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/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

Restaurant Photos

Steamed Thai Basil Clams
Curry Dusted Calamari
Pometini
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
Sushi And Duck Rolls
Protein Roll N More
Edemame
Chocolate Brulee With Ginger Whip
Vietnamese Pork With Glass Noodles
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

4.5

service

4.4

ambience

4.3

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

93% 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 (26)
Great for Lunch (25)
Good for Groups (25)
See All
Special Occasion (25)
Neighborhood Gem (15)
Hot Spot (14)
Romantic (8)
Vibrant Bar Scene (8)
Great for Outdoor Dining (5)
Late-night Find (3)
Kid-friendly (3)
Great for Brunch (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Good for Birthdays (1)
Creative Cuisine (1)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Vegan (1)
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806 reviews
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Very high quality sushi, skilled chefs, ...

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

Very high quality sushi, skilled chefs, beautiful presentation.

Tags: Disabled Access, Quick Bite, Good Vegetarian Options, Tapas, Healthy, Authentic, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wrote privately to the restaurant after ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

Wrote privately to the restaurant after an unfortunate food poisoning to both myself and my dinner companion on August 19th.....I would have expected an immediate response from Cafe Japengo, especially for a regular customer of 20+ years....but no response now 6 days later, so perhaps a public review will elicit a response and, more importantly, remediation for whatever caused the food poisoning

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food1
ambience4
service4
value3

Great food as always. We've been coming ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

Great food as always. We've been coming here for 15 years. A bit pricey just for sushi.

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Seasonal, Worth the Drive, Fireplace, Bar Seating, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Menu has changed. We have been eating he ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

Menu has changed. We have been eating here since it opened. Curry calamari was best in San Diego; now a pale image of what it once was. Tough and lacking in sweetness. Rolls and sushi are OK but not exceptional. We will not be back anytime soon.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

Cafe Japengo is a top spot for lunch. T ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

Cafe Japengo is a top spot for lunch. The crowd is buzzing and the food is consistently good. At dinner time the restaurant tends to be a lot less crowded. The acoustics aren't great though so the restaurant is noisy even with only a few people. Waitress wasn't helpful at all in estimating amount of food needed for the table/ sushi so we ended up with a lot of extra.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

Cafe Japengo is a classic. They are stil ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Cafe Japengo is a classic. They are still around for a reason and that has to be the sushi. It is really good. The menu items other than sushi are also excellent, so for me, what keeps people coming back is the food.

The ambiance is also great. But it is not the first time that the staff ruins our dinner.

The hostesses make it as hard to get a seat at a booth as hard as getting a front row ticket to a concert and the waiters are rude and condescending. We almost feel we don't want to come back so as not to get that kind of service again.

It is too bad because we have been customers since the early 90"s. So nearly two decades.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food4
ambience3
service1
value2

Ooooh, it was so good. I followed sushi ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Ooooh, it was so good. I followed sushi chef Dominic all the way from New Mexico to eat here.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We hadn't been to Cafe Japengo for a lon ...

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

We hadn't been to Cafe Japengo for a long time and went spur of the moment. Not only was our meal excellent, but the service from Alex was superb. We started with a sushi roll and the Shishito peppers; I had the Char Siu Duck Breast and my husband had the butterfish. My duck was perfectly cooked (medium rare) and tender, and the accompanying vegetables were terrific. It was such a large portion that I brought almost half of the duck and vegetables home. It was served with steamed buns, and Alex gave us extras to go with the leftovers. I'd order that again anytime!

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

My husband and I eat fairly regularly at ...

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

My husband and I eat fairly regularly at Cafe Japengo and the food is consistently good and the service is most always excellent. It is not inexpensive though. I highly recommend it.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Good for Groups
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food5
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service5
value3

Fantastic sushi restaurant - excellent f ...

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

Fantastic sushi restaurant - excellent food and service.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Late-night Find
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I've enjoyed Cafe Japengo on numerous oc ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

I've enjoyed Cafe Japengo on numerous occasions, both for dinner and happy hour. The bar and outdoor area is hip spot for happy hour, especially for professionals working in the area. The dining in the back is more subdued and was quiet when we were there. Though there were a couple of families with young children, I would probably not bring my kids here. It was great for a romantic date night for me and my husband. The service and food were excellent and they even treated us to dessert as I told them it was our anniversary when I made the reservation. All in all an excellent experience and I highly recommend this place.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I have bin dining in cafe Japengo for m ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on July 28, 2016

I have bin dining in cafe Japengo for more less 20 years,always very quality food

Tags: Kid-friendly, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

We had eaten in Japengo in Maui and love ...

 
 (San Diego)
·Dined on July 27, 2016

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, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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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, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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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

We had the most incredible waitress. Ver ...

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

We had the most incredible waitress. Very attentive, informative and friendly. Definitely will be back.

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food5
ambience3
service5

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
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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, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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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
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service4
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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!

vip
 (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

As always, the sushi here is one of the ...

vip
 (New England)
·Dined on March 22, 2016

As always, the sushi here is one of the best! The sushi bar is the best place to eat.

Tags: Good for Groups, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Kid-friendly
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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

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