Gombei Japanese Restaurant

★★★★☆
  • 1438 El Camino Real

    Menlo Park, CA 94025

    Map & Directions
  • 650-329-1799

About Gombei Japanese Restaurant

Hours
Monday through Friday 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.; Monday through Saturday 5:30 - 9:30 p.m.; Sunday 5 - 10 p.m

Food

Food
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I have been to a LOT of Japanese restauarants. Some are just "so-so", some are "me-too", and others "same-old same-old". There are a very few who stand out as different, unique, and eye-opening.
I was introduced to Gombei by a buddy who's wife is Japanese. I was expecting just another sushi boat kinda place though.
What I found was very real, very down home, what "your mom would cook for dinner if you lived in Japan" kind of food. Udons, rice bowls, Japanese comfort food. Very GOOD Japanese comfort food. And the portions are incredible. This is a GREAT place, especially if your going for a date or business lunch - one where you want Japanese food, but loath the awkwardness of talking while ripping apart a too-large California roll with your teeth and fingers.
Food is above expectations, and flavor is incredible. Prices are quite fair for the portions and taste, and the decor and layout is very professional. For a business lunch, the room is relatively easy to converse in, even with a full crowd (rare nowadays). The only caveat is parking. Street parking is VERY highly recommended. Parking in back poses the risk that your car can get boxed in inadvertently.

5
★★★★★

I have been to a LOT of Japanese restauarants. Some are just "so-so", some are "me-too", and others "same-old same-old". There are a very few who stand out as different, unique, and eye-opening.
I was introduced to Gombei by a buddy who's wife is Japanese. I was expecting just another sushi boat kinda place though.
What I found was very real, very down home, what "your mom would cook for dinner if you lived in Japan" kind of food. Udons, rice bowls, Japanese comfort food. Very GOOD Japanese comfort food. And the portions are incredible. This is a GREAT place, especially if your going for a date or business lunch - one where you want Japanese food, but loath the awkwardness of talking while ripping apart a too-large California roll with your teeth and fingers.
Food is above expectations, and flavor is incredible. Prices are quite fair for the portions and taste, and the decor and layout is very professional. For a business lunch, the room is relatively easy to converse in, even with a full crowd (rare nowadays). The only caveat is parking. Street parking is VERY highly recommended. Parking in back poses the risk that your car can get boxed in inadvertently.

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I have been regularly eating at Gombei for 17 years now. I discovered the restaurant soon after returning from a summer living in Japan. Of all the restaurants I tried in the area, Gombei best satiated my cravings for authentic-tasting chicken udon.

2
★★★★★

I have been regularly eating at Gombei for 17 years now. I discovered the restaurant soon after returning from a summer living in Japan. Of all the restaurants I tried in the area, Gombei best satiated my cravings for authentic-tasting chicken udon.

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If you want something other than the usual teriyaki fare, make sure to check the specials on the whiteboard. Consistently good food. The fried stuffed tofu is one of my favorite dishes. Parking can be difficult at times. If you're coming at lunchtime on a weekday make sure to get their early or take a late lunch as this place is almost always packed.

2
★★★★☆

If you want something other than the usual teriyaki fare, make sure to check the specials on the whiteboard. Consistently good food. The fried stuffed tofu is one of my favorite dishes. Parking can be difficult at times. If you're coming at lunchtime on a weekday make sure to get their early or take a late lunch as this place is almost always packed.

Pros: Consistent Comfort Food

Cons: Crowded during lunchtime on the weekdays.

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When I first went to Gombei, I was actually a little disappointed; I'd thought all "Japanese restaurants" served up sushi. But Gombei doesn't (although they often had some sashimi as a special of the day). They focus on the non-sushi dishes. And most of them are pretty good.

As stated earlier, parking is fairly atrocious, and this place does get busy for lunches. The price is pretty fair, and the portions are decently sized. I haven't been back in quite a while, though, because it simply wasn't a compelling restaurant. Perhaps I'm just not that big a fan of non-sushi Japanese food...

PROS: Good portions, interesting entree options
CONS: Very limited parking

3
★★★☆☆

When I first went to Gombei, I was actually a little disappointed; I'd thought all "Japanese restaurants" served up sushi. But Gombei doesn't (although they often had some sashimi as a special of the day). They focus on the non-sushi dishes. And most of them are pretty good.

As stated earlier, parking is fairly atrocious, and this place does get busy for lunches. The price is pretty fair, and the portions are decently sized. I haven't been back in quite a while, though, because it simply wasn't a compelling restaurant. Perhaps I'm just not that big a fan of non-sushi Japanese food...

PROS: Good portions, interesting entree options
CONS: Very limited parking

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Gombei's a good place to go for a serving of simple Japanese food: they don't have anything complicated here, but the combinations of teriyaki and tempura are pretty good. The donburi is also not bad, but I didn't like the udon very much when I got it. Service can be hit-or-miss -- they're often very crowded -- and parking is very difficult.

3
★★★☆☆

Gombei's a good place to go for a serving of simple Japanese food: they don't have anything complicated here, but the combinations of teriyaki and tempura are pretty good. The donburi is also not bad, but I didn't like the udon very much when I got it. Service can be hit-or-miss -- they're often very crowded -- and parking is very difficult.

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Read good things about this place. There's hardly any parking at all. The waiter was rushing us to order while we were waiting for others to join us. And, the food did not come togethr. So, out of 10 people in our group two got their food 20 mins before others. Also, note that they cannot join tables, so if you go in a bigger group you might have to sit at two tables. Food was ordinary. The bento and the Gombei, both seem overpriced to me. Overall, the experience was disappointing.

2
★★☆☆☆

Read good things about this place. There's hardly any parking at all. The waiter was rushing us to order while we were waiting for others to join us. And, the food did not come togethr. So, out of 10 people in our group two got their food 20 mins before others. Also, note that they cannot join tables, so if you go in a bigger group you might have to sit at two tables. Food was ordinary. The bento and the Gombei, both seem overpriced to me. Overall, the experience was disappointing.

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We went to Gombei on a Saturday night and the place was very busy. This and the fact that much of the clientele looked ethnic Japanese seemed to us a good omen. The food was fresh and properly prepared and the service was adequate. However, we didn't feel that this restaurant was deserving of a 10 score based on the reviews we read. Just a 7 is sufficient. One bad point that I cannot leave out is that we felt rushed to leave. Parking is difficult.

2
★★★★☆

We went to Gombei on a Saturday night and the place was very busy. This and the fact that much of the clientele looked ethnic Japanese seemed to us a good omen. The food was fresh and properly prepared and the service was adequate. However, we didn't feel that this restaurant was deserving of a 10 score based on the reviews we read. Just a 7 is sufficient. One bad point that I cannot leave out is that we felt rushed to leave. Parking is difficult.

Cons: Rushed atmosphere, No Ambiance

 

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