Sen Dai Sushi (Milpitas, CA)

8:00:00 AM

Eating Sushi Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Miraculously Finding A Spot In The Parking Lot

Start off with a cup of tea. 
Not that I’m against duking it out for a spot in the extremely small parking lot that Sen Dai is situated in, but more often than not, it’s all about having a lucky draw. Sometimes you pull up to the parking lot and there just happens to be a car leaving. SCORE! And other times, you could drive in and out from that same parking and never find a spot. And then... you get desperate and park next door at the kid's jumping place. 

Don't give me that look! Desperate times calls for desperate measures!

The Inside: Photo is blurry. Eek!
This is Sen Dai after all… so if you want to avoid the crowds, the best time to come is on an early weekend afternoon. Otherwise, trying to have dinner on the weekend could cost you up to an hour wait.

Hopyard (BAKED "fresh water eel, avocado roll" topped with salmon, tobiko, green onion, mayo)
A small, suspicious looking restaurant sitting in between a donut shop, hair dresser and a convenience store, you could easily drive by and not bat an eyelash at Sen Dai’s direction. But if you look a little closer, you often see a large crowd of people hovering outside its blacked-out walls and makes you wonder—just what kind of restaurant is it?

Deep Fried Oysters 

And if the 1,780+ yelp reviews mean anything: a damn good one. It’s a Japanese restaurant that specializes in sushi rolls. With an extensive menu, I find that their sushi rolls are affordable and also very tasty. They certainly don’t skimp on the fish and everything I’ve tasted so far is fresh.

Cherry Blossom Roll ("salmon, avocado roll" topped with tuna, tobiko)
In fact, I’ve visit Sen Dai almost too many times to count. I’ve even brought my parents here once and while they don’t eat raw fish, they enjoyed the baked rolls and the crispy tempura. Often times, my friends and I just go for the rolls and while we haven’t eaten all of them, we have eaten our fair share.

DF Three (Deep fried smoked salmon, scallop, green onion & tobiko)
Inside, the restaurant is pretty small and dark, but they have a lot of servers coupled with more sushi chefs behind the counter than I’ve seen in most Japanese restaurants. The service at Sen Dai runs like a clockwork. They take orders, serve sushi and move customers in and out quickly. And they manage to do it without innately rushing you even during peak hours.

Mizuno ("deep fried shrimp, avocado roll" topped with tuna, salmon, tobiko & spicy sauce)

At Top: Mark's Special ("deep fried shrimp, avocado roll" topped with scallop, tobiko & spicy sauce) Bottom: Alaska Roll (Salmon & Avocado)
They’re opened in the afternoon from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and then closes and reopens at 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. They take customers up till 9 and more often than not, there are still people waiting for a table up to the last minute.

Over time, I've accumulated many photos from my visits, so no... I didn't go crazy and order 8 rolls, but this isn't even all of it. These are simply the most recent ones, if that says anything about how frequently I eat at Sen Dai. 

Dragon Roll ("deep fried shrimp, crab roll" topped with fresh water eel & avocado)

Fuji (BAKED "spicy crab, deep fried shrimp" topped with spicy scallop, green onion, & tobiko)
This is my go-to place for great, affordable sushi. What’s yours?

224 N Abel St
Milpitas, CA 95035

You Might Also Like


  1. Mine is Sen Dai too~ :D The rolls seem a little pricier than other restaurants, but for the quality of fish and portion, you're definitely getting an amazing deal.

    Not to mention the restaurant actually looks a bit sketchy from the outside in the little plaza. It was definitely a hole in the wall before people "discovered" it.

    1. Oh definitely.. it seems like the pattern for Japanese restaurants are, the sketchier it looks on the outside, the better tasting it'll be on the inside.

      Also the restaurants have to be small. Like being able to only cram about 30 people or less inside. Haha.