Japanese breakfast at Hinotez San Diego

There are not a lot of establishments serving Chinese breakfasts in southern California, let alone Japanese breakfasts, so I was super excited to hear that there is a restaurant serving Japanese breakfast in San Diego.

Living in Hawaii, I was accustomed to having Japanese breakfasts on the weekends, but I haven’t found one outside of the islands or Japan.

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Hinotez opens at 8am and offers items for a traditional Japanese breakfast, but also has other dishes you can add on to make it a more substantial meal. Ramen is also offered at breakfast time.

The Basic Breakfast ($3) includes rice, miso soup, cold tofu and pickles.

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Then, you add on items priced at either $1 or $2 per small plate. I loveĀ Tororo ($1) or grated mountain yam, but it will definitely not appeal to everyone. The texture is slimy and there is virtually no taste. Strangely, I love the texture and how it feels in my mouth. I add a dash of soy sauce and then add a little rice to the tororo and then slurp into my mouth. It kinda grossed my friend out.

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Natto ($2) is pungent fermented soy beans and I wasn’t able to eat this growing up because the taste was too strong. Over the years, I’ve learned that I can’t eat it as is, but, with the addition of scallions and soy sauce, it is not only very good, but also, very healthful.

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Chopped Okra ($2) also possessed the slimy texture of the other two, which might not be agreeable to some, but I loved it. The bonito flakes on top adds texture AND flavor!

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For those less adventurous, there is Gyoza ($2), which should’ve been fried or pan fried instead of just steamed. These were very lackluster.

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The Shumai ($2) were also rather dismal. Don’t order these. They tasted frozen.

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Three pieces of Shrimp Tempura ($2) were a little small, but not bad.

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Our favorite was the Chicken karaage ($2), tender pieces of fried chicken cooked perfectly moist on the inside with a nice crispy exterior.

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There is also grilled salmon — grilled fish is part of a traditional Japanese breakfast — but we didn’t get to order it this time. I know I’ll be back again when I’m craving this again early in the morning while in San Diego!

7947 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92111
Tel: 858-565-4244

Hinotez on Urbanspoon


  1. Eileen Likes To Eat says

    Japanese breakfast looks so healthy and amazing! When we lived in LA, we used to go to this place called Tokyo 7-7 Coffee Shop in Culver City for Japanese style breakfast. Sadly this restaurant closed a few years ago. If we happen to be down in San Diego one morning, definitely want to try this place!

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