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Ratings and reviews



Japanese, Sushi, Asian
Lunch, Dinner
Takeout, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Table Service, Wheelchair Accessible
Reviews (57)
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Reviewed 11 May 2020

Hotaru Restaurant’s take out food tastes just as good as their dine in version. The quality did not go down and we were glad we went back. We patronize our favorite restaurants during the lockdown period as our small humble contribution to them so that...hopefully they will still be around when hopefully things are back to normal, or whatever that “normal” will be in the future. We ordered shrimps roll, unagi roll and spider roll and all three are absolutely delicious. I also ordered my favorite lunch combo of pork cutlets, California rolls and hot udon soup. This is my comfort food whenever I go to Hotary Restaurant. Let’s eat!More

Date of visit: May 2020
Reviewed 4 March 2020 via mobile

If you miss Asian food during your trip, it’s a choice you can come. The miso soup is very delicious.

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed 16 December 2019

This is my favorite Japanese restaurant in San Mateo County. I ordered the “Number 1” as this is my favorite on their menu. There are several choices from the “Number 1” order. I always choose the hot soba soup. I also chose the pork cutlet...and the California rolls to complete my order. The hot soba soup was so comforting! The thin broth is slightly salty and delicious and the soba noodles were perfectly cooked. I will order this over and over again. The California rolls and the appetizer rolls met our expectations. However the pork cutlet was a little overdone this time. The pork came out dry and a little tough. (The ‘to go’ order of Chicken wings was surprisingly very aromatic. And it was quite good) When we arrived at around 4pm the restaurant was almost empty but by 4:30pm this small restaurant became quite busy. Our waiter did not come back to our table until he gave us our check. We experienced better services from the lunchtime crew from our past visits to this restaurant. We will still be going back to this restaurant for sure.More

Date of visit: December 2019
Reviewed 10 November 2019 via mobile

Traditional Japanese with no fancy fusion items. Great portions and delicious yosenabe, with a wonderful broth and plenty of seafood! Enter the door, sign in and wait. A great experience!

Date of visit: November 2019
Reviewed 18 August 2019

3* Hotaru Japanese San Mateo Have bento box lunch specials and sushi The price is inexpensive The food is okay The fish seemed a little old Probably won’t go back

Date of visit: April 2019
Reviewed 29 July 2019

We have been coming to this restaurant for over 15 years. It has maintained its quality though they did raise their prices. But still the prices are not unreasonable for the area. The Don Katsu is one of the best that I have ever had....Sukiyaki is good too. Service is a bit spotty . Sometimes, they would forget to bring the soup or salad that comes with the meal . They offer brown rice but they do charge extra for it. But at least to those who are health conscious, they have this option. did not see any brown rice sushi though.More

Date of visit: June 2019
Reviewed 17 July 2019

Hotaru is one of our favorite Japanese restaurants in San Mateo, Ca. We arrived after the lunch rush period and finding a place to park was quick and easy. For lunch, I ordered my favorite, the Udon Special that had pork cutlets, small green salad,...California rolls and a medium-sized bowl of hot soba. Always delicious! My wife ordered a bento box, and also a Dragon Roll and Tsunami Roll that we shared. I also had a glass of very refreshing cold Asahi beer. Everything was delicious all for $57.93 before the tip. Considering we had so much leftover food that we gladly brought home, the price was fairly reasonable. We will surely go back again.More

Date of visit: July 2019
Reviewed 24 March 2019

My wife and I have been coming pretty irregularly to Hotaru Japanese Restaurant for several years and it has been over a year since we’ve last eaten at this restaurant. We came back for a late lunch on a Saturday afternoon and gladly there was...no usual long lunchtime wait to get seated. We did not have to wait long to get our order of delicious Dragon Roll which was freshly made by the chef. The sauce on top was salty and sweet that made the roll with avocado, shrimps and other goodness so delicious. It was gone in no time! I also ordered a lunch spacial with a small salad, slices of breaded pork cutlets, hot soba soup and California Roll. My wife ordered the Bento Box. The breaded pork cutlets were served hot. They were crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside and were very flavorful. There was no need to dip them in soy sauce as far as I’m concerened. Although my favorite soup is hot Udon but I mistakenly ordered Soba Soup instead. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the Soba Soup with its thin broth that is full of flavors. My wife said she enjoyed her Bento Box of Teriyaki Chicken, Mackerel, Vegetable tempura, California Roll, Miso Soup and steamed rice. The table service was polite and the food service was quick, however they never offered to refill our hot tea cups nor asked us if everything was o.k. The restaurant was not busy at the time were were having our late lunch and I had to ask for our hot tea refills. We gladly brought home our leftover food plus we also ordered Tempura-flavored Chicken wings and another order of Dragon Rolls to go for our meal tonight or tomorrow. Honestly, I don’t think I will be hungry enough again tonight to want to eat a full meal. Yep, after eating this delicious meal, I was stuffed...and happy! We will be going back for sure.More

Date of visit: March 2019
Reviewed 26 December 2018

Bring your own pearl chopsticks, then sit back and enjoy the quality of fresh fish, complimentary hot tea, edamame, in a local feeling establishment. Hotaru gets an 9 out of 10 on my sushi scale for families (considering cost, quality, portion size, ambiance). The lunch...menu is the best value, and is different than most sushi places. Plan on sacrificing some service during lunch, and waiting up to 15-45 minutes to be seated for dinner. About me: As my favorite food, I eat everything, order unique sushi, off-menu items. I routinely eat sushi for both lunch and dinner in multiple places in this area.More

Date of visit: December 2018
Reviewed 13 August 2018

Yowzers! Stopped in after a business meeting with the Library and we were blown away by the wonderful treats that were brought to our table. The Sushi rolls were delectable, the Sashimimi was pretty and durn good. There was not a mistep on the menu....Left full and feeling fantastic!More

Date of visit: August 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hotaru Japanese Restaurant

Yes, Hotaru Japanese Restaurant offers takeaway services.

Hotaru Japanese Restaurant is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 3