About Cafe Japengo

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.

8960 University Center Lane
San Diego, CA 92122
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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: (858) 450-3355

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, 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

Specials

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Specials

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

Tue - Fri 11:00AM - 11:30AM 5:30PM - 6:30PM 8:30PM - 9:30PM

Sat 5:30PM - 6:30PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM

Cafe Japengo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (13)
Great for Lunch (9)
Business Meals (8)
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Happy Hour (7)
Quiet Conversation (7)
Hot Spot (7)
Special Occasion (6)
Creative Cuisine (6)
Casual (6)
Worth the Drive (6)
Fun (5)
Authentic (5)
Romantic (5)
Healthy (5)
Modern Decor (5)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Good for Groups (4)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Neighborhood Gem (4)
Bar Seating (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Open Kitchen (3)
Outstanding Value (3)
Family Style (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Good for Birthdays (3)
Organic (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Vegan (2)
Cozy (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Spicy (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Waterfront (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
People Watching (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Dining Occasion:
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The food was great and staff was wonderf ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined 2 days ago

The food was great and staff was wonderful, but they seemed understaffed. The service was a bit slow so could have been a little better but the staff was very friendly.

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food4
ambience3
service3

Very good we enjoy it a lot. Great servi ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

Very good we enjoy it a lot. Great service . It is always nice

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food was excellent. Great waitress. One ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined 3 days ago

Food was excellent. Great waitress. One bad thing... receptionist could have been more friendly.

Tags: Good for a Date, Happy Hour
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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

One of our guests had a nut allergy and ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 12, 2017

One of our guests had a nut allergy and Cafe Japengo was awesome in making accommodations for that. My only issue was the service. Our appetizer was cold and it took us 2 and a half hours to get out of there, which might be a plus for some if you like a slow dining experience. However for me, I would have preferred a little speedier service.

Tags: Special Occasion, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

I will not return, it use to be a great ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 10, 2017

I will not return, it use to be a great choice for Sushi but it is definitely not worth what I spent for our lunch. Very limited menu and no daily specials, waitress was alright but had no explanation for why the menu was so limited and no specials... Kitchen staff was standing around eating in the kitchen as they prepared food...

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food1
ambience3
service2
value1

I had a nice evening with my wife for an ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 9, 2017

I had a nice evening with my wife for an early valentines day. The sushi was good, but they ran out of Uni. We ordered the Peking duck that was cooked to perfection, but the buns were hard as a rock and through the dish off. The server that we had wasn't very welcoming and only smiled at the end when she gave us our check.

Tags: Business Meals, Vibrant Bar Scene, Family Style, Sunday Lunch, Romantic, Quick Bite, Great for Brunch, Happy Hour, Hot Spot
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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

My husband and I enjoyed our dinner and ...

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 5, 2017

My husband and I enjoyed our dinner and our evening there very much. Thank you! We were also impressed that we were seated right away, arriving on time and had made a reservation beforehand. Some restaurants still make you wait.. This irritates my husband. So thank you! And our waitress was wonderful :-)

Tags: Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Valet parking is $9. However, you can dr ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 5, 2017

Valet parking is $9. However, you can drop off and self park at the Hyatt across the plaza and get valadated. The food was very good, drinks reasonable, our server was helpful and attentive. The downside was the environment. It was cold and fairly dark, along with being expensive.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Open Kitchen, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience2
service4
value3

My husband was for a conference in La J ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 29, 2017

My husband was for a conference in La Jolla, we enjoyed a dinner at Japengo 3 times during our weeks stay.

Very good food, excellent service.

When we travel back to La Jolla we certainly go back.

Tags: Open Kitchen, Modern Decor, Authentic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Always a delight. Delicious food, wheth ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Always a delight. Delicious food, whether you like sushi or prefer regularly cooked fare. Service is efficient AND friendly. One of our most favorite restaurants.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Vegan, Good Vegetarian Options, Disabled Access, Authentic, Business Meals, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I like the sushi menu but keep being dis ...

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 27, 2017

I like the sushi menu but keep being disappointed with some of the cooked dishes, such as the house fried rice. Fries are great to.

Will probably go back, but mostly because of location/convenience.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

BEST sushi, BEST server Melissa cant wai ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 25, 2017

BEST sushi, BEST server Melissa cant wait to go back !

Tags: Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our waitress Melissa is the BEST ❤ I hav ...

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 20, 2017

Our waitress Melissa is the BEST ❤ I have a Shellfish allergy of all things to aquire! :( and Melissa was careful and attentive to make sure everything that was brought to our table didn't compromise it. Everything was super delicious! Thank you!

Tags: Healthy, Organic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Quiet Conversation, Paleo Friendly
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This place is routinely excellent. Great ...

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 14, 2017

This place is routinely excellent. Great food, great service. Highly recommended!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Perfect place for a client lunch or busi ...

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 12, 2017

Perfect place for a client lunch or business lunch meeting. Great service and gluten free menu!

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

The Braised Short Ribs are my favorite. ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 1, 2017

The Braised Short Ribs are my favorite. Short Ribs at a sushi bar? That's the best thing about this restaurant. We have fish as appetizer and feast on the meat!

We live in OC but when we stay over in Diego, this is our go to place.

Sushi bar is always busy. Fish fresh and tasty. Our waitress (Jessie) was excellent and knowledgeable.

New Years goodies were handed out and made for a great start of the evening.

Tags: Romantic, Modern Decor, , Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

This is our second time going to cafe ja ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined on January 1, 2017

This is our second time going to cafe japengo. The first time the service was less than good. Melissa was our waitress this time and she was unbelievable. She was upbeat, new the ins and outs of the menu and recommended amazing rolls. Will only go back if we have her!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Great service, excellent food!!

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Great service, excellent food!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Been coming here for years, always love ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 29, 2016

Been coming here for years, always love the food and is a must have when I come home to San Diego. Service was a little slower than usual, was brought two edamames when only needed one.

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food5
ambience3
service3

The food here is very good. One of the ...

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 29, 2016

The food here is very good. One of the nicest sushi places in town. Their specialty rolls are very good. A bit pricey, but nice for business lunch or special occasions.

Tags: Vegan, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

My son compared it to Tao, I've been com ...

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 18, 2016

My son compared it to Tao, I've been coming since 90s now it's my teens fave place❤️

Tags: Business Meals, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Family Style, Happy Hour, Romantic, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A little pricey for what you are getting ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 7, 2016

A little pricey for what you are getting, but not much to eat in this area. Service is always good.

Tags: Casual, Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

The service was exceptional. The time t ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 5, 2016

The service was exceptional. The time to get the food was FAST. Food was great, as always. Thank you.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Family Style, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Waterfront, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Always fresh sushi! Love their caterpil ...

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 2, 2016

Always fresh sushi! Love their caterpillar & rainbow rolls. Nice wines by the glass & drinks.

Some waiters are a bit stand-off-ish but we had one of the bartenders wait on us & she was knowledgeable & personable. Ambiance is nice.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

One of our favorite sushi places in town ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 20, 2016

One of our favorite sushi places in town. Love their spicy tuna!

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is one of the best restaurants in S ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 16, 2016

This is one of the best restaurants in San Diego. The sushi is excellent and their other choices are just as good. San Diego has many great sea food restaurants; Japango provides an excellent alternative. Only thing less than stellar is parking.

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food5
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Bread pudding was bitter. I expected mor ...

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 9, 2016

Bread pudding was bitter. I expected more due to the quality of the rest of the menu. Sushi is great.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

My co-worker and I enjoyed our experienc ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 9, 2016

My co-worker and I enjoyed our experience- Delicious food with friendly and efficient service.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, , Creative Cuisine, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Love love love this place. Always great ...

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 27, 2016

Love love love this place. Always great food and not super noisy, so perfect for business meals.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wow - this place has gone downhill. I s ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 16, 2016

Wow - this place has gone downhill. I should have known when only 1/3 of the restaurant was full on a Saturday night. We had the hot and sour soup (just okay), a sushi roll (average) and a butterfish entree (that the server recommended). I literally took 2 bites of and stopped because it was too fishy (which says a lot since I love sashimi). The quality of the food doesn't compare to the high prices. It's too bad. I used to like this place.

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food1
ambience3
service5
value2

Andrew was an AMAZING waitor...he made o ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 12, 2016

Andrew was an AMAZING waitor...he made our meal special and he was VERY accomodating at every level !!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Good for a Date, Modern Decor, Business Meals, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great experience! We came and didn't eve ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 2, 2016

Great experience! We came and didn't even realize it was all night happy hour (on Saturday!). We had excellent sushi and great service for a reasonable cost. Will definitely be back!

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I felt throughout the meal, we were bein ...

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on October 2, 2016

I felt throughout the meal, we were being rushed. Even though the rest of the restaurant was barely half filled, our section and waiter was intent on reserving his section for a "large party" which did not even arrive until after we were served our meal. I guess, the waiters attempt at speeding us along worked. By the way, the "large group" was only a group of 8.

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food3
ambience3
service1
value3

Solid sushi spot, good service.

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 2, 2016

Solid sushi spot, good service.

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food4
ambience4
service4

Came at a Friday night, welcomed at the ...

 
 (Baja California)·Dined on September 24, 2016

Came at a Friday night, welcomed at the front.

Had to ask to be seated on a more lighted area.

Server was great, highly motivated besides her rasped voice.

Had some sushi, made ready when ordered.

And the food was fantastic.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Creative Cuisine, Modern Decor
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food4
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service4
value4

Great food and outdoor dining. Vibrant c ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 24, 2016

Great food and outdoor dining. Vibrant crowd great menu.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Modern Decor
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food4
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service5
value4

The sushi we ordered took 45 minutes to ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 20, 2016

The sushi we ordered took 45 minutes to be served. I understand that it may be rush hour at 12nn but the restaurant was not too crowded. It was a rainy Tuesday and the service was bad.

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food3
ambience2
service1
value3

Always delicious! Best sushi in San Die ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 20, 2016

Always delicious! Best sushi in San Diego! We've been dining there for years and it is always consistent and wonderful.

Tags: Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

We really loved our server! I believe he ...

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 16, 2016

We really loved our server! I believe her name was Melissa. She was really attentive amd recommended some really good plates

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Went for a last minute "date" night out. ...

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 10, 2016

Went for a last minute "date" night out. We got there early, (7pm), so the happy hour crowd was still there, and they were fairly boisterous, but not annoying. We both liked the music they were playing- current but not hip-hop, and thought it added to the atmosphere.

Our waiter was just okay; not super attentive- but in all fairness, we were ordering a couple of things at a time (sushi, salad, etc)so we did keep him hopping.

We had cocktails- I had the Japengo pear margarita, which I really liked, and my husband had a regular margarita; they were huge, and we were both happy with our choices.

The food was mostly good and fresh including the sushi we ordered. I would not order any roll involving fried shrimp ever again, as the tempura batter was thick and gooey- not at all what I expected (which would be a light batter with panko), but otherwise everything was tasty.

We will definitely go there again, especially when it's a 1000 point choice!

Tags: Casual, Happy Hour, Fun, Gluten Free Options
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food4
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value4

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