Cafe Japengo has long been a destination for La Jolla sushi lovers, and for good reason. Executive Chef Jerry Warner has been serving up some of the freshest and most inventive rolls of top grade fish and seafood for years, along with delicious soba noodles, beef and chicken skewers, and fresh soups and salads. The setting is absolutely perfect for a date night, or great for an impressive lunch.
To give lunch diners an extra treat, Cafe Japengo is now offering bento boxes, a Japanese food lover's dream -- sample delicious sushi, savory noodles, and meat skewers without breaking your belt (or your wallet).
On Friday, I was lucky enough to be able to sample the delicious sushi and bento boxes for a very special and yummy lunch!
We decided to start with one of their signature sushi rolls, the Red Dragon roll. This roll is very popular, and for good reason. Red Dragon has everything that a sushi lover wants. A roll composed of an interior of crab, avocado, and shrimp tempura, with an outside of spicy tuna with tempura flakes and eel sauce. Quite possibly the best specialty roll that I've ever eaten, and I've had some darn good sushi in my time.
The main course was the delectable bento box. The bento box included fresh California rolls; hamachi, maguro, and salmon sashimi; a green salad complete with edamame; noodles with a delicious sauce and sugar snap peas; shrimp tempura and tempura vegetables; and teriyaki beef skewers.
Everything looked incredible, so it was hard to decide where to start!
The tempura vegetables were excellent. I normally do not order these, because restaurants often make them too greasy. The tempura at Cafe Japengo was excellent, and not at all greasy. The noodles were tasty, served warm, and the sugar snap peas were crispy and a delightful texture addition. I love sugar snap peas, and having them in the noodle dish was genius! The beef was tender and slightly sweet, with delicious flavor. I loved the texture of the edamame in the salad, which was a blend of tender greens, carrots, and shittake mushrooms. The sushi portion, of course, was to die for. The sashimi pieces were incredibly fresh, and the California rolls were sweet and flavorful.
The bento box was huge, and offered a variety of choices, enabling diners to get a sampling of nearly every type of dish offered at Cafe Japengo. They are excellent for people who are just getting into Japanese cuisine, to discover the many different items offered, and also great for a filling, satisfying meal.