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“Love this place! I stop here every time I am in town for Gator games!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sawamura Japanese Steakhouse

Sawamura Japanese Steakhouse
1624 SW 13th St, Gainesville, FL 32608
352.373.1076
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Ranked #192 of 468 Restaurants in Gainesville
Cuisines: Japanese, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Reservations
Wesley Chapel, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Love this place! I stop here every time I am in town for Gator games!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

My wife and I have been coming here since 1999. We love this place. It is one of the few nice romantic places to dine in Gainesville. I really enjoy all asian foods and this is a fun experience as well. The chefs cook in front of you, and the food has been great every time we go here for dinner. Highly recommend this place if you are in Gainesville, FL! Go Gators!

  • Visited February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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22 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    10
    7
    3
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Gainesville, FL
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2011

Wow! I was a little skeptical when I saw the 4 star average, but I decided to give Sawamura a shot for my birthday dinner. The exterior is very old and has graffiti on the sides. But, I promised not to make any judgements. On the inside, I was impressed. They added a stream and a little bridge on the inside. The inside also is a little worn down, but they spruced it up with Japanese decorations. We were immediately taken to a table in the back. Since we were a party of four, we were joined by another party of two. Once everyone was seated, we were given hot, moist washcloths to wipe our hands with. After looking over the menu, I decided on the Chicken and Steak ($14 or $16, I think). All of their grill entrees include shoyu onion soup, ginger salad, rice, alfalfa sprouts, various vegetables, and your meat of choice. Of course, the grilling presentation itself is a show. Someone in my family told the waiter it was my birthday, so we had the whole shebang. One waitress carried a taiko drum and the other came out with a samurai wig. After snapping my picture, they gave me a cupcake and a free printed-out copy. Overall, it was a fabulous meal.

Tip #1
Like at most Japanese Steakhouses, consider tipping at least 18%. This is because your chef and your waiter split the tip.

Tip #2
Don't get Tempura. That is deep fried, so it isn't cooked on the grill. Not that the tempura is bad or anything, but most of what you pay for is watching the chef cook your food.

  • Visited April 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Good experience, even on Christmas Day!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2010

My wife and I went here for dinner on Christmas Day because almost everything else in town was closed. Fortunately, Sawamura advertised they were open for dinner so we decided to roll the dice. We were prompty directed to one of the tables where the chef cooks in front of you. Food quality is about the same as what you would expect from most Japanese steakhouses (somewhat salty) and the price was fairly standard for the items we ordered. The restaurant itself is old, and could use some cosmetic upgrades, but other than that, I liked it.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Poor excuse for a Japanese Restaurant”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2010

The atmosphere inside is about as bad as it looks from the outside. The food is not at all what we've come to expect from a Japanese restaurant there was no Ginger sauce & the shrimp & chicken were grilled in lemon butter & no egg in the fried rice. Prices are what you'd expect but not worth it. And there was absolutely no entertainment value.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Yummy!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2010

My husband took me to Sawamura on our first date 18 years ago, and we have been going back ever since. The food is amazing and the staff is so nice and professional. New Japanese steakhouses have popped up in the area over the years, but we can't bring ourselves to try anywhere else. We love it so much that recently we went two nights in a row. :)

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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