Why did we dine here? – Seiya is a small plates oriented Japanese restaurant in sleepy San Carlos. It is situated in a location that once housed Hamon Japanese Restaurant.
This restaurant is highly rated on Yelp, with 4.5 stars when we dined here. Chef/owner Kuo Hwa Chuang, from Domo and Blowfish in San Francisco runs Seiya.
Insider Tip – Make reservations, the restaurant is tiny.
Cuisine – Japanese-American fusion
Location – Downtown San Carlos
Opened – 2011
Service – Seiya had reasonable service with some friendly waiters. Service deteriorated as the restaurant got busier.
Verdict – Seiya serves up very good Japanese cuisine with some interesting Japanese-American fusion dishes.
Signature Dishes – Great Balls of Fire, fish tacos, beef tataki.
Seiya’s Menu features many Zensai small plates, robota grill skewers, as well as the usual Japanese rolls and sushi. The key dishes here are the fun and innovative fusion tapas.
Beef tataki ($15) seared filet mignon with garlic tataki sauce was an unique dish combining the savory meat with a sour sauce, along with crispy bits of mushrooms.
Fish tacos ($9) Seiya style with seared albacore & salmon, avocado, homemade salsa on fried nori. A beautiful dish that is extremely creative. Each element was excellent on its own, but the combination made for a slightly odd concoction.
Tori Kara age ($7) fried marinated boneless chicken thigh resembled lightly battered, high quality chicken nuggets. A dish that will please the kids.
Negima ($4) chicken thigh was very boney and glazed with a pretty spicy chili sauce. Very good quality. This was better than Yakitori Kokko.
Tebasaki ($5) chicken wing was on the meaty side and boneless. Also a solid skewer.
Butabara ($4) pork belly was an excellent skewer. Slightly fatty, full of flavor, a must-get.
Aspara ($3) asparagus featured cut up fresh asparagus. Worthwhile ordering.
Shitake ($3) mushroom included three large pieces of tender goodness.
Gyu ($5) filet mignon was extremely tender and perfectly cooked. Another must-order.
Great Balls of Fire ($11) panko crusted spicy tuna roll with spicy mayo, unagi sauce, scallions & tobiko is a signature dish that is a must-get. A fusion of Japanese and American flavors, along with a pretty small spice component. It is difficult to eat the entire dish, better to share this fun appetizer.
Yasai Tempura ($8) assorted seasonal vegetable tempura included 10 pieces of freshly fried vegetables. Very well done.
Warabi-mochi ($5) jello-like mochi with brown sugar was a mature dessert. This delicate Japanese dish had subtle flavors and a soft texture.
Green Tea Ice Cream ($3) was a premium brand, and not made in house, but still pretty smooth and silky.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Agedashi Tofu ($7) fried tofu with bonito flakes was a decent rendition but nothing special.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)