Cafe Japengo The Aventine Center Jerry Warner Jay Payne THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Cafe Japengo


The Aventine Center
8960 University Centre Lane
La Jolla, CA 92037
Cuisine: Pan-Asian / Sushi / Japanese
A stylish setting for Pan-Asian cuisine and quality sushi in UTC.
Openings: Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner Mon.-Sat.


THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Cafe Japengo Restaurant Review:

Rather than stick with the status quo, this Pan-Asian/sushi restaurant continually updates the menu to maintain its reputation. Executive chef Jerry Warner has been in the kitchen since 1990; his sushi bar offers traditional and modern rolls, and sashimi utilizing fresh ingredients and creative presentation. Hot food chef Jay Payne prepares unique fusion fare showing influences from France, the Mediterranean and Asia. Together they have crafted a menu with something for everyone, including an extensive saké and wine list, exotic cocktails and a wide selection of international beer. Sushi aficionados won’t want to miss the Hawaiian roll topped with crispy tempura flakes or the protein roll, which eschews rice altogether and wraps shrimp, tuna and scallop in delicate soy paper. On the hot side, we like the Tokyo bites, a visually pleasing tempura-crusted combo of shiitake mushrooms, spicy tuna and crab. From the wok section, we recommend the shrimp and scallops with glass noodles and spicy ginger-peanut sauce, but not the braised short ribs with saffron fettuccine, as the meat is not tender enough. Roasted coconut chicken with fried rice and green curry sauce tops our list. Japengo’s chocolate lava cake is well-loved, but chef Payne’s pan-fried bread pudding with poached Asian pears, caramel sauce and vanilla gelato is our dessert pick.

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