Tokyo Table in Irvine - Mini Report with Video
On Valentines Day I had lunch with my GF at Tokyo Table — a fusion inspired Japanese restaurant that opened in the Diamond Jamboree shopping center in Irvine on October 2008. Below is a mini-report of this visit. For those that prefer video and pictures, much of this report is in the video at: http://yelloww.net/blog/2009/02/tokyo-table-review/ -- for those that like to read, then read on!
Tokyo Table specializes in modern “Tokyo City Cuisine” which is essentially Izakaya style — think of a Japanese version of Spanish tapas — lots of small dishes for the group to share. The inside of the restaurants is very modern, with nice brown leather booths, and a very interesting wooden chandelier/sculpture in the middle of the dining room.
The menu contains much of the standard Japanese food you’d see at other Japanese restaurants, for example, sushi, ramen, and tempura, but also consists of a number of “fusion” items that are not your traditional Japanese Faire. The “specialties” at Tokyo table are 1) Tofu (our waiter told us they make fresh every 30-40 minutes) and 2) The sushi pizza (obviously on the fusion side of things).
Not being a huge tofu fan, we passed on the tofu, but we did order the sushi pizza as recommended by our waiter. We also ordered the pork Yakisoba noodles, and the shrimp Tempura.
The Yakisoba noodles ($8.95) were tasty — although it was topped with a bit too much of the Katsuobushi (fish flakes) for my liking. The amount of pork was also pretty minimal, but that is typical of most Yakisoba that I’ve had.
The Shrimp Tempura was also good. Fives pieces of shrimp for $8.95. It had just the right amount of batter, and not too greasy.
And finally — drum roll please……….. — the sushi pizza ($13.95). A pretty odd name for a dish, and let me start with saying that it was quite a bit better than I had expected. The sushi pizza starts with a layer of seaweed as the “crust”, is then topped with rice, crab meat, salmon meat, and a jalapeno. The sushi pizza is then baked, and served hot with a mini pizza serving spatula. The combination of the crab/salmon and jalapeno is surprisingly delicious. The jalapeno adds a bit of spark of the otherwise typical seafood flavor.
Tokyo Table is not your traditional Japanese faire, but it’s definitely tasty.
Tokyo Table is located at:
Diamond Jamboree Plaza
2710 Alton Pkwy.
Irvine, CA 92606
Tokyo Table Video Review:
I went with an open mind and was impressed with the great decor inside the restaurant. The food is izakaya Japanese/ American fusion cuisine. The service was good, yet the menu was uninspiring. The items on the menu can be found in most Japanese restaurants. To be honest, I thought the sushi pizza was cheap crap. Its basically a flatter baked california roll with salmon and a jalapeno on top of each square. If youre new to Japanese cuisine, than I can see this as a starter restaurant and good place to enjoy with your friends, but if youre a seasoned pro, avoid it.
Big bleh, overpriced Japanese fusiony stuff and our party had a wide sampling of the menu. The drinks including the lychee sake were really good and the brick toast dessert was fantastic with a 1/2 loaf carved out and served on the side as huge chunks with honey and fruit. Avoid dinner here, maybe some drinks and dessert.
As you've enjoyed the beauty of what Kyoto and other parts of Japan have to offer, I plead with you to avoid this horrific tourist trap as much as possible. I don't like to write negative things about a place, but there's no sugarcoating just how awful my experience with Tokyo Table was (I was unfortunately coerced to go there for a farewell party for a friend, sigh). Overpriced, mediocre, bad fusion food. Avoid.