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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Greenville Eats: Tokyo Japanese Restaurant

Sushi is a pretty finicky thing. The difference between good and bad sushi is so slim that it could seem negligible to most due to the actual experience. Many sushi restaurants, in fact, contain so many elegant notes that quality becomes that of a steakhouse to some where it's more about the show rather than the food.

Walking into Tokyo, however, one definitely does not get that impression. Even with the Japanese style seating on the far side of the restaurant and the bar in the center that surrounded the sushi chefs, Tokyo has the casual atmosphere of an eat-and-run type of place. Despite the low-key affair, the building was still buzzing with energy and continued to be so as things got busier throughout the evening.

Food-wise, Tokyo has just about everything you'd expect to find at any sushi restaurant from its spicy tuna rolls to bento boxes. I decided to grab the Tokyo Roll, consisting of tempura soft-shell crab, avocado, and eel. The roll was surprisingly sizable unlike some of the similar rolls I had back in Columbia, South Carolina which I found to be a huge plus. You definitely get your money's worth here. There's not much to say about such a roll itself; it was fresh, fast and filling, all I could ask for from a sushi restaurant. The roll was surprisingly well stuffed with crab, something that can be a disappointing rarity at other sushi restaurants.

My comrades in chopsticks flooded the table with mounds of various sushi, all of which seemed to satisfy. The Hawaii Roll in particular, a mix of shrimp tempura and spicy tuna topped with mango and crushed almonds, was an exercise in yin and yang with the cool mango and spicy tuna. For appetizers, an order of edamame kept things casual while an order of fried squid kept this blogger busy. Though cleverly presented, I couldn't say it was the best I ever had as the squid was a bit more rubbery than I had before and not well seasoned. We also had a dish of hibachi chicken at the table which looked pretty ordinary on the whole. In fact, glancing around the restaurant, customers definitely didn't seem to be enthused about the non-sushi fare. That being said, this is a sushi restaurant, and in that area Tokyo clearly didn't disappoint.

No Reservations, The Shakedown on Tokyo
Atmosphere: Contemp, but casual and lively at all times.
Cost: Average sushi prices, but the special rolls are generally
worth the price of admission. $8-16
Try: The Tokyo Roll. Crispy soft shell crab and avocado
makes almost anything idiot-proof.
Best sushi town?: I think so.

The Final Verdict
Despite its location on the outskirts of the Greenville area, Tokyo proved to be a nice, trendy place to grab some casual sushi and relax with your bare feet in the ground if you're lucky enough to grab the Japanese style booths. The prices ranged from extremely affordable to upscale depending on your taste and, perhaps more importantly, your choice of company. You won't find anything revolutionary here, but you will find good eats as long as you stick to what their known for.

Thanks to "Alaska" for the photos.

Tokyo Japan Restaurant & Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon


Kim said...

The picture nod made me giggle. :-) (when I was 18 and applying to colleges out of state...I had a secret hope that people would call me "Alaska." I hadlong since left desire behind though. And even forgotten about it...)

Bach Pham said...

Haha, I guess you'll forever be Alaska in this blog then.

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