This has been my favorite Japanese restaurant in the Bay Area since they were a tiny, little Shinjuku-esque cafe down the street on B St. in the 80's. For the real Japanese connoisseur, this is the place. No thick syrupy sauces on the Agedashi Dofu as non-Japanese owned Japanese restaurants prepare, nor those funky, wild & crazy sushi rolls. But instead, real Japanese-style Japanese food. Where else can you find ODEN? And the Japanese appetizer list is as good as it gets. I think they even have salmon ochazuke!
IMO, the best Japanese in San Mateo. Fresh and interesting sushi, good hot side items (seaweed and spinach salads; agedashi tofu), excellent tempura. This has become our regular destination.
Usually at least half the customers are Japanese speakers: a strong indicator.
I'm a big fan of a Japanese restaurant one block over, but Kisaku is starting to win me over. The sushi is great (had the chirashi last time); the service is on top of things; the environment is simple, comfortable and not crowded; and the prices aren't bad at all. Definitely a place to come back to....
there's a lot of Jap in SM, but this one actually operated by Japanese people so food are presented in traditional japenese pride way. Everything is above average although the price might be a bit higher, esp. when comparing with next door neighbor, but it's worth it!
Recommend: sashimi, tempura, dinner combo
If you are looking for the freshest fish in town, look no further than Kisaku. My family has been going here for years and while it ain't the cheapest sushi in town, it's definitly the freshest. There are plenty of cheap, mediocre sushi restaurants in town and if that's your thing then you got lots to choose from! But if you're looking for quality, Kisaku is where it's at.