428 E. 3rd Ave.
San Mateo, CA
I was nearly done with my dinner– a definitely above-average offering at a mostly-empty place across the Caltrain tracks from the main part of the downtown– when I started to get the feeling I had forgotten something. But what? I had my tempura and my sashimi. I had finished my miso soup and my somewhat kimchi-like dish of spicy pickled cabbage. So what could I have been missing? Oh, right:
So you’re just going to have to take my word for it that my meal arrived as a nicely-presented plate, with three kinds of sashimi (not pictured), a salad (seen above) and a selection of tempura (mostly not pictured, except the broccoli and part of a shrimp). Also not pictured is the staff, who were very friendly and chatty, due to the fact that there weren’t a whole lot of people there and they didn’t have a lot to do. My dinner arrived before I had even started on my miso soup.
Food: Generally, when I go to a restaurant with a specific food item in its name, I try to try that item (in this case, sukiyaki). But, given my mission, and the lack of an appropriate combo meal, that was not an option. The mission, above all things!
Um, anyway, definitely above-average, if not mind-blowing, tempura here. As I mentioned, there were three kinds of sashimi (all, as far as I could tell, all varieties of tuna, but still), which I appreciated. The tempura batter was crisp and not too heavy, though as usual the sogginess did set in as the temperature dropped.
Somewhere out there, I just know it, somewhere there is tempura that is every bit as tasty at the end of dinner as it was when it was still burning your tongue. A girl can dream, right?
Tempura Grade: 6/10