Ginji Izakaya Coming to San Mateo's J-Food Zone

Luis Chong
The site's a former flooring store in the heart of the Peninsula's Japanese-cuisine ghetto.
​There's no end in sight for San Mateo's glut of J-food ― not that we're complaining. The Peninsula city is about to get yet another izakaya restaurant, this one named Ginji, presumably after chef-owner Ginjiro Nishimoto. The site is a corner storefront vacated by a carpet and flooring store, not too far from Ramen Dojo. In addition to Japanese small plates, the menu will include yakitori (grilled skewers) and sushi.

Judging from the daily wait times at nearby Sushi Sam's Edomata (a local favorite for sushi), San Mateo residents seem to have an obsession with Japanese cuisine.

There are more than a dozen Japanese restaurants within a 12-block area of downtown. For example, just a few doors down from Ginji is Lakuni, the oldest izakaya in San Mateo (20 years), known for its strict demeanor ― not a place for newbies. Most residents will point instead to Izakaya Mai as the most popular in that genre. And eight months ago, Yakitori Kokko opened its doors only three blocks away. It's become a favorite for top-notch yakitori.

As for Ginji, there doesn't seem to be a target launch date, but a recent peek through the windows revealed wooden counters beginning to take shape and other fixtures being installed.

Ginji Izakaya: 301 E. Fourth Ave. (at B St.), San Mateo.

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