If you crave excellent teriyaki delights, then this is the place for you. It specializes in teriyaki and the spare ribs are locally famous. Also try ... More
Minato Japanese Restaurant
If you crave excellent teriyaki delights, then this is the place for you. It specializes in teriyaki and the spare ribs are locally famous. Also try the Teriyaki Mackerel or the Salmon. The decor is traditionally Japanese and the gracious and efficient waitresses are an added bonus. Lunch plates go for less than $10, and there are a variety of steamer baskets and donburi bowls. A pleasant and playful atmosphere predominates.
This is the best Japanese restaurant I have ever been to thus far, and can't find a single complaint to write...nothing else compares to it, period. My wife has gone there for years and introduced me to it back in '09, glad she did! The owner, Gene, is a cool guy, and the service at his restaurant is second to none.
As with just about any restaurant of this caliber, whether Asian or not, expect to pay a little bit for the food, but this place is certainly not overpriced by any means, especially by San Jose standards.
I've never, ever been into eating raw fish...raw anything, for that matter. Seeing it at other places just makes me cringe usually, but the last time we were there my wife ordered the Tuna Sashimi (as usual)...I decided I'd give it a try, and it was actually good! Even foods I don't like are good at Minato Japanese Restaurant...a mandatory five-star rating from us!
Having eaten at a lot of good Japanese restaurants, I was very disappointed at the selection and quality of food served at Minato Japanese Restaurant. If you're looking for good sushi, this is certainly not the place to go to. I searched the entire menu for sushi and found it on one quarter of a page of the menu. I was so surprised at their limited selection that I kept flipping the pages, thinking that I would find another menu somewhere else. We were able to order about 4 rolls (california roll, hamachi roll, eel roll, and spicy tuna roll), and were not at all impressed with the taste or quality of those items when they came out. We also ordered the barbecue ribs appetizer and that was bland as well. About the only thing they did adequately was the shrimp tempura, though you can't really mess that up. The rolls were bland and when I ordered the eel roll, I had expected more than just eel and seaweed and rice...a little more creativity could not have hurt. The only sashimi they offered were hamachi and maguro. For those who do not like sushi, this may be the place for you. Judging from the lack of flavor on all of the items we ordered, I'm not sure how much better the other items on the menu could be. I think this place may be okay if you work around the area and wanted a quick bite during lunch, but it is definitely not the kind of place you'd want to take your date on or for any special occasions. It is never a good sign when you have to apologize to your dinner date for taking them to that restaurant, which is exactly what happened when we left the restaurant. When we got home, we had some dessert to cleanse our palate of Minato. If you happen to be in Japantown and wanted to try one of the restaurants there, I'd recommend trying any of the other restaurants there, unless you're a glutton for punishment. Dinner there for two people cost us over $50, and this did not include tips. I say if you're going to spend that much money for bad food, you could spend the same amount or a little more for really good food. Some restaurants thoughtlessly spit out their menus, hoping to get enough clients who wouldn't be able to tell the difference between good food and bad food. Others put energy and creativity, and most importantly, love into their entrees and it shows the minute you try one of their items. If you want real sushi, I recommend Kirala in Berkeley or AngelFish in Alameda. Even if you aren't really big into sushi, they have a wide selection of other entrees on their menu that would leave you wanting more.
I go to Minato mostly because it's close to where I work. I always order the same Bento Box - Spicy chicken, shrimp tempura and tuna sashimi. They don't serve a large variety of sashimi but the tuna is pretty fresh. They open at 11:15 am, so if you can't make it there prior to 11:30 on a Friday, be prepared to wait ............
Great service, great food, great prices, what more do you want?
There is likely to be a line by the door, but seating is usually pretty quick. This place is busy for a reason. Scores of loyal customers come back again; you can tell by how they chat with the owners.
The place is not fancy as far as ambiance goes, but it is not a dump either. I consider myself picky when it comes to Japanese food and I really enjoyed Minato.
I don't live in San Jose, but some friends used to, and they suggested this place. I will now go there whenever I'm in town on business.
I was told this was good food. It was ok, I had better. However, after reading a previous review about hot chicks, they did in fact have cute waitresses. Japanese women, in little shorts.. Loved it.. The Hostess was a hottie too.. I won't take a date, but I will go back with some friends...
Minatos is fresh and delicious. The Teryaki ribs are always tender, sweet and tangy. I have never tasted sushi fantastic. The shrimp tempura rolls ar crisp and you really do have a taste of all the ingredients. I always recomend Minatos! too bad they are closed sunday & mondays!
Everbody in our family enjoys the friendly service, quality ingedients, quick preparation, & fair prices associated with Minato's. We love the fresh Sashimi, Saba & Beef Chosen yaki. Although it's a small space, it's definitely worth the wait. Minato's is a great bargain & keeps local patrons coming back for more.
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