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Hotaru Japanese Restaurant

33 E 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401-4010
(650) 343-1152
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Ranked #139 of 354 restaurants in San Mateo
Cuisines: Japanese, Vegetarian
Good for: Families with children
Most recent review
- Jan 30, 2014
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
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21 reviews from our community

66% Recommend
    5
    9
    5
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
SF
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 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.

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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 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

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Kaiserslautern, Germany
Top Contributor
412 reviews 412 reviews
235 restaurant reviews
216 helpful votes 216 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

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Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
22 helpful votes 22 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

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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!

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Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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.

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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
39 helpful votes 39 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.

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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

What can we say? We come here almost every weekend. The sushi is absolutely fresh. We usually have the Udon Special or Karaage special. Check out the Dragon Roll. Restaurant is always crowded. Lots of locals eat here....with a lot of Asian patronage. Always a good sign of authentic ethnic food. Highly recommended. But don't come when we do, because... More

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Monterey, CA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2011

We didn't realize there were SO many Japanese restaurants in downtown San Mateo. But from reading some reviews, we chose this place. And we felt that it must have been a good choice because this place seemed to be nearly full of people, whereas others were not. They had some interesting combination dinner items, but the food was just average.... More

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Providence, Rhode Island
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2010

Tried Hotaru for dinner one night, and it was so good I was back at lunch the next day. One of the best Japanese restaurants I've been to outside of Japan. Very unfancy, very good. Loved the shrimp soup.

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