71 E 4th Ave
San Mateo, CA
Another Thursday, another restaurant. This one was definitely an improvement, if not promising from the outset. Tonight’s destination, though well marked on the front door, turned out to be located up an unprepossessing flight of stairs, above a video store. It was a small place, almost windowless, with a few tables up front and more seats along a counter facing into the tiny kitchen. This is where I sat; it seems to be the place for solo diners. The place wasn’t exactly crowded, but they were doing steady business. As far as I could tell, I was the only person who ordered in English.
Food: $15 for the Tempura Dinner, with miso soup, salad, and some kind of pickled seaweed with what I think were mushrooms. The tempura was far better than what I had before, crisper and more lightly battered. Along with the usual shrimp and vegetables, there were also some small butterflied fish, and lotus root, plus something I thought was okra but turned out to be a hot pepper. Whoops. There were no combination dinners offered; in fact, I don’t think I recognized more than about a quarter of the total items on the menu. This is not a bad thing.
Tempura Grade: 8/10
Overall Grade: 8/10