Korean tacos and more: What's trending on San Jose's food scene?

Koja Kitchen. | Photo: James V./Yelp

Wondering where San Jose's insiders are eating and drinking? It's easy to spot lines out the door, but some underlying trends are harder to see.

We took a data-driven look at the question, using Yelp to analyze which eateries have been getting extra notice this month.

To find out who made the list, we looked at San Jose businesses on Yelp by category and counted how many reviews each received. Rather than compare them based on number of reviews alone, we calculated a percentage increase in reviews over the past month, and tracked businesses that consistently increase their volume of reviews to identify statistically significant outliers compared to past performance.

Read on to see which spots are on a hot streak, right now.

Koja Kitchen



Photo: Marianna K./Yelp

Whether or not you've been hearing buzz about the Rose Garden's Koja Kitchen, the Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant is a hot topic according to Yelp review data.

While businesses categorized as "Japanese" on Yelp increased their review count by a median of 1.5 percent over the past month, Koja Kitchen bagged a 16.4 percent increase in reviews within that timeframe, with a slight downward trend from a four-star rating a month ago to its current 3.5 stars. It significantly outperformed the previous month by gaining 1.7 times more reviews than expected based on its past performance.

Open at 2855 Stevens Creek, Blvd., Ste. FC6 since March 2018, Koja Kitchen offers unique takes on the humble burger, with a choice of protein like Korean barbecue short ribs or miso-coconut-braised pork on 'buns' made of fried garlic rice. It also serves tacos, salads and bowls of white or brown rice seasoned with furikake (Japanese seasoning) and topped with tofu, tuna or beef. (You can check out the full lineup here.)

There's more that's trending on San Jose's Japanese scene: Sanraku has seen a 5.6 percent increase in reviews.

Gin Ga Sushi



Photo: Gin Ga Sushi/Yelp

Silver Creek's Gin Ga Sushi is also making waves. Open since Aug. 2016 at 5665 Silver Creek Valley Road, the well-established sushi bar has seen a 7.2 percent bump in reviews over the last month, compared to a median review increase of 1.3 percent for all businesses tagged "Sushi Bars" on Yelp.

Moreover, on a month-to-month basis review counts increased by a whopping 1,100 percent.

Gin Ga offers an extensive selection of nigiri sushi and sashimi; signature rolls; ramen, udon and soba and teriyaki dinner plates. (Check out the full menu here.) Over the past month, it's maintained a mixed three-star rating among Yelpers.

The Kickin' Crab



Photo: Sonya E./Yelp

East San Jose's The Kickin' Crab is the city's buzziest seafood spot by the numbers.

The popular Cajun-Creole seafoodspot, which opened at 1735 E. Capitol Expy on Jan. 2017, increased its review count by 3.8 percent over the past month, an outlier when compared to the median review increase of 1.3 percent for the Yelp category "Seafood." It outperformed the previous month by gaining 2.4 times more reviews than expected based on past performance.

The Kickin' Crab offers a variety of starters and soups, as well as its signature seafood plates, like shrimp, mussels, clams and king crab legs cooked and seasoned to order. (Check out the restaurant's full menu here.)
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