I have always been curious about Gombei, their reviews on Yelp were pretty impressive. NX likes the food here because it is more “home-ly” and what we call “comfort food”. It is always really packed for lunch, so it never occurred to me to stop by.”
We got there at about 730 pm on a weekday and was surprised it was actually packed!
Eventhough this is kinda a chain (at least in the Bay area, with four locations), the menu is different in each location. A lot of rice bowls and cooked meats/fish.
The only sashimi is tuna, which was a tad disappointing.
Tuna Sashimi $9.95
This was quite disappointing, it was food court quality tuna that still tasted partially frozen. Not great and especially for $10.
Salmon Oyako Don & Beef Yakiniku $10.75
My favourite of the night! The salmon was crumbled and when mixed with the rice and salmon eggs it was very addictive! Nothing mindblowing but very comforting and definitely hits the spot. I like the random bits of salmon egg that burst while chewing giving the dish the extra salt.
The beef yakiniku was good. Thin slices of grilled meat that is light marinated.
Broiled Fish (Salmon & Pike Mackerel) & Oboro Tofu $11.75
Note: Do not order if you are uncomfortable with eating with your hands or not used to picking out small bones. The mackerel is a small and bony, which can be quite challenging to eat but I love it. I was impressed with the amount of food I ended up getting. I barely put a dent into the Oboru Tofu.
Both fish was simply seasoned and grilled – nicely char bits from the grill gave it a nice smokiness.
The tofu was good as well. Sitting in a light dashi broth, not smooth and silky like the ones you would find at grocery stores but still tasty. They actually source the tofu from the Tofu shop next door so it is fresh!
Pork Cutlet Don $9
I didn’t try this but NX seemed to enjoy it.
Total Damage: $54 (including tax & tip)
Personal Rating: 3 out of 5 (Good)
For the price paid, the quantity and quality of the food is quite decent. This would be what one would expect in a home cooked Japanese meal. All light yet hearty and quite satisfying.
The service is pretty non existent but very efficient. Food is served shortly after ordering and came out piping hot! I was disappointed with the lack of sashimi options but this is not really their forte. Might just give the other locations a shot, heard they serve sushi rolls there.
193 Jackson Street
San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 279 4311