If you are a Japanese food lover like myself, chances are that you also agree that some of the best Japanese restaurants can be found in the South Bay. Today I would like to focus on introducing Japanese restaurants within the city of San Jose! San Jose is know for a variety of cuisines, but I think that their Japanese cuisine offerings are pretty extraordinary. Here are a list of restaurants that I wanted to highlight and hope that you can visit and experience one day for yourselves!
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
If this is your first time visiting, be sure to note that this Ramen spot is location within the Mitsuwa Marketplace, which is a Japanese Supermarket that is also worth checking out! I remember when I first stumbled upon this ramen spot, the line was ridiculously long (during lunch hours). I later understood why. Not only is their ramen good, it is affordable, fast, and filling! Parking is not hard to find here since Hokkaido Ramen Santouka is located within a shopping plaza, but from what I remember, this place is cash only! Here are serval items I recommend ordering:
1. Miso Ramen: I have always been a fan of the hearty and thick creamy ramen broths. Not only is the miso ramen broth creamy from the tonkotsu, but the broth is blended with akamiso (red miso) for a rich, yet mild flavor profile. It is seriously addicting. There is the option to get this Miso Ramen SPICY as well for those who like the extra kick in their soup broths. I also suggest ordering extra Char Siu (roasted pork slices). It is amazing.
2. Ikura Rice Bowl: I am not sure if this item is a seasonal item or an all year around item, but I remember trying it for the first time and falling in love with the fresh taste of the dish. I hope it is still available when I return post pandemic!
LOCATION: 675 Saratoga Ave San Jose, CA 95129
Oh man, I always battle it out in my mind about choosing to eat between Japanese curry from DEMIYA or delicious miso ramen from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka because they are on the same street! If you drive half a mile down Saratoga St from the Mitsuwa Marketplace, you will see DEMIYA, which is a home made Japanese curry shop! Oh my goodness, I always long to eat a good bowl of comforting curry, but it's so hard to find delicious curry in the states. When I found DEMIYA, I was so excited, and this has then been my favorite curry shop IN THE BAY. Here are some items I highly recommend ordering:
1. Tonkatsu Curry: Oh the tonkatsu (pork cutlet) is cooked to perfection.. I love how the pork cutlet is still thick and juicy while being crispy as well! Many restaurants then to give you heavy breaded pork without the actual protein, but DEMIYA is different. If this is your first time, I really think you would enjoy the Tonkatsu Curry
2. Tegone Cheese in Hamburg Curry: WOW. I cannot hype this curry dish up enough. It is by far my favorite out of all of these curry dishes. I have love for the gooey cheese that smack center in the middle of the beef burger steak patty. Oh man, if you are not in the mood for friend foods but want to indulge in some cheesy goodness. ORDER THIS. I promise you wont regret it.
3. Beef Shabu Shabu Curry: I love this one because it is simple, yet delicious. Thin slices of beef in the curry that is then served with steamed rice and salad. I love this for days that I don't want a heavy curry. The right amount of protein and flavor.
LOCATION: 375 Saratoga Ave Ste G San Jose, CA 95129
Have you ever had Japanese Okonomiyaki? Well well well. Okonomikyaki was a Japanese street food that originated from Osaka, Japan. It is a savory pancake that is made with flour, eggs, shredded cabbage, protein such as a strip of thick sliced bacon or beef, and then it is topped with a variety of condiments such as the sweet and savory okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, dried seaweed, and bonito flakes. I don't encounter many okonomiyaki dishes here in the states, but I was so excited to find that there was a shop in San Jose! Not only does Fugetsu serves delicious Okonomiyaki, but they are converted into a shop that serves other Japanese foods, drinks and snacks! Almost like a mini Japanese combini (convenience store). Here are some items to try if you ever visit:
1. Onigiri: The Japanese rice balls are delicious and affordable. They are also very goof for anyone that wants to eat on the go!
2. Okonomiyaki: This is a given. If you come here, you have to bring home the okonomiyaki with you!
3. Unagi Don: I was a fan of this bowl. The unagi is cooked to perfection and very filling for the price that you pay!
LOCATION: 4342 Moorpark Ave Ste B San Jose, CA 95129
Dan Izakaya Resturant
If you love Japanese style drinks and tapas, then you must pay a visit to Dan Izakaya Resturant. The food quality here is very similar to that of a Japanese Izakaya in Japan. The quality and service from this place is excellent. Here are some items I would recommend ordering if you ever visit:
1. Yaki Onigiri: Oh these are my favorite appetizers! They are cooked to perfection. The yaki onigiri is made with grilled crispy rice balls and then it is stuffed with spicy cod roe also known as mentai. You can also order this item in a set that comes with tamago yaki, takoyaki and grilled shishitos! It's great for sharing.
2. Stone Pot Meshi: I am not sure if the stone pot meshi (rice) option is available for to go but they taste amazing when I had them at the restaurant! You can choose from many toppings and I really enjoyed Ton Meshi (braised pork and poached egg) and the Salmon Ikura Meshi.
3. Clam Ramen: I have never had clam ramen before, and I do not plan on getting it anywhere else but at Dan Izakaya Resturant because it was so good! I don't think it could be beat. The flavors of the broth was so wonderful, and I loved the chewy texture of the ramen noodles.
LOCATION: 1306 Saratoga Ave San Jose, CA 95129