiday party or business lunch or dinner.
Family style and prix fixe menus available. Sushi classes scheduled monthly. For inquires email: Jamie.Kelly-Bee@hyatt.com

Restaurant Photos

Steamed Thai Basil Clams
Pometini
Curry Dusted Calamari
Fire Roasted Fanny Bay Oysters
Hot And Sour Tomatillo Soup
Uni
Scallop Handroll
Assorted Sushi
Truffle Nori Fries with Shaved Parmesan
Sushi
Curry Crusted Calamari
Seafood Salad
Tempura
Mixed Seafood In Potato Basket
Chocolate Lava Cake
Diver Scallops
Mixed Fried Rice
Protein Roll
Special Albacore Roll
Beef Yakitori
Summer Roll
Sashimi
Protein Roll N More
Sushi And Duck Rolls
Edemame
Vietnamese Pork With Glass Noodles
Chocolate Brulee With Ginger Whip
Green Tea And Coconut Gelato

Promotions

1,000-Point Tables

Promotions

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1000 point tables

Details
Mon 11:00AM - 11:30AM 5:30PM - 9:30PM

Tue - Thu 11:00AM - 11:30AM 5:30PM - 7:00PM 8:15PM - 9:30PM

Fri 11:00AM - 11:30AM 5:30PM - 7:00PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM

Sat 5:30PM - 7:00PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM

Cafe Japengo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.2

value

3.9

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Most Booked 1000-Point Tables
San Diego
Most Booked 1000-Point Tables
San Diego

fit for foodies (29)
good for groups (27)
special occasion (27)
See All
great for lunch (23)
neighborhood gem (16)
romantic (12)
hot spot (12)
vibrant bar scene (9)
great for outdoor dining (4)
late-night find (3)
kid-friendly (2)
notable wine list (2)
great for brunch (2)
scenic view (1)
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791 reviews
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We had eaten in Japengo in Maui and love ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined 3 days ago

We had eaten in Japengo in Maui and loved it so we were so pleased to find one in La Jolla a 30 min. drive from our home. I called to verify that REAL crab was used in their shrimp tempura and Cali. role I was assured that it was REAL crab. Both my husband and I developed an upset stomach after dining 7/26/16 (our 41st anni.) We called the next day and asked about the crab "30% real 70% fake" the manager told us. Why would such an upscale place cheap out? We will not go back again. The calamari and service was excellent.

Tags: special occasion
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food2
ambience5
service5
value3

The appetizers and sushi options were mu ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

The appetizers and sushi options were much better than the main dish, both for taste and for value. Next time my friend and I will order more side dishes or appetizers and avoid the main dishes.

Tags: great for lunch
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

The best days at Japengo have gone, it s ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

The best days at Japengo have gone, it should read this and become cheaper

Tags: neighborhood gem
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food4
ambience1
service3
value1

Great wine, very good service. Excellen ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

Great wine, very good service. Excellent steak and duck. Hit or miss appetizers. So-so sushi. Good prawns, but the prawn salad dressing was unappealing. Tempura banana, sorbet and bread pudding desserts were delicious. Brûléed chocolate tart had an slight burnt taste. It would have been better served warm ( in my opinion). Iced tea was from a bottle--not fresh brewed. All in all, an enjoyable evening in a nice atmosphere with as many hits as misses (just don't do the sushi). However, it was way too expensive for what we got.

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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

Dinner and service were awsome.

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 9, 2016

Dinner and service were awsome.

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food4
ambience4
service5

Wonderful sushi, really delicious. Wine ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

Wonderful sushi, really delicious. Wine list is so so, bring your own and pay the corkage.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

japengo has wonderful decor and a wonder ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 21, 2016

japengo has wonderful decor and a wonderful ambiance. very rich looking. service and operations impeccable. butterfish was its usual excellence in freshness, taste and presentation. rainbow roll good. japengo green salad was a very large portion and nice presentation.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Outstanding - why not busier?

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 4, 2016

We've never had a bad experience here. After work on Friday we decided to head over for an early meal. Arrived at 5:45, place was very quiet - mainly people at the sushi bar & at the bar for happy hour. OK, it's early. But when we left at about 7:15, the place was still very quiet. No idea why. The food was excellent, service was great. Try it - you won't be disappointed

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great salads and fresh sushi. Order the ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on June 3, 2016

Great salads and fresh sushi. Order the salmon sandwich protein style. It is excellent!

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food5
ambience5
service4

Did not disappoint

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on May 26, 2016

We haven't been here is a while so it was nice to return. As we remembered the food was outstanding and the service was stellar. Good atmosphere and overall a great time was had by all. We'll be back sooner the next time.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Outstanding food, ambiance and service! ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on May 25, 2016

Outstanding food, ambiance and service! The Miso fish was among the best I have ever had.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful place to dine. Food was super ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on May 15, 2016

Wonderful place to dine. Food was super and service was more than excellent. Will definitely be back soon.

Tags: good for groups, special occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Great taste!

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on May 14, 2016

Excellent service, tasty food, great drinks! Japanese fusion food - fantastic rolls

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot
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food3
ambience3
service5
value3

We visit at least once a month. I love t ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

We visit at least once a month. I love the environment, ambiance & chill house music. The happy hour is awesome!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Great food and service

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on April 24, 2016

It's our always shushi place to go to. Delicious food, and service s great.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Great food Not so great hostess

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on April 23, 2016

Great food

Not so great hostess

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food5
ambience4
service4

Table Service Good, Kitchen not so much

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on April 20, 2016

Our waitress was excellent and attentive, however the kitchen was EXTREMELY slow in preparing our two sushi rolls. One was brought to our table and was fine. The other one arrived 10 minutes later and contained an ingredient that we had specifically told our waitress that my husband was allergic to. I'm pretty sure our waitress had told the kitchen about the potentially lethal allergy...good thing SHE caught it when she brought it to the table and explained it's contents. She took it back. A substitute without the offending ingredient arrived another 15 minutes after that. I was disappointed as I love this restaurant!

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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

Our server Melissa is the BEST!! We chos ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on April 17, 2016

Our server Melissa is the BEST!! We chose to celebrate our wedding anniversary at Cafe Japango because Melissa works there. We knew our night will be wonderful and the food will be great is she was our server. Sure enough, Melissa made our night wonderful with her superb service. Thank you Melissa!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

First time to visit

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on April 15, 2016

I had a dinner with my co-workers and clients. My boss recommended me to have a reservation because there are lots of good stuff. This is correct. We all enjoyed everything. thank you!

Tags: good for groups
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

We have been going to Japengo's now for ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on April 12, 2016

We have been going to Japengo's now for 25 years, it is the best sushi in San Diego hands-down, when ordering sushi always ask for lite on the rice. The Hawaiian roll, and the 50-50 role is amazing. My wife always gets the crunchy roll with extra eel sauce, it will blow your mind. The curry dusted calamari over a bed of seaweed and long noodles will shoot you to Venus. If you like fried rice you have to indulge your self in there "10 ingredient fried rice" if you're a hater their food will turn you into a lover, I guarantee it

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food5
ambience5
service5

Wise venue for a Birthday!

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on April 3, 2016

We enjoyed celebrating a good friend's birthday party at the sushi bar. Mark, the sushi chef, was artful in his ability to prepare "vegetarian" options. Wonderful dessert options too!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Excellent food, dining room is a little boring.

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on April 3, 2016

Service was excellent, I think her name was Melissa. food was D'Lish so good to know that has not changed since none of us had been here for over 15 years (we guessed) It used to be the happening place to be. We wanted sushi and that was the perfect half way point. The dining area is just a little boring. The portion size was very good, we couldn't even finish the food we did order. Calamari has a good curry flavor that I loved but not everyone else did. It too is a large portion. Overall very happy we went. They do know how make a good Martini and had a good enough wine selection for my one wine snob friend to be happy!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Not the hopping place it used to be

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on March 31, 2016

This used to be the place on weekends. Diners seem to be tired of the snobby hostesses & high prices & are opting to walk away. Not crowded last 3 x's we dined here. Still great sushi but pricey!

Tags: good for groups, great for lunch
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

Good food . Service was sketchy . Either ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on March 26, 2016

Good food . Service was sketchy . Either our waiter was too busy , too distracted or just did not want to be there

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food3
ambience3
service2

really nice Japanese restaurant

vip
 (México)
·Dined on March 19, 2016

excellent japanese restaurant, try the shishito peppers and the hand cut rolls, everything delicious

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Dinner at Cafe Japengo while visiting La Jolla

vip
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on March 19, 2016

The first time I had dinner at Cafe Japengo many years ago (>10 yrs), I was so impressed with the quality of food and the artistic presentation. This visit left me with a different impression where the food was good but not exquisite. I am not if there was a change of management or chef or both.

Tags: kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

Innovative Sashimi

vip
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on March 15, 2016

This is always our lunch stop when we visit San Diego and we gladly order the Chef’s Choice sashimi. Each time we have been rewarded with creative and tasty combinations!

Tags: fit for foodies
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

Cafe Japengo

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on March 13, 2016

Food was excellent, service lagged a bit but the servers were very friendly.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Asked for vegetable roll not on menu

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on March 13, 2016

We dined with friends who are vegetarians. We asked for three veggie rolls...none on the menu. They came up with delicious, beautiful rolls that we all consumed with gusto. I wouldn't have thought to do this, but now I will. We also ordered some of our favorites which were great.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Always Great!

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on March 3, 2016

I added kid-friendly to this review because my friend brought her eight-month-old son. We sat in one of my usual back booths. The server brought a high-chair immediately and when it was a little large, brought a stack of cloth napkins, folded them in half and created a cushion for the baby. BTW, the baby was fabulous the entire two-hour lunch!! And the lunch -- sushi is my usual, thanks Jerry! -- was fabulous! Thanks for yet another wonderful time!

Tags: kid-friendly, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Cafe Japengo doesn't hold a candle to MauiJapengo

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on February 16, 2016

One of the finest meals we had in Maui was at Japengo at the Hyatt Regency, unfortunately this California location did not measure up. We were so excited to see it, we had to try it as we ate at the other location just a month ago. The Clams appetizer and fried rice were not even close to what we remembered. The service was great, the ambiance, a bit dark.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

Calamari salad was the very best!

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on February 11, 2016

Calamari salad was the very best!

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food5
ambience5
service5

GOOD LUNCH LOCATION

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on February 8, 2016

Great place to enjoy lunch although it can be a bit slow if you order sushi. The booths are best as it can be louder out in the open. The food is terrific.

Tags: romantic, great for lunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

Nice ambience, great sushi and good entr ...

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on February 7, 2016

Nice ambience, great sushi and good entrees, fun cocktails. Service is friendly but on the slower side. Fun spot for a date or Friday night out.

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food4
ambience4
service3

Not impresed, more of a disappointment.

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on February 7, 2016

I want to thank you for contacting us and get our feed back.

I want to start with a negative feedback, we didn't have a good experience @ Cafe Japengo restaurant.

My husband and I ordered sushi and inside one of one of his rolls the fish still had a piece of fish bone, he bit into it. He pocked himself while chewing it.

My husband told me about it, I just advised him to let our server know, maybe they can make him a new roll... but to our surprise.. She wasn't helpful at all, this was her response.

" yeah that's bone.. I happens more than you think."

I said really? I have been to many sushi restaurants and I have never had that happen to me-us.

then she replied "that's how you know your fish is fresh" My husband and I were shocked.. there was silence.... she smiled, turned around and left our table.

very disappointed.

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food2
ambience1
service1
value1

Highly Recommended!

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on February 5, 2016

I looked for reviews online for a great Sushi spot and much to my surprise we found a gem! Excellent vibe, excellent service, and yes, the food was outstanding! You won't be disappointed! Prices were on point, which in my opinion, exceeded expectations!

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Slow food service

 
 (Palm Springs)
·Dined on January 21, 2016

As always, great food. Service was slow.... meaning the food takes a bit too long after order is placed.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

Consistently Great

vip
 (San Diego)
·Dined on January 19, 2016

I am a regular at Japengo for both lunch and occasionally dinner. Usually I have sushi, which is consistently excellent. This time we shared the barbecued tofu salad (outstanding!!) and the seared ahi salad (also terrific). The tofu in particular was outstanding and unless you are a big eater the salad is enough for a light lunch for two.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Outstanding all the way around!! N

vip
 (New England)
·Dined on January 19, 2016

This place was phenomenal, the service was impeccable and the food quality was outstanding! There is such a variety to pick from and the portion size makes it perfect to do tapas, I would go back here in a minute!!! Next visit to San Diego this is a staple!!!!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

If you love great sushi, this is the pla ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on January 17, 2016

If you love great sushi, this is the place to go. The price is well worth it! The service is outstanding. Solomon is the best sushi chef around! If you sit at the sushi bar, request him. All the chefs are good, but Solomon, in my opinion, is tops! Full bar with a variety of meals so come hungry. The best sushi is San Diego by far!!!

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food5
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service5

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