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Apr 1, 2007 10:51 AM

What's the difference between lunch and dinner at TODAI in Glendale?

Anyone know the differences? I know Todai may not be the best for Sushi, but for the price at $15 per person and I have a 25% coupon I really cannot complain.

I am not a hard core sushi eater, but I want to know what I'd be missing out on if I ate at luch vs dinner. I really there for the Sashimi and Uni, because that's all I've really eaten.

Also, hows the Glendale Todai?

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  1. You couldn't pay me to eat sashimi and Uni at Todai.

    The difference is lunch is just cheaper. At dinner they charge more, and maybe more lobster dishes.

    The food is terrible, either time. Saving money on sushi is really not a great idea. Todai sucks so much, it's not worth any money.

    I think you would probably prefer to pend a little more and do an all you can eat sushi lunch at Midori in Studio City or Sherman Oaks. Dinner there is more expensive than lunch, but the dishes are the same on the menu..just most places seem to charge more for dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Diana

      (Reposted for continuity)

      April fool?

      Seriously, I'd ditto Diana. (BTW, for those who know me, that one's not the Chow-Spouse, who spells her name differently)

      The Glendale Todai once served me the worst sushi I have ever had in my mouth, possibly the worst fish product of any kind I've ever eaten. . . .

      Discount buffet sashimi and UNI? BAD idea.

      I'd go to Fish King for sashimi grade tuna, and a grocer in J-town for uni, and plate 'em myself, if I wanted to save the $$$$, before EVER eating at Todai again...

    2. I would be willing to bet actual money that the OP meant unagi and not uni.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bodie

        if so, even easier to do at home with a trip to the local Japanese grocery...

      2. I think the dinner includes king crab legs of some kind, but I'm not 100% sure on that.
        the Glendale Todai is better than the Studio City one, in my opinion.

        1. 25% off of nothing is still nothing... I can't stand Todai. It's one of the very few restaurants against which I will actively lobby when my coworkers suggest it. I was dragged to the Studio City one and it was pretty much every sushi horror story you could think of come to life in one swirling maelstrom of fishy-smelling doom. Some of the sushi wasn't kept on ice but on top of other sushi; the cooked dishes weren't always under the heat lamps so they were in that lovely danger zone; and the usual buffet questions (did someone touch this and put it back? did anyone sneeze in the soup? how long's it been sitting out? how long since the utensils were washed?) are compounded when you're talking about raw fish.

          I implore you, if you really want AYCE sushi, I believe Midori has lunch for $16.95 and usually have coupons in the little crappy coupon booklets that get delivered twice a month or whatever. Urasawa it isn't but at least the sushi is made fresh... and if you can't get full on sushi in an hour you're a slow eater!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Todai was a great concept when they first opened up back in the 80s - the food was decent and the price was right... but the standards for Japanese cuisine has moved much farther up the eatery scale in general. They still have that "WOW!" factor when one first walks in. Counters full of all the requisite and stereotypical dishes one would expect to find at any run-of-the-mill place with some sort of Japanese name on it. But the reality hits you that this ain't sushi paradise when you start to peruse the various offerings. Some things look "off," while others look too goopy when they should be firm... hybridized food items have been offered where the "unique" ingredients replace something that has a higher cost... and of course, the abundance of imitation crab is always the dead giveaway that you have entered the bowels of sushi hell.

            With that said, the difference that I've seen between lunch and dinner was that at dinner, there are a few more dishes offered that are "deluxe" items (maybe in the average consumer's eyes, as well as to Todai's cost structure), like crab legs. I don't think it's king crab as another poster mentions. It might be snow crab or who knows what else. I can't confirm this because I haven't been to one since the mid-90s, but I do remember trying some crab legs and I don't recall big juicy meaty tubes of quivering crabmeat - that would have offered some redemption and at least one fond memory of my last visit. I do remember legs that were thin and just not worth the effort.

            You will find this place to be a real bargain if you use the coupon, are a big eater, are VERY selective in your food choices, and drop your expectations quite a bit. Think of those situations when it's lunch time on Thursday and payday is Friday, you look in your wallet and you have just enough to buy one meal between now and tomorrow when you cash that check and your wallet is now flush with green again. Where do you go to get the most bang for your buck? This might - and I say that with caution - this might be the place, if and only if I can find that coupon.