Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, House of Genji has been serving fresh Japanese fare with flair from its menu of titillating tappan-style dishes (which include soup, salad, vegetables, and rice) and artfully rolled sushi since 1971. Grab a cocktail at the bar and marvel at the chef’s knife skills, flipping finesse, and bold disregard of your mother’s threats to ground him as he playfully executes table tricks and nimbly tosses each succulent morsel onto your plate with bite-sized precision. The tableside entertainment and modern décor make House of Genji an ideal venue for social gatherings, though customers should be aware that a 15% gratuity will be added for parties of seven or more.
Inspired by the incredible flavors served at traditional Japanese festivals, Happi House was founded on the belief that dining out should be happy and festive. Happi House?s founders thought that quick-service restaurants had become predictable and boring, so they set out to expand and upgrade fast food options by offering fresh meals to order and one-of-a-kind teriyaki sauces.
The first Happi House restaurant opened in San Jose?s historic Japantown district in 1976, where its fresh take on fast food was an instant sensation. Over the years, Happi House has grown its distinctive menu while maintaining a commitment to using fresh ingredients delivered daily and food that's grilled to order?never held under heat lamps or served up from a steam table.
Today, Happi House has six locations throughout the Silicon Valley. Bay Area folks can pop into the casual eatery for a tasty bite or grab a jumbo-sized Happi Pak with enough chicken salad, rice, and flame broiled teriyaki to feed the whole gang at home. Must-try items include bone-in teriyaki chicken, Asian chicken salad, and homemade teriyaki sauces in original and spicy flavors, which are available by the bottle.
Inside Santo Market, Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian foods line the shelves, tended to by staffers who can offer up culinary input in English, Chinese, or Spanish. A San Jose staple since 1946, the full service grocery specializes in Asian cuisine. They also serve deli meat and pre-made dishes including homemade Japanese pickles, seafood croissants, and beef teriyaki sandwiches, which guests can enjoy alongside cups of hot coffee and espresso.
Santouka originally made its name in Japan, but the chain has made the jump to the American market—this is one of several California locations. Regulars love the thick, creamy pork tonkotsu ramen, as well as the shop’s location. The eatery is nestled in a Mitsuwa market, ideal for picking up imported Japanese groceries or sake.
Each Yuki Sushi location approaches Japanese cuisine from a different angle. Santa Clara hews to tradition, while Willow Glen takes a modern approach to classics like the California roll, which chefs deep fry and top with spicy crab, salmon, scallops, macadamia nuts, and spicy sauce.
At Sushi Boat Town, patrons watch in awe as chefs carve and roll morsels of shrimp, salmon, and unagi, or whip up hot plates of short ribs, grilled mackerel, and udon soup. Wooden boats laden with freshly sliced tuna, salmon roe, and squid steam past diners at the wraparound sushi bar. Guests can pair their fishy feasts with cups of hot sake and icy Japanese beers on draft.