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Hotaru Japanese Restaurant

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Get directions
33 E 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401-4010
(650) 343-1152
Today
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Thu 11:30 am - 9:30 pm
Fri - Sat 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Lunch

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 24 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 7
    Excellent
  • 10
    Very good
  • 5
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    3 of 5 stars
Bento Box

I ordered the Unagi bento box....loved it! It came with fresh salad and I love their dressings! This is a small restaurant, try to go early for lunch otherwise, you have to wait.

4 of 5 starsReviewed November 9, 2014
Ardmora
,
Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Good for:
  • Families with children
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24 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Valencia
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2014

I found this place on the internet and it was everything the reviews said. There are a lot of Japanese restaurants in San Mateo, but most had a few customers, this one had a line out the door and a clipboard on the wall to sign in. It was great talking to people in line and how often they came... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2014

I ordered the Unagi bento box....loved it! It came with fresh salad and I love their dressings! This is a small restaurant, try to go early for lunch otherwise, you have to wait.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Millville, New Jersey, United States
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Excellent authentic sushi in San Mateo, CA. I enjoyed our dining experience here and would most certainly go again.

Was this review helpful? Yes
SF
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

overall it's okay. a friend of mine recommended here that has a nice bento box. i have visited three times here so far, but found most of foods are very salty. there is a long line of waiting on friday night and weekends, but it wouldn't be that popular.

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

Fresh sushi with large cuts of fish. Had the combo of soba noodles with a chirashi and must say it is some of the best I have had lately. The portion was definitely adequate and my friend had the sushi sampler. Friendly server who made recommendations and also kept out tea cups filled without asking. We ordered a bento box... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany
Top Contributor
490 reviews 490 reviews
295 restaurant reviews
265 helpful votes 265 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

I met my wife and in-laws here for dinner. Their food and sushi were both quite good. It's a small place with little ambiance but the food is good. I'm not a huge fan of Japanese (but do love sushi) so I'm not sure how often I'd return. Service was great and pretty quick. And they serve a couple different... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Expect long waits at this popular small restaurant with spartan furnishings and closely set tables. Many families with one well behaved small child eating dinner; however, larges parties would do not well here. The service was excellent: very attentive and very patient with the elderly and the very young. The food is quite good and the prices are very reasonable... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
san mateo, c
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

Horrible. Overcharged my credit card by adding an extra $1 for tip. Very shady!! Avoid this crappy place!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

My husband ordered the sukiyaki and said it was the best he ever had. Even better than the one in New York. I had the sobo noodle with chicken and egg. Really good. Price is decent.

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

We are regulars at Hotaru. We love the Dragon Roll, Udon Special, Combination plates, Chicken Karaage. Servers are very friendly and helpful. Come early as there is usually a line for lunch and dinner. Somewhat noisy but hey, everyone is enjoying themselves and the food.

Was this review helpful? Yes

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 33 E 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401-4010
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Mateo
  • Phone Number: (650) 343-1152

Price and Cuisine

  • Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi, Vegetarian

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Families with children
Open Hours
Sunday
11:30 am - 9:30 pm
Monday
11:30 am - 9:30 pm
Tuesday
11:30 am - 9:30 pm
Wednesday
11:30 am - 9:30 pm
Thursday
11:30 am - 9:30 pm
Friday
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday
11:30 am - 10:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Hotaru Japanese Restaurant staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?