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Hotaru Japanese Restaurant

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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 25 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 8
  • 10
    Very good
  • 5
  • 1
  • 1
Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    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
Ardmore, Pennsylvania
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25 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
146 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2015

The fish is always super fresh here and you get great traditional food as well. I personally love the curry croquettes and their Hotaru roll.

Thank MSDN02
Level Contributor
173 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 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 

1 Thank Bob G
Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
42 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 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.

1 Thank Ardmora
Millville, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 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.

Thank Eric L
Level Contributor
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.

Thank jayuinhan
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 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 

Thank Ken P
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
605 reviews
360 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 295 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 

Thank travelmeisteren
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
60 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 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 

Thank Urban_Ursine
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!

Thank leenonme l
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
48 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 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.

Thank californiagirl1014

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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
11:30 am - 9:30 pm
11:30 am - 9:30 pm
11:30 am - 9:30 pm
11:30 am - 9:30 pm
11:30 am - 9:30 pm
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
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?