Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.03mi
  2. Distance: 0.51mi
  3. Distance: 0.56mi
  4. Distance: 0.76mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.03mi
  2. Distance: 0.51mi
  3. Distance: 0.56mi
  4. Distance: 0.76mi

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
View Larger Map

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

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

89% would recommend it to a friend

Business Meals (20)
Good for a Date (19)
Casual (18)
See All
Good for Birthdays (16)
Creative Cuisine (16)
Neighborhood Gem (14)
Bar Seating (12)
Fit for Foodies (11)
Special Occasion (11)
Quiet Conversation (9)
Worth the Drive (9)
Good for Groups (8)
Great for Lunch (8)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Happy Hour (7)
Hot Spot (7)
Quick Bite (6)
Tapas (6)
Authentic (5)
Fun (4)
Comfort Food (4)
Great for Outdoor Dining (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Cozy (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Notable Wine List (3)
Spicy (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Romantic (3)
Vegan (3)
Open Kitchen (3)
People Watching (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Modern Decor (3)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Local Ingredients (2)
Great Beer (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Scenic View (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
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994 reviews
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vip
 (San Diego)·Dined 4 days ago

have had much better service experiences here previously, our server didn't know the menu and service was very slow. maybe just an off day. food and space is usually reliably good.

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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined 5 days ago

I come to Cafe Japengo all the time for their HH, which runs from 4-7pm, everyday. It's crowded to be sure to get there early.
They have the best HH menu, it's the same food as in the main dining room, and same portion size, but it's 1/2 off. Great beers on tap for $5.
It's a real full meal, you won't leave hungry.

Tags: Bar Seating, People Watching, Comfort Food, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined 6 days ago

Cafe Japengo is a long standing "go to'. Sushi is consistently fresh and creative. Love this place!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Tapas, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Lunch, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 13, 2017

Went for dinner before heading to a play because we've enjoyed this restaurant since 1997. The dishes are creative and delicious Asian fusion. OpenTable has space for comment in your reservation so I wrote that it was our 28th wedding anniversary, but apparently they don't read the comments since no one even mentioned it while we were there. Perhaps because it was a same day reservation?
We had a booth, but they keep the lights so low that we had to hold up our menus in the light from the door to read them. The wooden table felt a bit sticky which was a little off putting.
Finally the waiter kept coming over too often to try and clear the table. We resorted to lingering with hands over dishes and glasses to prevent him from taking things before we were done.
Food and dessert was great, but service and ambiance could be improved.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (México)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Pésimo servicio, muy poco personal para atender y los meseros desconocen las bebidas y alimentos que el restaurante ofrece

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food4
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 6, 2017

We always can count on a GREAT EXPERIENCE at Cafe Japengo! Wonderful evening with out of town (European) guests and their first time at a sushi bar. Kudos to chef, Mark, for his interest in our party and the conversation.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Vegan
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 1, 2017

Cafe Japengo has been my go to place. Good quality sushi and rolls.
They have a great HH menu, good selection and portion. Best part, their HH doesn't end til 7pm.
The dining room is nice and quiet, intimate.
Consistent good food

Tags: Business Meals, Bar Seating, Happy Hour, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Key West)·Dined on July 30, 2017

Great sushi, attentive staff, would reccomend for date or groups

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Disabled Access, Good for Groups, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 28, 2017

Japengo never disappoints. Our waiter was James. He was outstanding.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Quick Bite
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on July 27, 2017

Food came out VERY slowly but the waiter and quality of food was excelllent.

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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on July 23, 2017

Food was pretty good. The service however was extremely slow. We are the type to take our time to enjoy our dinner and experience but even with that we found ourselves clock watching after awhile. Drinks took 15 min to get, food over 30 minutes. Server rarely came around to check on us.

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food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 22, 2017

Want good sushi that's fancy but not too expensive but yummy at the same time- Go to Cafe Japengo! Ambiance was fantastic!

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 21, 2017

Asian fusion and sushi bar...nice UTC location. Food is good and rolls from sushi bar were full and tasty. Have gone often since it opened in this location...will go again.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Casual, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 17, 2017

We had to ask for service... Food was good, There was very few people in the restaurant so it was a little disappointing to have to ask for our order to be taken

Tags: Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 17, 2017

Wonderful Experience. Enjoyed it alot.

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food5
ambience5
service5

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

I ordered the multi-ingredient fried rice main course which was hot and plentiful, but in which were some shrimp that had been around for a while - not pleasant. My dining partner ordered the seared scallops which were inedible. They were soggy, and probably had been frozen, thawed and refrozen. Very disappointing, especially at $35! The vegetables on which the scallops sat had absolutely no flavor. For a restaurant that features a number of seafood items on its menu, the quality of the seafood we were served was extraordinarily poor. Would not recommend, and probably won't return.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

vip
 (New England)·Dined on July 14, 2017

Hands down Melissa is the best server I have ever had.... You would think I have been there 500 times with the way she remembered every detail from what I like and didn't like. I will go back over and over! Food is amazing , CRISPY rice!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on July 14, 2017

We came for the sushi at happy hour. It was really good.

Tags: Casual, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch, Fun, Special Occasion, Happy Hour, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Tahoe)·Dined on July 11, 2017

Happy hour specials were amazing! Food was exceptional, would definitely return

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 10, 2017

It is regrettable that Japengo is surviving on their early reputation. The variety of available raw fish is very sparse, very limited and while it meets the standard of "fresh", it lacked the taste and texture of fresh caught and delivered.
Surimi is automatically served in Spider Rolls and other Rolls unless the customer asks in advance for real Crab.
The Tempora arrived with each item including the Shrimp

Service was attentive, professional ,timely and unobtrusive throughout our dining. HUZZA!
PhilC

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food1
ambience2
service5
value1

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 6, 2017

Best sushi I've ever experienced. A little pricey, but worth it

Tags: Comfort Food, Spicy, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Authentic, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 6, 2017

One of my favorite dining places when visiting San Diego. Creative and expertly prepared food. Service was efficient, professional, and friendly - and the recommendations were spot on. Convenient parking below, easily accessible from the interstate, comfortable ambiance. Highly recommend Cafe Japengo for business meals ... Qualcomm is just up the road!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 30, 2017

Food and service was really good. Everything arrived fast.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 13, 2017

Went for Tuesday night sushi. Excellent nigiri and rolls. Service friendly and prompt. Noise level reasonable. Lovely evening

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Kansas City)·Dined on June 7, 2017

Sat at the sushi bar and had a great experience. I will be back.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on June 7, 2017

The miso soup was the best I have ever had. The tuna in the tuna roll was "mealy" almost like it had gone through a meat grinder. Sent it back.

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food2
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 7, 2017

Delicious! It took a really long time to get our food though.

Tags: Good for Groups, Business Meals, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 6, 2017

The food and service here was outstanding. Along with a traditional menu, there is a great selection of sushi

Tags: Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 3, 2017

My wife and I are always looking for something good before going to the La Jolla Playhouse. Café Japengo was both good and convenient--right across the street from our hotel. From the wine list to the menu, we were pleasantly surprised and the value was exceptional. The oyster appetizer was out of this world. Both the presentation and the taste were spot on for our two entrees: the fried rice and divers' scallops. Special honors go the soups: the tomatillo was filled with spice, consistency and flavor. We went off to see "Escape to Margaritaville" with a totally satisfied feeling.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 2, 2017

Food was very flavorful. I had the moonfish which was wonderful. My daughter had the bento box which was very good but perhaps too much variety and should have stuck with an Asian theme. She liked it nonetheless
I did think the kids dessert was huge and although fabulous lava cake, would recommend smaller portions for children.

Tags: Business Meals, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on June 1, 2017

Wasn't that great. The sushi rolls fell apart, way overpriced. Not creative with the sushi rolls.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on May 30, 2017

Always good for a business meal. You can choose to dine slowly or quickly if you don't want to spend too much time with your guests

Tags: Business Meals, People Watching, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great Beer, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

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

This was about the 3rd time we were there and this time was probably our least favorite. It was pretty upsetting when we got home and discovered they charged a tip onto the bill and did not make us aware of it and my husband had added on another one. It was taken off but only after we got home and found this out. Quite upsetting! They should of made us aware of this immediately. It left a terrible impression and we will not be back.

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food4
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 22, 2017

Been coming here for years with anytime I am in San Diego on business or vacation. The sushi is outstanding. This visit felt no warmth in the place as far as the staff went--maybe it was just an off night. Would still go back on a future visit.

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food5
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on May 22, 2017

Met my friend's for lunch on monday afternoon. It was really good choice my one friend hadn't been there in 20 years but was glad that I selected the location because of the fresh food and the variety of options between all of us. I am vegetarian and was easily accommodated with the tofu salad and my friend had the duck salad which she raved about and it was quite ample amount of food. I will go there again although the service was a little slow probably because we are having lunch later in the day but it was just a little bit slow.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating, Healthy, Great for Lunch, Gluten Free Options, Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options, Vegan, Cozy, Good for a Date, People Watching, Fun, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Scenic View, Quick Bite
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 13, 2017

Everything is always consistent. Sushi is excellent and their specialty friend rice is one dish we always order.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on May 13, 2017

Disappointed with the decor. I expected a nicer place.

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food3
ambience2
service4
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on May 13, 2017

Foods are great, lots of different choices. Sushi and Sashimi are very freshly made.

Tags: Casual, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 13, 2017

Mothers Day

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Tapas, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on May 13, 2017

Great food and service.

Tags: Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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