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Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

CUISINES
Japanese, Asian, Sushi
Meals
Dinner, Lunch
FEATURES
Seating, Takeout, Table Service
Reviews (21)
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2
15
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LanguageEnglish
Traveler rating
2
15
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1
0
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Reviewed September 24, 2019 via mobile

Dont get the calamari roll. Tuna is my fav and it was okay. I wont go back. But filled my belly. Plus they dont have mochi.

Date of visit: September 2019
Helpful?2  
Reviewed March 2, 2018 via mobile

A low key place both from their store front to inside. Surprise to find a train running on a track around the top of the restaurant. Good selection and lots of varieties of cooked food and sushi/sashimi. Price is reasonable and friendly staff.

Date of visit: March 2018
Helpful?
Reviewed December 19, 2017

When I'm craving sushi but not wanting to wait 45 minutes at Sushi Sam's Edomata, my friends and I come here to satisfy our food desire for tasty and comforting Japanese food. We've been working our way through the extensive menu, and we always come...back to the Crazy Horse and the Crazy Monkey rolls--or basically anything spicy with mounds of shredded jalapenos. Our favorite is a special cooked sushi roll of salmon, spicy mayo and teriyaki, served in the aluminum foil it's broiled in--so unctuous and so delicious.More

Date of visit: December 2017
Helpful?
Reviewed August 25, 2016

Some restaurants claim to be Japanese restaurants but are usually own and operated by non-Japanese serving food that isn’t quite authentic Japanese. My mom who immigrated from Japan over 50 years ago enjoys coming here. It doesn’t have the crowds like at the other popular...Japanese restaurant with a Zagat award which I won’t name. My mom prefers this one as it is usually quiet on the nights I take her here. There is a large selection of dishes you can order and the quality is very good. My wife and I have taken mom here for lunch and dinner and we always enjoy our meals here. The atmosphere is pleasant and mom says the food is “Oishi” (delicious). Coming from an elderly Japanese mom, that’s better than any award a Japanese restaurant can get.More

Date of visit: August 2016
Helpful?
Reviewed May 27, 2016

We came here on a Friday night and the restaurant was totally full. We got seated quickly (within 2 min), but it took over 30 min to wait for a sushi deluxe. That is horrible. Every time we asked about it, they said it took...time to prepare for so much food and it was almost ready. So maybe you should try to go there on weekdays when it is not so busy or just do not order a sushi deluxe or something alike. After all, the food is good actually.More

Date of visit: May 2016
Helpful?
Reviewed July 26, 2015

Downtown San Mateo - and I refer exclusively to the 5-block area west of Central Park - is a huge hub of ethnic restaurants with Japanese cuisine being one of the most dominant. The place is teeming with foodies from all over the world who...have their own particular preferences. If a restaurant wants to succeed here, it can only be first-rate - not in its decor, but its food. That's where Izakaya Mai manages very well. You won't find any tatami matted rooms or shoji screens; in fact very little of its interior will tell you that it is a Japanese restaurant. I had grilled saba at the time of my visit which was authentically prepared and very tasty. We had a tako-shumai appetizer which was disappointing though: it was served late and the taste and texture were bland. Nonetheless, I give it a good review as the rest of the meal went well, with prompt service (and a complimentary green tea ice cream at the end!). The place is very popular so I can easily see these guys thriving here for the long haul.More

Date of visit: July 2015
Helpful?
Reviewed March 8, 2015

This place is really good, nothing pops out as great, but everything was good. No problems at all. If you do go here make sure you write you name on the board, it is on the right side of the wall as you walk in....When I was there, I seen a few people get skipped because they did not know that they needed to do this. Enjoy the food should you visit. I am sure you will return.More

Date of visit: March 2015
Helpful?
Reviewed October 23, 2014

This place is open late most nights of the week, so it's great for that late-night snack you're craving. It features lots of small plates, and it's not your typical sushi place, that's what makes it so good.

Date of visit: October 2014
Helpful?
Reviewed September 2, 2014

Went here this past Saturday. I was S T A R V I N G. It was late, after 10 PM. The food was okay and the service WAS pretty good... that is, until we were done with our meal. During the meal the servers...shared service and refilled our waters before the madness ensued. They gave us boxes for our leftovers and a plastic bag. We waited and WAITED for at least 20, maybe 30 minutes for our check. In that time frame, they brought us the check and credit card for another table. In the main room, there was only about 3 other parties eating... one single at the bar and two other couples so they were NOT busy. That being said, there was NO excuse for their horrible service. I have had my identity stolen - with thousands of dollars in credit being used in my name so if I am understandably paranoid about such things. Had my bf and I been some of those crooked type people, we could have snatched up the other person's credit card and walked out and created some kind of havoc, just because of the servers' incompetence. We had promptly told the server that was not our bill and we waited again for what seemed an eternity. The main server who had been helping us walked by us at least 4 times while we were waiting. In fact everyone walked by us with our food packed, and I was about to fall asleep. OBVIOUSLY we were done with our meal but no one bothered to check if we needed anything. I assumed they knew we were waiting but I finally I blurted out that we were still waiting for our check. They asked, "oh you didn't get your check?" DUH, we returned the other check that mistakenly came to us like over 15 minutes ago. Then they figured out that they gave our bill to the other couple who ended up paying our bill. So not only an error for us but for the other couple as well? And you weren't even busy??? Give me a break. They had to fix their check and give us ours. They finally gave us our check and I tipped them a whopping 10% off the bill less the $.50 charge for the to-go boxes and bag, that they failed to mention to us. Now that I think about it I shouldn't have given them any tip. Anyway, I frequent many restaurants and I was just so disgusted at the poor quality of service and organization here. There was no accountability and with the small amount of patrons at that given time, there was NO excuse. I will NOT be returning and I recommend you take your appetite elsewhere where they no how to run a proper business and make better food worth writing about.More

Date of visit: August 2014
Helpful?
Reviewed April 23, 2014

I'm no expert on Japanese food, but my party certainly left well-fed (maybe too much) and happy. We went on a Sunday evening around 8pm, when the wait for a table was minimal. The ambiance suited the sharing of small plates--cozy and lively, like what...you would find in a local secret on a side street in Tokyo. We had a selection of grill plates (beef tongue!), tempura (good job with the shrimp), sushi (ok, nothing special), rice bowl and udon bowl. I liked that we had a choice between regular sized and mini-sized bowls, so that we had real estate to spare for sampling the other dishes. Choosing was hard and mandates a follow-up trip to sample the other delectables on the menu. They even offered "onigiri", which I realize is meant for breakfast, but I can eat sticky rice and seaweed any time of day, and you had a choice of traditional nori-wrapped or grilled. For a lighter dessert, we walked/waddled over to Bambu for exotic fruit drinks.More

Date of visit: April 2014
Helpful?
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Frequently Asked Questions about Izakaya Mai

  • Yes, Izakaya Mai offers takeout services.

  • Yes, Izakaya Mai offers delivery services.

  • Izakaya Mai is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
    • Food: 4
    • Service: 4
    • Value: 4
    • Atmosphere: 3.5