Hi all. Don't know if many of you know this, but Tojo's recently moved to a new location down Broadway just a bit. My wife and I ate there tonight and really enjoyed it.
First off, I know there's a huge range of opinion on their food, decor, service and atmosphere. My wife and I are in the "we love it " camp. We are somewhat regulars there so I would venture to guess that our usual experience might be better than some. That said, here's my take on the new place.
Decor: Night and day vs. the old location. The new one is much more spacious. It has a separate sake bar; the sushi bar is probably twice as big also. It has a very airy feel and is much more warm. The decor is beautiful and the was a waft of fresh flowers from the vase just to my right at the sushi bar.
Service: All the regular staff are there and then some. I've waited many nights in the past for service or between courses and have just accepted that as part of the experience on busier nights. Not so anymore. The service was prompt and friendly, but I never got the feeling like they were trying to turn over our spot at the bar.
Food: The reason we go to Tojo's! It was exemplary. I had several of the usual items including a melt-in-you-mouth tuna tataki, the smoked sable fish, fresh snapper and toro tuna, etc. Also had a couple of new spectacular dishes. One was called the savory soup. It was a delicate egg custard with a caviar top and below, a mix of bbq eel, dungenous crab, white fish and a hint of lemon. Very rich and very good. Next was a dungenous crab salad with pear, cabbage, sweet vinegar and a sweet/spicy mustard sauce. Last was a thick slab of tuna rolled in seaweed, then very lightly tempura battered and fried for only a few seconds. Think seared tuna, but even more tender. It was finished with a ume (sour plum) paste and a small mushroom cap. I was thankful my wife was getting full because I got to eat hers too.
I know there are many places in town where one can get excellent but cheaper sushi. For me, Tojo's is a special indulgence that I love and really don't care what the price is.
For those of you who've given negative reviews, I suggest you give it another try.
Well, part of my review was to address the service issues. I won't make any excuses for a place that treats people rudely; there simply isn't one. I've been to places that people rave about the service and have then thought "What the hell are they talking about?" too. I can only go by my experiences there. Of the 15 or so times I've been in the past several years, I've never had a bad service experience there. Go figure.
I couldn't agree more - we have eaten at numerous Japanese places throughout Canada, US and Asia and never have we had service like we did at Tojo's.
Sure the food is great, but the service and the attitude.....we have tried the bar a couple of times and table seating once, but never again. Tojo has such a ego and it really rubs off the wrong way. It is not an enjoyable experiance talikng to / listening to him.
Finally they renovated / moved down the street to a much nicer location, but there is something to be said about a restaurant with bad service.
There are just as good if not better Japanese places to eat in the city with NONE of the attitude one gets a Tojo's.
I don't care how good the sushi is.
They totally disrespect their customers.
I traveled from another freaking country to eat there, making extra effort to confirm our reservation TWICE for the most expensive meal they offer.
We had to walk the service was so bad. We weren't even offered a cocktail or an apology when our reservation could not be honored after almost 25 minutes.
Hi Vancouver chowhounds,
When I filled out my profile and thought about the best meal I've ever had, it was the omakase at Tojo's close to ten years ago and I was just wondering what Tojo's is like now. Is it still considered the best Japanese in Vancouver? Still one of the city's best restaurants? Someday I hope to make it back.
Thanks for the review. Will have to try it again when I'm over there next. I've tried both o-makase and a la carte, and I think I prefer choosing my own order. Eitherway, you can't go wrong since there is so much "quality control", if you will.
I would sum it up as big bang for big bucks... Fortunately, I was able to expense both meals I had there... :)