Japanese Food can be found in a variety of venues in town including several restaurants. One of the most common types is sushi.
Sushi (literally "vinegar rice") is a type of Japanese food that is quite popular in Davis. You used to be able to see a line in front of Fuji Chef in the morning before it opened, but the opening of Davis Sushi Buffet a short distance away thinned things out. The California Aggie Marching Band-Uh has a sushi eating challenge. There are many opinions about which sushi restaurant is the best in town. Several of these restaurants offer all-you-can-eat buffets.
- Fuji Chef - Closed. The classic Davis all-you-can-eat sushi lunch buffet. Loud, crowded, popular, and often interminable lines. Very quiet at night, with food quality low to good.
- Huku Japanese Bistro - has a broad menu of non-sushi cooked foods as well. There's a cooler case by the register with takeaway California rolls. Three kinds of miso soup are available.
- I Love Sushi - Located where Sushi Unlimited, Mirai and Tokyo Japanese Restaurant used to be.
- Jusco - Carved niche as "the other buffet" for those impatient for the Fuji line. Low quality sushi, but also offers dinner all-you-can-eat. Decor is vinyl booths in Star-Trek-Counselor-Troi-green-dress green, left over from previous occupant.
- Manna - Actually a Korean restaurant, but offers many Japanese rolls and tempura plates. Decent bargain for meals.
- Mikuni - One of a small chain of trendy Japanese sushi restaurants.
- Moshi Moshi - Second in quality if Zen Toro takes first place, but certainly first in innovative rolls. However, dinners are not cheap and rolls are rather small. Excellent presentation of all dishes, and lunch plates are excellent deals. Sleek, clean dining room.
- Nami Sushi - All-you-can-eat sushi. Items made to order.
- Ohana Hawaiian BBQ - Hawaiian cuisine has been influenced by Japan, and you can see it even at Ohana. Here you can order musubi (Japanese: omusubi AKA onigiri) and chicken katsu (Japanese: torikatsu).
- Sushi Unlimited - Closed.
- Yakitori Yuchan - New Japanese restaurant on E St. that specializes in yakitori (skewered grilled chicken) as well as skewered veggies and seafood. They also have fried riceball (Japanese: yaki-onigiri).
- Zen Toro - A new Japanese restaurant in Mansion Square that offers the best quality fish in Davis, and perhaps the most elegant presentations. However, their side dishes have been noted by some to be borderline unservable.
Japanese Food is of course now also sold in most supermarkets in the form of sushi, nigiri, edamame beans, and gyoza potstickers. At least three of Davis supermarkets make their sushi on location:
- Davis Food Coop - in partnership with Mermaid Sushi - downtown
- Kim's Mart - technically Korean but offers many of the same or very similar foods
- Nugget - North Davis
- Oto's Japan Food - in Sacramento, but nearest store fully dedicated to Japanese goods
- Safeway - South Davis
These markets offer good quality sushi at lower prices than restaurants, without the service.
Although the existing Japanese restaurants of today are centered around sushi along with a few core dishes of Japanese cuisine, Davis was once home to Japanese restaurants that provided more variety:
- Crepe House Uni - A Japanese chain restaurant that offered authentic fast-food favorites rarely found outside of Japan.
- Davis Oshio Cafe - Just off campus, they served Korean food as well as Japanese.
- Kamon - A nice little place that served home-style Japanese food
- Nobu Hiro - This was the restaurant to go for decent Japanese food at a good price. The lunch buffet was cheaper and mostly better quality sushi than Fuji, though far less variety. Like Jusco they also offered dinner all you can eat on weekdays. However, the regular bento dinners and lunch specials were excellent bargains. Far away from campus and downtown, but in return, minimal wait and crowd noise. Erases memories of the old Nobu joint (what poor food it ended up having, despite earlier glories).
- The Ramen House - Similar in food and atmosphere to ramen shops commonly found in Japan, this was a small restaurant dedicated to the famous noodle soup.
- Tokyo Japanese Restaurant - This was possibly the first "real" Japanese restaurant in town.
Popular Food Items Beyond Sushi
Now go eat! You'll need all that mercury and PCB's someday....
Should we just redirect this to Restaurants? Seems like it's already covered. —BrentLaabs
This should be more like Thai Restaurants. —CarlosOverstreet
2005-10-30 22:37:57 I can make you takoyaki...it's not hard —JeffNakamura
2006-02-20 10:33:06 This has more to do with homecooking than eating out. Does anyone know how to make a good Zaru Soba soup base? I can get the noodles, wasabi and nori at the Nugget, but I'm stuck on making the soup base. Also, if there's any local restaurants that serve good Soba, I'd like to know. —GrumpyoldGeek
- Most Asian grocery stores stock zaru soba sauce base which you can dilute to your preference. Try Kim's Mart. -KenjiYamada
Thanks Kenji. Get a chance to try Optimator yet? —GrumpyoldGeek
- Yes I did actually! I liked it but I think I still prefer Sudwerk's doppel bock slightly. -KenjiYamada
2011-03-24 17:20:39 Fuji Chef. They always have long lines for a reason people!!! The rolls are tight and with the right price. Love this place!! —YogiJen
2011-08-10 16:20:56 Do any of these restaurants offer okonomiyaki? —CovertProfessor
I haven't seen it since Crepe House Uni went out of business. —ScottMeehleib
- Too bad. I read an article about it, and it sounded absolutely yummy. I'd love to try one. —cp
Which is your favorite Japanese joint?
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