Leichi is a Japanese restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area (specifically Santa Clara) I recently discovered that I absolutely love. Unlike most Japanese restaurants that primarily serve sushi, this restaurant specializes in house-made authentic food. For example, they have a tofu dish that is house-made. The noodles (udon and soba) are also house-made.
I have been to this restaurant twice for dinner, once with friends and the second time with family. Both times, the menu was unchanged, so I had the opportunity to try a wide assortment of dishes. We also tried to do a walk-in for two, but was unsuccessful as the evening was already fully booked. So regardless of party size, I recommend calling ahead for a reservation.
Note about lunch at Leichi, the lunch menu is VERY different compared to the dinner menu. Lunch is much more bento focused and in my opinion not as impressive as their dinner menu. I highly recommend dinner at Leichi over lunch.
Leichi Restaurant Location
Leichi is located at 246 Saratoga Ave Santa Clara, CA 95050 in the Pruneridge Shopping Center on the corner of San Tomas Expressway and Saratoga Avenue.
At night, the plaza isn't extremely sketchy, but could certainly use more light. It's not the type of plaza I'd want to hang out with either before or after the meal. The restaurant is easily accessible from 280 and also close to Valley Fair Shopping Center and Santana Row.
Ambiance at Leichi
Inside, the restaurant is small, but very cozy and comfortable. There's around 8 seats at the bar and another 5-6 tables. Despite being small restaurant, the tables are not crammed together, so the dining experience is casual and enjoyable.
Because the restaurant is fairly small, there aren't a ton of customers. And even less because there never seems to be a line of people waiting. In fact, to be fair, our reservation has a set time that we must be done by and they are courteous enough to come by for a last call.
Leichi: Favorite Dishes
Here, I've listed some of my favorite dishes I would order with every visit.
- Roasted Duck Smoked Inside Hickory - The duck slices are roasted, and lightly smoked under a cup!
- Sushi Combo - Good for sharing for 2-3 people.
- Chicken Cartilage Karaage - Unique, as its the end of the chicken drumstick that has been deep fried.
- Soba Noodles or Udon Noodles
- Ginger Ale - Their home-made variant which sits right on top of the bar.
What I would like to try next time:
Ultimately, if anyone is ever looking for a Japanese restaurant recommendation in the South Bay, I would recommend Leichi. If there were a special occasion to celebrate and we need a restaurant, I would recommend Leichi. If you haven't been there, I'd suggest checking it out. For more details, visit them at http://www.leichisc.com.