May 18th, 2003

Gombei

Kim does it again. Two meals, two hits. Obviously someone who I should eat with more often.

Gombei
193 East Jackson St.
San Jose, CA 95112
+1.408.279.4311
VTA Light Rail: Japantown/Ayer

M-Sa: lunch: 1130-1430
dinner: 1700-2130

(second location at:
1438 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
+1.650.329.1799
Caltrain: Menlo Park)

Gombei does good, cheap Japanese food. So rarely does one find that combination outside Japan.

It specializes in combination dinners including teriyaki, a fried item (usually a seafood), salad, and rice. Dinner combinations are mostly in the $9-10 range, while lunch combinations run from $8.25-$8.75. There's a whiteboard with daily specials. The three of us ordered a stuffed tofu side dish ($5.50) and croquettes (two, curried potato, at $4.75) to go with our choices from the specials menu: a broiled mackerel and deep fried meatball combination ($9.50) and a fried squid and (different variety) mackerel (also $9.50). A third combination from the regular menu, a beef teriyaki and deep fried salmon ($10) rounded out the selections.

All the food came fresh and hot in the order it was ready. The combinations included miso soup, salad, a small side dish containing sprouts and some other food none of us could identify, and rice. We shared everything family-style as we wanted to try everything. It was all delicious, with the exception of sprouts. Note that they were probably just fine, but I personally hate sprouts, so I wasn't going to eat them.

Service was quick and efficient. Kim warned me that the line often goes out the door at peak times. I understand why.

Gombei accepts cash only.