On a visit with a friend who lives in the San Joaquin Valley, we chose this nearby place for dinner. Living in the SF Bay Area, Japanese food is always at the top of my list (for flavors and good healthy eating) and have it often.
We both ordered the dinner Bento box. Seemed very inexpensive compared to my usual Japanese restaurant experience. $11.95. Soon discovered why. The food was terrible.
Restaurant was nearly empty and dark inside when we went around 5pm. We were seated right away. Good thing we were next to a window --- otherwise I probably wouldn't have noticed the greasy lipstick print on my water glass. Got a replacement although the waitress ignored us for awhile.
Salad and miso soup were brought next. Soup was OK but the salad was small chunks/leaf parts of pure white iceberg, drowning in dressing. First time I've ever not finished my salad with a Bento order. When my main meal came (ordered BBQ beef ribs and tempura for the two items), the beef was so tough (and looked nothing like ribs), I could not get through it, even after much chewing. After one piece, I sent it back. (That's two send-backs, which I never do, in 15 minutes).
The Bento had 3 gyozas included. They were dripping with grease (which tasted old). I tried one and it had no flavor -- except for the very tough exterior and grease --- so I didn't eat the other two. My dining partner left hers also, due to the grease.
We both had tempura. I've seriously never seen tempura cooked like that. The breading was extremely thick, orange-ish and very greasy -- like having a layer of greasy french fries around the veggies and shrimp. Tempura is supposed to be cooked in a very light batter, which comes out crispy and light in color and is not supposed to be dripping grease. I peeled off all the breading (leaving a huge pile) and found the veggies to be very over-cooked and greasy/squishy ---- not like normal tempura veggies which are crisper and look like vegetables, rather than mush. Being a tempura lover, this was awful.
Got an exchange of salmon teriyaki for the inedible, unchewable beef. Salmon was good.
All in all, the food was the worst I've ever had in a Japanese restaurant. I'd give it a zero. However, two servers did try to help us with the bad beef (probably owners, as our original waitress never returned). I thought it was funny they asked at the end if we wanted a take-out box (for all the peeled off breading and the greasy gyoza). We declined.
The restaurant was nearly full when we left and we noticed most people were ordering the sushi rolls. Guess we should have done that also. Evidently the sushi is what keeps people coming to this place but with their improper cooking/grease/cleanliness issues -- that isn't enough to make me return.