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Jul 29, 2008 07:06 AM

Osaka- Toms River

I was so upset when Osaka in Ortley closed's been the standard for sushi down the shore for quite sometime.

I finally got down to Toms River to try the new Osaka that moved to Rt 37 and I'm so glad it's back.

For people who don't know Theresa...eating at Osaka is usually more like joining her in her home than it is sitting at a sushi bar.

It a BYOB, but bringing booze almost seems a must because the atmosphere is always more party than it is a stuffy sushi bar. Sake bombs can and usually do fly!

Most important though, is the sushi is fresh, the rolls are creative, and sushi chef is always fast, neat, attentive, and friendly. You can trust them to sell you what's good, not what's aging! Here's a hint, try their japenese style mussels...they are quite good. And last night the scallops looked particularly fresh.

Once again there is a place down in the Toms River shore area where one can get great quality sushi- something the area has lacked in my opinion.

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  1. I miss the place she had up in Marine Park in Red Bank during the Summers a couple years ago. Was the best Japanese in the area and only opened seasonally for a couple years. The only Sushi place I know of that featured rolls containing hot peppers. Not traditional, but I liked them...

    1. TedyB - Have you ever tried the sushi at either Nobi or Shogun at Bea Lea? I always found the sushi at both places to be of "great quality." As far as Theresa, before opening the new place, she had been running a sushi bar in the back of Jimmy C's in downtown Toms River.

      8 Replies
      1. re: bgut1

        Were on Rt 37? Glad that she is back!!!!!! Someone told me that her husband owns Ikko in Brick. Anyone have any info on that? Can not wait to go to Osaka again. Saki bombs for all

        1. re: Babs16

          I was to Ikko once and it was actually pretty amazing for what I recall...this was several years ago...but I recall they had some pretty crazy combinations for rolls which I liked. I'd certainly go back if I was in the area.

        2. re: bgut1

          Really? I guess that's why our experiences eating sushi at Jimmy C's were always very good. We're thinking about trying Osaka's other location in a marina in Barnegat. Anyone been there yet?


          1. re: johnandlisa

            Definitely try the Barnegat location - you're literally on the bay - nice views - great food.

            1. re: johnandlisa

              Info, location on the Barnegat location??? anyone?

              1. re: Quine

                Take Bay Avenue across Route 9 towards the bay - it's in a marina on the right hand side - it's Sun something - maybe Sun Harbor Marina? Anyway, you'll see the sign out front - pull into the actual marina and go all the way past the pool and it's a little building literally on the bay.

            2. re: bgut1

              I've been to the one in Bey Lea...pretty good for what I remember but I have only been once...hard to do with Osaka in town, but I think I'll have to give it another shot based on your recommendation Mark...thanks

            3. When Theresa told me she was opening on Rt37 in TR........ I was happy & had to get there asap....I wasn't disappointed.........I had some incredible Rolls, sushi & appetizers artfully done as usual there a few weeks ago....nice decor also...I only wish her Good Luck....Try It!!

              1. I've now been to Osaka twice in the last few months and haven't been impressed either time. My sense is that their thing is really all about the rolls and I'm not that big of a roll person.

                On both of my visits, I had a selection of sushi nigiri and sashimi, and this week also had unagi don. Generally the fish was merely ok, although the scallop sashimi I had this week was past prime and should not have been served, and the clam was borderline. The eel in the unagi don was bland and the rice was mediocre.

                The place seems to have a bit of a fun vibe to it (as much as a place in TR can, I suppose), and the regulars like it a lot. Theresa is a nice and engaging host. I wonder if most of the customers are mainly roll-oriented and go for the inventive combinations and sauces.

                I'll be sticking with Nobi for my sushi needs. I have confidence in George and have never been disappointed there.

                2 Replies
                1. re: njfreqflyer

                  njfreqflyer if you get a chance.....

                  You should check out Sushi by KAZU on rt9 in Howell....I really enjoy dining there.
                  Every time I go I see so many Asian customers there form all over too ....tells you something!


                  1. re: njfreqflyer

                    nj freq, Just saw this post and while I'm late to reply I hope you receive it...I agree that the rolls at Osaka are truly what the place is all about. I never have had a problem with the freshness of fish there, but honestly I almost always sit at the sushi bar and speak with the sushi-ya first. But yes, for, let's say, traditional sushi, this might not be certain people's cup of tea. For creative roll, this would be more ideal.