Daisy Bateman

Return to Tempura Island

I realize I allowed my tempura-based obligations to lapse last week; it happened to be a week when life decided to punch me in the face a couple of times, and I thought it might have affected my taste buds. Also, I didn’t feel like it.

Hotaru Japanese Restaurant
33 E 3rd Ave
San Mateo

I keep thinking I’ve covered all of the restaurants on a particular block, and then I will drive by and notice one or two more that I missed. So it is with the first block of Third Street, and this place, plus at least one more. I’m not sure how I missed it– it’s not particularly inconspicuous. A friendly, smallish restaurant, with a good crowd for a Wednesday by the time I was done eating.

Food: The good news: reasonable prices (16.95 for the tempura/sashimi combo), the option of choosing your fish for the sashimi (I went with the salmon), large servings. The bad news: average, overbattered tempura, poor vegetable selection (two pieces each of green pepper and broccoli), severe sogginess when it got cold. Not appallingly bad, and the sashimi was quite good, but the sort of tempura that makes you wonder why some restaurants bother to serve the dish at all.

Tempura Grade: 3/10
Overall Grade: 4/10

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