Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Night Out: Toyko Sushi & Grill 
Recently my friends offer was accepted on their "Forever Home." They shared the news with me as soon as they found out and I couldn't be happier for them. It's a beautiful house and can't wait to see it when they add their style to make it a home. To celebrate this wonderful news, a group of us went out for sushi (and yes again I had a Groupon :)).

I made reservations for 9 of us to go to Tokyo Sushi and Grill Japanese House on 129th & Bluemound, next door to Wine Cellar of Wisconsin (if you have never been, please stop into the wine shop - great selection, amazing help!). The hostess was quite confused when taking my reservation, and I had to repeat myself, so just make sure they get the right number and time when you call. When we walked into the restaurant, we stood in a very small entryway with photos of customers enjoying meals, daily specials on a dry erase board and a small bench. Half of dining room was set up for  Hibachi and the other half was tables and booths. A small bar runs against the front wall on the dining side and would seat maybe 6. In the floor is a unique display of fancy liquor bottles. I didn't notice it at first, but we had to wait a few minutes for a table and upon moving out of a customer's way to the door, I glanced down and it caught my eye. Very unique display, but I'm unsure of the purpose.

The restaurant was very full and they sat our group of 9 (actually 7 as a few cancelled, so we had some space) at a Hibachi table, even though we all were getting sushi. It was a little awkward and I felt like I had to talk loud to folks on the other end of the table, but there weren't many others in the room to bother if I did speak up.

Hibachi table at Toyko
Decorative window to divide the Hibachi Room -
Our server wasn't very familiar with the bar offerings and just suggested that she bring over a drink menu for us to choose from. I wanted to do a vodka lemonade (I know, not very authentic) and the server wasn't sure what I wanted. I ended up going with a Bacardi and diet because they didn't have any flavored vodkas on the menu. Shauna and Jack shared a little bottle of sake, Tiffany tried the beer special of the night and the rest got waters or sodas. It's been a while since I have had hard liquor in a drink, but even so, this one was very strong. I'm very glad I asked for a water as well. 

Sake in a pretty bottle to chill
Bacardi and diet - its pretty light colored!

My Groupon did not work on the nightly specials or specials menu that they had, so I ended up using it on my own for the regular menu as everyone else went for specials. It's not hard to spend money on sushi because in my eyes, its all so good!

One of the specials was a terriyaki steak with veggies that came with miso soup and a salad. A few people ordered that. I snuck a taste from Kacey and the the salad dressing was a delicious but thick ginger sesame. The miso soup was typical from what everyone said and Kacey devoured his steak in just a few bites it was that good. Everyone had cleared their plate and was waiting patiently for the sushi.

Our server informed us that with all the Groupons, the sushi chefs were a little backed up and items from the kitchen were coming out much faster than the sushi area and she apologized for the wait. A few minutes later, sushi started to come to our table. I had completely forgot what I had ordered and even if I did remember, I would have no idea what it was to look like. It was an hour from the time we sat down to the time we got our sushi.

We finally got all the plates out at the table and started to dig in. I ordered the Phoenix Roll which was made of tempura shrimp and cream cheese topped with spicy tuna. This was my favorite roll that I have ever had. Although I still remember that Tory's roll from Meiji 88 was really good, I enjoyed the little kick of spice and the crunch and that's what made it #1 for me. I also ordered a Dynamite roll which was crab, avocado, spicy mayo and lobster salad on top. This too had crunch but these rolls were very large and hard to eat. And to be on the safe side, in case both of my rolls were too spicy for me, I ordered a California roll, cucumber avocado rice and that is exactly what it tasted like. 

California, Dynamite & Phoenix Rolls from
Although I don't remember what everyone ordered and the majority came from the specials menu that isn't listed on line, I did take pictures to show the rest of the food. I know that a Rock'n Roll and a Fashion Roll were ordered, but beyond that, I couldn't tell you, so just enjoy the beautifully presented sushi. My friend Caroline did have some of her sushi wrapped in soy paper instead of seaweed and although it is a higher cost, she really likes the flavor better. I will note this for my next sushi adventure and have to order a roll that way.
Beautiful Presentation from
Our server did seem to disappear for quite some time while we were eating. She did apologize again for being slow and promptly got us our bills and boxes for leftovers. I had misread my Groupon and it was worth $20 and not $30 so I had over purchased, but I enjoyed every bite and took some to-go. I figure that you can have leftovers up to 18 hours later if kept cold and they will be fine. Unfortunately I left them in Kacey's fridge so he had a marvelous lunch the next day at work. 

Even though service was a little slow (mainly to blame on the Groupon's expiring soon), I would like to go back there and try some other things on their menu. I have never done Hibachi so that could be an option too. The people that were finishing up their Hibachi when we got there and the small group that sat down as we were leaving really seemed to be enjoying themselves as did the chef.

Until my next post, Happy Eating!

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