• Must-Try Japanese Salads and Sides

    A visit to a Japanese restaurant is a feast for the senses. The aromatic sauces, delicious flavors, and pleasing textures combine to produce an exceptional meal. Bring your appetite, as there’s lots more to the Japanese dining experience than just the entrees. There are also plenty of delectable salads and sides to try.

    Seaweed Salad

    The next time you go to a Japanese steakhouse, consider starting your meal with a small seaweed salad. Seaweed is packed with nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that support healthy thyroid function, gut health, and even cardiovascular health. Salad recipes can vary from one Japanese restaurant to the next, but generally, seaweed salad is made from reconstituted, mixed seaweed and a dressing of rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and ginger juice.


    Edamame is a perfect appetizer or side. Edamame is young, flavorful soybeans. When served as an appetizer or side, edamame is typically salted and left in the shells. It may also be served with a dipping sauce. Although the shells are not eaten, you can place the whole shell in your mouth. You can then work the soybeans out of the shell, and you’ll get the flavor of the salt or sauce at the same time


    Tempura has been a traditional Japanese side dish since the 16th century. Its creation was inspired by the fritter-cooking techniques used by Portuguese residents of Nagasaki during that time. Tempura is usually vegetables and seafood dipped in a light batter and fried. If you’re a vegetarian, you may order only vegetable tempura.

    Asian Fusion Chicken Salad

    Some diners prefer a salad as their main entrée. This delicious salad offers protein and vegetables in one dish. Chicken breast is lightly battered and fried until crispy. It’s served over fresh greens, rice vermicelli, cilantro, and cashews, and tossed with an Asian-style dressing.

    You’ll find a full menu of delicious entrees, salads, and sides at House of Genji—a Japanese steakhouse in San Jose. To inquire about our hours, call (408) 453-8120. We’re open for dinner seven days per week!

  • What to Wear to Happy Hour

    After a long work day, hitting a local cocktail lounge for happy hour is a great way to unwind. During happy hours, you can usually expect drink and food specials, so it’s a terrific chance to try out something new while spending time with friends. House of Genji’s cocktail lounge offers unique drinks and Japanese food favorites to share as you get rid of the stress of the day. Many people who want to attend a happy hour wonder what the dress code is. Whether you’re coming straight from work or dressing specifically to go out for happy hour, these looks will serve you well.

    Use a Blazer to Go from Office to Cocktail Lounge

    A blazer can be your best asset if you want to take a look from work-appropriate to cocktail lounge-friendly. Consider wearing a dress that is the right length for the office but that has some upper-level detailing, like a crisscross neckline or sheer neckline, which might otherwise be wrong for the office. Wear a blazer during the day to tone down the edgier details of the dress, and then leave the blazer behind to show off your style during happy hour. The blazer trick can work with lots of different looks, so you can transition from daytime to happy hour easily, without running home to change.

    Aim for Smart-Casual

    Depending on the dress code of your office, you can find a look that works in both environments by going for smart-casual style. With this look, skip the dress-downed jeans in favor of trousers, tuxedo pants, or slim-leg slacks, but top things off with a casual, patterned tunic, embellished top, or crisp T-shirt. Choose heels or ballet flats over tennis shoes for a look that works in your meetings and over drinks.

    Look to the Accessories

    Accessories can easily take your outfit from office to happy hour. Trade out your conservative earrings for chandelier styles and swap your simple chain for a statement necklace. Changing your shoes can also easily make your look happy hour-friendly.

    If you’re looking for a great happy hour, try the cocktail lounge in San Jose at House of Genji. You’ll love our drink specials and Japanese food and may even decide to stay for a teppanyaki dinner. For more information, call us at (408) 453-8120.

  • How to Eat Edamame

    A popular appetizer and snack you’ll find on the menu at most Japanese restaurants is edamame. Many people are familiar with seeing these young soybeans after they have already been shelled on salad bars and mixed in dishes, but when they are served as appetizers, they are still in their shells. This leaves people who are new to Japanese food wondering how to eat them.

    The easiest way to eat edamame in their shells is to put the shell into your mouth and use your teeth to gently slide the beans out of the pod. Usually, the shells are salted, so you will get some of the salt while you eat the edamame. Some people like to dip the shells in soy or another sauce before eating as well.

    Come experience the tastes of Japan at House of Genji. Our teppanyaki restaurant and Japanese steakhouse in San Jose offers a full menu of new flavors for you to try. Call us at (408) 453-8120 to learn more.

  • How to Use an ATM in Japan

    Say you’re visiting Japan and you want to try some Japanese food in a restaurant that only accepts cash. If you don’t have any money on you, you will need to withdraw some from an ATM. The trick is that most ATM machines at banks don’t accept cards issued outside of Japan.

    Watch this video to find out how to withdraw money with a foreign card in Japan. If you want to enjoy some cash-only Japanese dining, look for a 7-11. These stores have ATMs that take cards from around the world, and they are open every day, around the clock.

    For a taste of Japan closer to home, try House of Genji for authentic teppanyaki dining. Find out more about the menu at our Japanese restaurant in San Jose by calling (408) 453-8120.

  • Planning a Work Party at Our Teppanyaki Restaurant

    If you’re looking for a fun way to bond with coworkers, consider holding a work party at House of Genji. Whether you’re looking for a unique experience for a holiday party or just an excuse to spend some time with your work friends out of the office, our teppanyaki restaurant is an essential ingredient in an event to remember. Here is what you need to know about planning a work party around our teppanyaki dining experience.

    What exactly is teppanyaki?
    Teppanyaki refers to food that has been cooked on a hot iron—in other words, on a flat grill top. At a teppanyaki restaurant, a selection of food is prepared on a large grill that is surrounded by a dining table. Guests sit around the grill and watch their meals being cooked in front of them. Teppanyaki chefs always entertain their guests with their amazing knife skills and dramatic plating abilities.

    What is served at a teppanyaki meal?

    Teppanyaki is highly adaptable. Guests can choose from chicken, steak, lobster, shrimp, scallops, calamari, or some combination of meats. Soup, salad, rice, and veggies are also included. Some meals are also served with desserts. At House of Genji, we have a range of appetizers and side orders available to complement your meal, including edamame, age-gyoza, tempura, and agedashi tofu. We also offer sushi and sashimi and a variety of dinner salads.

    Why is teppanyaki good for a work party?

    Teppanyaki dining is very different from your standard work dinner. Thanks to the communal nature of the seating and cooking, you and your coworkers will get to enjoy a unique experience together. It’s the perfect opportunity to shrug off the demands of the office and focus on having fun together instead. Spending some time together bonding outside of work will help build more productive relationships in the office.

    Start planning your work event at House of Genji today by calling our restaurant. Find out about our menus and set up a time to come to our teppanyaki restaurant in San Jose by calling (408) 453-8120.

  • A Look at Dining Etiquette in Japan

    When you visit Japan, there are many different customs you will get to experience. Japanese dining etiquette can often be confusing for Westerners visiting the country for the first time. Although everyone is understanding of how different the dining experience is for people visiting the country and are patient as you learn new etiquette rules, it can helpful to learn as much as you can about the norms before you go. Here is a closer look at some basic Japanese dining etiquette rules, so feel more relaxed in Japanese restaurants.

    Chopstick Basics
    Using chopsticks can take practice, so use them whenever you get a chance before your visit. In Japan, don’t point chopsticks at people or dishes or wave them around while you’re talking. You shouldn’t suck any sauces off your chopsticks or stab foods that are hard to pick up. Never place your chopsticks upright in rice, which is symbolic of death, as is passing food with chopsticks. Don’t lay your chopsticks next to your plate when you’re done eating, as this indicates that you haven’t finished.


    Tipping is not common in Japan. In fact, it is often considered to be insulting. In restaurants, wait staff will often accept tips from Westerners in order to avoid embarrassing them. However, it’s best to avoid the practice completely—in restaurants, hotels, cabs, and anywhere else you would normally leave a tip in a Western country.


    Something that may feel strange to Westerners but is expected in Japan is sipping directly from a soup bowl. Slurping is also encouraged, as it demonstrates that you are enjoying the food. Always clean your plate completely. Leaving anything behind, even a small amount of rice or sauce, is considered rude.

    At House of Genji, you’ll enjoy traditional Japanese teppanyaki dining and get plenty of chances to practice with your chopsticks. Contact us today at (408) 453-8120 to find our more about our cocktail lounge and menu of Japanese food in San Jose.

  • Visiting House of Genji for Happy Hour

    Any time is a great time to visit House of Genji, but many of our loyal customers love stopping by for happy hour. Our Japanese restaurant has been a local favorite for more than 30 years, and during that time, our repeat customers have come to rely on our fabulous wait staff and bartenders to provide excellent service. We offer a full bar, including Japan’s signature drink, sake.

    The sake we serve is premium quality, which means that it’s best served slightly chilled, rather than warm. If you’re not feeling in the mood for sake, you can indulge in one of our many other alcoholic beverage selections. Our cocktails are particularly popular. Pair your beverage choice with a delicious appetizer, such as panko wings, deep fried calamari, sautéed scallops, or a freshly made sushi roll.
    House of Genji is Japanese dining at its finest, and our beverage menu can’t be beat! You can reach our Japanese steakhouse serving San Jose at (408) 453-8120 if you have any questions.

  • Planning an Autumn Trip to Japan? Don’t Miss These Festivals

    Japan is a country that loves its festivals. Visit this beautiful nation any time of year, and you’re sure to find a festival to celebrate. Japanese festivals are a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture—from the traditional dress to traditional Japanese dining experiences, like teppanyaki.

    Kichijoji Autumn Festival
    Visiting Tokyo in early September? One of the first autumn festivals is the one held annually in Kichijoji, which is a neighborhood in Tokyo. This festival was first held in 1972 at a Shinto shrine, the Musashino Hachimangu. Teams of bearers travel the streets of Kichijoji carrying the mikoshi, which are ornate shrines. The music and dancing are irresistible for spectators and participants alike. There are always plenty of street vendors offering delicious food for hungry revelers.

    Sapporo Autumn Fest

    Bring a hearty appetite to the Sapporo Autumn Fest, held every year throughout most of September. Most of the festivities take place in Odori Park in Sapporo, which is the largest city on the island of Hokkaido. Booths showcase products from all over the prefecture, including agricultural and livestock products. Sample the wine and sake, order up some delicious ramen, and sample various delicacies prepared by some of the best chefs around.

    Kamiari Festival

    The Kamiari Festival is held during several days in late November. It’s held at the Izumo Grand Shrine. Adherents of the Shinto religion believe that all of the gods gather once per year at the Izumo Grand Shrine. People travel here from all over Japan each year in hopes that their prayers will be heard. Note that the dates vary from year to year, since this festival is scheduled by the old lunar calendar. However, it’s usually held in late November.

    Every day is a party here at House of Genji! Visit our Japanese steakhouse in San Jose to see our skillful teppanyaki chefs slice and dice your meal right before your eyes! You can reach us at (408) 453-8120 to check on our available reservations.

  • A Quick and Easy Way to Learn to Use Chopsticks

    Japanese food is delicious no matter how you eat it. But if you want an authentic experience, you should learn how to use chopsticks before your next dinner date at a Japanese restaurant. Watch this quick video for a helpful demonstration.

    You’ll see how to pinch the chopstick with your thumb and index finger. Slide the other chopstick through the space between your thumb and index finger, resting it at the base of your thumb. You’ll hold the second chopstick in place with your middle finger. Maneuver the chopsticks by moving the first chopstick with pressure from your index finger.

     You can practice your chopstick skills at House of Genji—a Japanese restaurant in San Jose. Call (408) 453-8120 or make your reservations online today!

  • Exploring the Roots of the Gyoza

    Gyoza are a popular appetizer and side order in Japanese restaurants. They are a type of Japanese pot sticker or dumpling. Traditionally, gyoza are made from very thin sheets of dough wrapped around fillings of vegetables or meats. Gyoza may be pan-fried, boiled, or deep-fried. Deep-fried gyoza are called age-gyoza. If you get the chance to visit a Japanese steakhouse, don’t miss the opportunity to order gyoza for a delicious and authentic Japanese dining experience!

    Chinese Origins of Gyoza

Although the gyoza is a Japanese food, it has its roots in China. It can be said to be a descendant of the jiaozi dumpling, which is a very popular snack in China. It’s thought that the jiaozi was created sometime after 150 AD by the same man who founded Chinese herbal medicine. This individual wanted to create a warm food that would help people get through the cold weather. Although the Chinese people enjoy jiaozi all year round, it’s a particularly popular menu item during the Chinese New Year.

Migration of Dumplings to Japan

It’s thought that dumplings were eaten in Japan at some point prior to 1700. However, they didn’t become popular until the 1940s. Wars have a way of exposing different cultures to each other, for better or worse, and this was the case with the second Sino-Japanese War. Japan was poor in natural resources, and northern China was very rich in natural resources. Japan invaded and occupied Manchuria in northern China with the goal of commandeering these natural resources. The Japanese ended up bringing home more than they’d bargained for, in the form of Chinese jiaozi. The humble dumpling became a favorite national food.

Modern Japanese Gyoza

Today, Japanese gyoza is a little different from Chinese jiaozi. One difference is that, in Japan, gyoza specialty shops often serve these pot stickers with white rice. Ramen shops serve them with ramen. Another difference is that dumplings in China are traditionally boiled, whereas the Japanese prefer to pan fry them.

House of Genji is famous for our delicious age-gyoza, served with soy and rice vinegar dipping sauce. If you’re in the mood for an incredible teppanyaki dining experience in San Jose, give us a call today at (408) 453-8120 to request reservations! Be sure to check out our cocktail lounge!