I was making my first pilgrimage to Dittmer's, when I came across this interesting little Japanese place on a fairly industrial section of San Antonio road. I decided to stop my for lunch and check it out.
The place looks like it was an old deli or burger joint in some bygone era, but it now it is filled with Japanese nicknacks and Ansel Adams posters. I guess that is a good way to describe the food as well- a strange blend of Japanese and Western(a little bit like that place on the bridge in Japantown). The place is run by an older Japanese husband and wife team. Husband does the cooking, and the wife does the serving. While the food was pretty authentic the crowd seemed to be a bunch of gringos who were slightly frightened that there wasn't the standard Teriyaki Chicken/Tempura combo or that there was no Mega Crazy 49er Spider Dragon Roll available on a nice laminated menu with pretty pictures.
The speciality appears to be the Hamburg Steak Dishes as this Hamburger patty appear with the lunch combination and had a section devoted to it on the menu. However, I tried Japanese style Hamburger dishes before and am not a big fan. So I decided to go with Beef Curry with a Vegetable Croquette. At $9.75 it wasn't cheap, but the portion was large(and you could upgrade for a bigger portion for $1.75. The curry was decent but didn't have a ton a flavor. It had that Japanese Curry out of a box mix taste. The Croquette was a better option. It was fried perfectly and had a lovely creamy filling. One of these days, I will perfect making Japanese style croquettes. But until then Hattoriya will be my first choice.
It is hard to complain about this place since the wife co-owner was very nice and whole place had a very homey feel to it. The menu is pretty large so I would probably pick another option next time I go in there. They were advertising their Japanese Chippino on the table, I would love to hear from another hound brave enough to give that a shot.
799 San Antonio Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303