Review – Geko Tei

Passports Not Required

(not even if you want the huge $10 lunch special! )

Are you dying to sink your teeth into the meaty paradise that is hot roast pork over fragrant rice? Do you crave duck teryaki with mushroom and eggplant slices served on a sizzling skillet or crispy-skinned charcoal-grilled mackerel?

Yes, please!

Dear fellow foodie:

Are you the kind of food lover who watches travel shows and wishes you could sample all the exotic goodies you see on your screen?

Do you ever look longingly at glossy food magazines gushing about culinary travel destinations and dream about doing it all… ?

Are you craving authentic Japanese dishes, but the only “Japanese” restaurant in your area actually an Asian fusion place that caters to Western tastebuds?

What if I told you I had the simple answer to your problem?

But first, I need to know that you’re a food lover like me.

Because the place I’m about to tell you about is the kind of place locals know about and treasure… and keep it word of mouth only.

After all, we don’t want just anyone finding our secret spot.

If we make it harder to get a table, we want to know that the person drooling over a big serving of luxurious uni don is someone like us. Someone who loves and appreciates this food and this place as much as we do.

So if you dream of jetting off to Tokyo for lunch, but that pesky 60 minute time limit gets in your way….

If fresh, authentic Japanese food is your passion….

If thinking of adventuresome eating experiences make your heart race and your tastebuds tingle….

I know the place for you.

Ready for the secret?

Geko Tei.

Hiding in plain sight in a quiet little strip mall along a busy street, this gem of the local food scene is the real deal for Japanese food in the Cerritos area. If you’re looking for a fast lunch that’s healthy, tasty, and easy on your wallet, here’s where you look.

Walk in… and instantly be transported to a traditional izakaya in Tokyo…. all without TSA, passports, or plane fare.

Like all good restaurants, Geko Tei updates its menu regularly. This means they keep their quality high and they use seasonal ingredients to their best advantage, just like back home in Japan.

Now, fair warning…. This might be the hardest thing you do all week, but…

Make sure to take your Instagram-worthy pictures before you pick up your chopsticks (yes, chopsticks. You have to ask for Western silverware. That’s how authentic this place is). There won’t be anything left to photograph later!

Imagine this being your lunch today….

  • meaty slices of pink yellowtail tuna laid out like an edible flower, draped with the tangy tastiness of yuzu juice and soy sauce, each graced with a single slice of emerald jalapeno (hamachi jalapeno)…..

  • thinly sliced salmon, the perfect, melting balance between lean and fat, expertly draped over warm rice and topped with mounds of its own rose-colored roe (salmon and ikura don) …..

  • mackerel, cooked to mouth-watering perfection on a charcoal grill before being plated and brought straight to your table (saba shio)…..

  • precisely cut squares of crispy, deep-fried tofu… crunchy, pale gold on the outside, warm and delicious on the inside, drizzled in umami-sweet tempura sauce (agedashi tofu)….

  • Dashimaki (egg omelet hot appetizer)…Japanese comfort food you won’t find outside of Little Tokyo, or your mom’s kitchen….

  • easy boiled egg on rice, simple but sublime, and never found on fusion menus…..

Is your mouth watering? I know mine is!

But there’s more! Geko Tei doesn’t just serve up the ordinary, it specializes in the extraordinary at a price that won’t break your wallet. If you’re jonesing to try….

  • The ultimate indulgent surf and turf that is the uni on Wagyu beef appetizer (devour while it’s still warm! Trust me!)…..

  • a luxuriantly large helping of golden creamy, briny uni on pristine, addictively tasty rice (uni don)….

  • the utter luxury of the foie gras and duck meat rice bowl (foie gras don)…

  • The crispy pale gold lacework that is your order of hand-cut fried lotus root chips….

But at Geko Tei, it isn’t just the food that’s artfully crafted. Everything about the decor is designed as if it were back in Tokyo… authentic izakaya decor of clean lines, dark woods, hanging plants…. and the occasional painting of a geisha.

Simple white plates showcase the food that arrives at your table in a cloud of fragrant smoke and luscious sizzle. There’s carefully selected offering of beers, sake, and shochu… all excellent and authentic Japanese imports.

Honestly, I could go on and on about the atmosphere, the easy and plentiful parking, and definitely the food…. (and their $10 lunch set menu, only between 11:30 and 12:30)…

Don’t just take my word for it. Reviewers on Yelp rave about Geko Tei, too:

Kevin L. – “Food was amazing. We were looking forward to the famed ikura. Ordered the salmon ikura don. Simply the best I’ve ever had. Rice was moist and sweet. The salmon was fresh. Ikura was one of the best, melts in your mouth. Highly recommend.”

Emily C. – “It’s honestly one of my favorite places to eat in Cerritos. I love Japanese food and this place is affordable and delicious. You can’t go wrong with ordering any of the specials here, especially the simmered fish specials…. I always opt for the combo $2 to get miso soup, salad, and rice. The salad comes with a yuzu dressing that is so good! It makes me miss Japan… Their rice is delicious by the way. I try to watch my carb intake but I can’t resist their rice here.”

Jennifer L. – “Geko Tei is my all-time favorite Japanese restaurant in the Cerritos area. The food is consistent in quality, taste, and presentation. I always come for their lunch set specials because it’s affordable and large in portions.

I recently brought my parents here and they couldn’t stop raving about the variety of entrees and appetizers; taste and quality of the food; and large portions with wallet-friendly prices. They kept saying they’re going to bring their friends.”

Just reading those testimonials made me think about noshing on my favorite Japanese-style hamburger steak lunch set with rice, miso soup, and the freshest salad I’ve ever seen…. Mmmm….

Are you as hungry as I am right now? I think I’m make a run to Geko Tei for lunch. I’ll save you a seat.

See you there!