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Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant - 15 Reviews - 34143 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, CA - Japanese Restaurants Reviews - Phone (949) 240-2004
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Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant

34143 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629
(949) 240-2004
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Restaurants , Japanese Restaurants

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Food & Dining , Asian Restaurants


Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant - Dana Point, CA


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On a day to day basis \r The best sushi for the money, this side of Hawaii.\r And this comes from icthyologist. \r And you know what they are so nice they feed it to everyone. ...


I dropped my daughter off her friend's house for a sleep over in Dana Point and decided to find a Japanese restaurant. Gen Kai came up, so I took my son and wife and see what it ...

soso food, soso service 3/24/2012

I dropped my daughter off her friend's house for a sleep over in Dana Point and decided to find a Japanese restaurant. Gen Kai came up, so I took my son and wife and see what it all about. I called ahead and they gave me a 7:30pm reservation. We arrive early and they gave us a table right away; btw, the place was packed after we ate. Waitress was this older matronly Asian woman and she was not so happy to see my son had his head on the table for a little rest (he ran 5 miles); perhaps it was our fault. Little plates were dirty, asked for new ones, 1 was still dirty, so we left it on the side. We ordered several things and food arrived soon enough. Now, my experience with Japanese food would be quite extensive with several trips to Japan and quite a regular sushi patron. Gen Kai food was just soso but Hamachi was quite excellent. Unagi was cold and stiff. others were just passable. We ordered 6 tempura shrimps. I saw the table next to us had this dish with a 6cooked shrimp on top of 6 round sushi and stopped another waitress with a bandana on the top of her head (aunt Jimima-style), she was service with a smile and asked her for an order of that. Our original, somewhat unhappy waitress came to us after several dishes and told us all of our orders had came and no more food. We said fine and notice the 6 tempura shrimps did NOT come but we were quite full. Then the busboy (we assume) brought the dish we saw the table next to us ordered and that dish was very good. The 2nd waitress came over and said the first waitress ordered that for us by mistake (instead of 6 tempura) and the kitchen is making the order I have asked the 2nd waitress...what a mess! We said we were full and do not want the 2nd order and since first waitress told us we have ""no more food coming"" we also do not want the 6 tempura shrimps. Then we saw the 2nd waitress came over to the table next to us and try to give them that 6shrimp on 6 sushi dish but they didn't want it. Then she came over to us and told us we can have that dish because she did not want to waste food. I told her, I will pay for it if I am going to eat it; no problem. She was very happy and glad and told us that is good and thanked us. Moment later, the 1st matronly Asian waitress came over with the bill, visibly upset that we were eating the 2nd order of 6shrimps-on-6sushi and thought we had somehow ""swindled"" a 2nd free dish; her face looked like someone had totally scammed her. I told her, 'I already told the other waitress I will pay for it.' She stormed off for her proof and/or recalculate the bill. Now, this was the thing. 1st waitress screwed up our order and I was already going to pay for the 2nd dish. There was no need to be upset about it and gave us attitude; she did try to give us a smiling face but you can tell she was not happy about something. I still gave her a good 10% tip. Anyway, the experience was not pleasant but I think had I complained to manager, my wife, son and myself would have been the ones not feeling good. I did that so my family would still have had a somewhat nice time. Food was just soso and the service we received was not up to par. Perhaps they were busy but that was not my fault. Blue Fin Tuna sushi down the road in Crystal Cove was way more professional, delicious and authentic but also way more expensive. However, that experience tonight made tonight's bill quite expensive. In a nutshell, I won't go back to Gen Kai again. more

Great Sushi. Bad Owners 1/18/2012

I used to love this place- but I haven't been back many times since the new ownership. I was a weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) client and I am no longer. I still eat sushi once a week, just not here. more

The best Jerry The best 2/16/2011

On a day to day basis \r The best sushi for the money, this side of Hawaii.\r And this comes from icthyologist. \r And you know what they are so nice they feed it to everyone. \r Been going there for 20 some yrs and thinking of just buying the place so I can kick all the undeserving Joff patrons out to the curve. But I know myself too well and don’t want to screw up such a gem. \r more

Best Service 1/12/2009

The service is honestly second to none. I have been to many restaurants from Northern California to Southern of all types and this was the best. Not only were they amazingly friendly and respectful but the food was great as well. I would strongly reccomend this restaurant. \r \r Pros: Thumbs up!! Great service and wonderful staff. I would return any day. more

Best Japanese food in town. 11/22/2008

I've eaten at Genkai sushi 2-3/week since I was a young child and each time the food and service just seems to get better. The sushi specials are both fresh and tasty. All the fish is the very freshest. I've read several bad reviews, but as a regular customer for 29 years I must say that these are probably lies spread by other restaurant owners. When I went away for college, all I could think about was coming home to eat their toro, tuna, uni and aji. When I finally moved back into town, I just couldn't help myself but to eat at Gen Kai all the time. They have an excellent Sake list and they now have taught me the virtues of drinking soju (something like a Japanese vodka). I've been to several other sushi bars in Orange County and nothing can compare to the service and quality of Gen Kai. 5/5! Pros: Food, Service, Alchohol Cons: Parking (unfortunately its street parking...only a few...4-5 spaces in the back) more

The best Sushi around 8/19/2008

Gen Kai is the only Sushi restaurant I recommend in the entire area. I am one of the pickiest people when it comes to eatting raw fish and I will eat here. The atmosphere, the people, the service is top shelf. Pros: fresh food, great service Cons: try parking around the back, it's worth a little walk and you'll eat so much, you'll need the walk afterwards. more

Great Food, Not Great Service. Overall, it's very worth it 7/15/2008

Look, this place isn't the Ritz. It's a Sushi Bar in CDM. Of which, there are very few (or none). They serve great sushi and they don't have spectacular service. It's a great spot to go and have a good conversation or whatever it is that you do while you eat, but not a place to sit and wait impatiently for your food. We took a bottle of our own wine in and they had no problem with it, and also didn't charge us. I think the service is bad because the Management consistently understaffs the place. However, as a resident of Newport for nearly my whole life, I highly recommend. Chillout! This is Newport! Pros: Great Food. Good Ambiance. BYO Wine Cons: Slow Service more

A Better Alternative: Dana Kai! 6/22/2008

Gen Kai became THE place to get sushi a few years ago. IMO the food is overpriced and you may have to wait a while to get seated. Pros: Good sushi Cons: Overpriced, long wait, crowded more

worse sushi experience ever at corona del mar location 4/27/2008

\r \r Went to Gen Kai last Friday and basically got no service and no food after 1 hr. The owner was called and she basically took no responsibility for the mixup whatsoever. To make matters worse the check that she dropped on the table was totally wrong overcharging us for food we never got. So we send the check and the owner back to do some simple math. Guess what, check comes back AGAIN wrong. Maybe its only me but I would not want to eat SUSHI of all foods from such an incompetent owner. It took 30 min just to get a correct check.\r \r If the owner had any class she would have comped the meal after we waited for an hour with no food and no drink refills or even queries on how we were doing. This owner clearly feels entitled and one should question why they should eat at an establishment if the owner is so out of the loop. If the owner is that clueless what about quality much less safety of food since we are talking sushi here.\r \r Needless to say I will do everything I can to keep people away from this place. Run don't Walk from this place. If I could give a zero star I would.\r more

Great Food, 4/22/2008

This is the best sushi restaurant that I have been at in a long time. I prefer the sushi bar over the tables. The quality of the food is excellent. I love the unique rolls the chefs do. I could have eaten 20 of the spicy tuna rolls. more

imaginative preparations, freshest around 3/31/2008

The wait at the sushi bar can be long, but it's worth it. There are 5 sushi chefs who seem to have as much fun as those seated on the other side. We love going mid-week when it's not as crowded, and always end up making friends with the folks on either side of us. The fish is incredibly fresh, and they serve imaginative rolls and other delicacies such as uni with quail egg, Screaming O, unagi, sweet shrimp (with crunchy heads), you just can't go wrong. Even if you have to sit in the table section, the service is great, the food just as good, but maybe not as entertaining. Pros: Fresh, imaginative preparations; reservations taken for table service Cons: can be a long wait more

Damn Good Sushi! 6/20/2007

My husband and I consider ourselves sushi snobs of sorts... and we were happily suprised with Gen Kai. We ate at the sushi bar and order a few sushimi specialty items and a few rolls when our sushi chef asked us whether we would like to try some of his specialties. They were amazing!!!! Although the prices may be a little higher than average so are the flavors and freshness. Can't wait to go back for more. more

I must agree - the absolute FRESHEST sashimi around 10/24/2006

The best sushi I've ever had (and the best time I've ever had eating sushi) were at Gen Kai. Friendly, courteous servers and sushi chefs. Very friendly clientele. And the fish was the freshest I've EVER tasted. Yes it's incredibly popular with the locals so prepare to wait for a spot at the bar but it is most assuredly worth it. Pros: Fresh, fresh, fresh! Cons: The wait is often a little long. more

One of the BEST Sushi Bars in S. Orange County 12/12/2005

My wife and I have been to Gen Kai on several occasions. Their fish is incredibly fresh and of very high quality. The sushi chef's are pro's and are great at their craft. They cut you generous slices of sushi that are incredible to eat. We've tried other places and can't seem to find one that we enjoy as much as Gen Kai. Oh, and the service is corteous and fast, especially at the bar. Make reservations because there is almost always a wait!! more

Want Sushi? 12/14/2004

If you want the best of the SUSHI, go to Gen Kai in Dana Point. Not to be confused with Gen Kai of Corona Del Mar, CA. Different owners. This is the ONLY restaurant I will eat Sashimi (raw fish). Product is exceptional, service is great. I have dined at this restaurant for 10 years now and NEVER have a 'bad' experience. At this Sushi Bar you will meet new friend and bound to experience new dishes. Pros: FRESH FISH, GREAT SERVICE, Best of Best more
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Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Thurs: 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-10pm Fridays: 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-11pm Saturdays- 5pm-11pm Sundays: 5pm-10pm