At a news conference, Pasadena police Chief Phillip Sanchez said Kurihara was "in good shape."
"The great news here is that Dylan was in his car seat. He was asleep at the time we found him," Sanchez said. "We immediately called the Pasadena paramedics. He's undergoing medical evaluation at this time."
The toddler's mother reported the child missing about 8 a.m. Sunday. The father and child had not been seen since attending a wedding at a Masonic lodge in Pasadena on Saturday night.
An investigation was launched and police discovered that the father, Joe Kurihara, had been arrested just after 10:30 p.m. Saturday for public intoxication.
About 50 officers along with volunteers combed the streets searching for Kurihara, officials said.
Kurihara said he did not remember being with the child due to his level of drunkenness. He was on foot at the time of his arrest and officers did not know he was in charge of the boy.
"The mother asked us if the child was with the father and we said we didn't know there was a child with the father at the time of the arrest," said Cmdr. Darryl Qualls of the Pasadena Police Department.
The father and child were last seen leaving a parking structure at Cordova Avenue and Euclid Street about 9:30 p.m. in a silver, 2001 four-door Lexus RX300 with a California license plate number of 4UHY191.
Kurihara told police he had no idea where he parked his SUV before being arrested.
Sanchez said they'd be working with the district attorney to figure out what charges the boy's father might face.
"We're looking at all possible charges that will be associated with this particular incident," Sanchez said.