San Mateo continues to offer some great Japanese and Chinese restaurants. Last night we went to Chika, which specializes in Japanese Western-style food as well as izakaya type offerings. They do not have sushi but they serve sashimi. I know Chika was located before in San Francisco, but I had never been there.
Our party of four shared several plates and also got our own entrees. I had the mushroom (kinoko) pasta, which tasted as good as any I've had in Japan and, really, even better. Our friend had the meat sauce pasta and felt the same. Good Japanese pasta is always cooked perfectly al dente and these didn't disappoint. My husband had beef curry and a bowl of tanuki udon (also excellent). Another friend had the hamburger steak. We shared sashimi salad, tebasaki (chicken wings), and grilled hamachi.
With two pitchers of Sapporo draft beer and a glass of plum wine (ume shu) the bill was about $133 before tip.
The restaurant has only been open a few weeks and was pretty empty. It's in the old Camrahn Bay site at Third Avenue and Ellsworth. It doesn't have an izakaya feel -- more elegance and quiet, actually, which was kind of refreshing, with jazz music playing in the background. They are closed on Tuesdays, but open late (at least until 11:00) the rest of the week.
Here's a link to the English menu:
With Yuzu (37th Avenue and El Camino), Yoko's (2nd and Delaware), and now Chika, we don't need to spring for a ticket to Tokyo (or a long drive to the South Bay) to get authentic and delicious Japanese food.