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Sep 11, 2009 09:00 AM

Japango - New Owner?


I've been reading the Chowhound boards for years but never posted...

I have not seen Karen at Japango in a long time... I know that Bruce is down at Yuzu now. Louis is also no longer behind the sushi car. Does anyone know if there has been a ownership change?

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  1. I was wondering the same thing. The last time I was there (about a month ago, at dinnertime), there were new faces serving and sushiing, and it seemed to me as though none of the sushi we ordered was prepared as carefully, or tasted as good, as before the Yuzu switch. The menu itself was the same, I think, but the execution seemed suddenly quite different--less meticulous, less assured. The place was busy as usual, however, so it may have just been my perception, or maybe they just had an off day.

    1. Japango used to be one of our favourite haunts and we went there a couple times per month for several years. But after a number of mediocre experiences last winter we finally stopped going entirely. There are places closer to home where we can similar quality sushi for lower prices in a space where I do not feel I'm about to elbow my fellow diners. The sushi was simply not as good quality anymore, it was more sloppily presented, and the service became forgetful. Our last few visits were Sushi on Bloor quality for Japango prices. Not a good deal.

      Whether this was because a new owner had already taken over, or because of diminishing interest while they looked for a new owner, I don't know. Bruce was definitely a key component and once he left quality dropped steeply. Unfortunately Japango had built up such a great reputation on here and other places that I still see it being highly recommended all the time. It would be nice to dream that they've come back to form, but I think it's more likely that their rep has not yet caught up with the new reality.

      I heard mixed things about Yuzu when it opened and still haven't tried it yet. Is it anything like Japango was in its prime?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gary

        Yuzu is a very different space than Japango, no fear of elbowing your fellow patrons. We've been twice and mrs. bytepusher a couple times more as it is near her office. Sushi was good and well presented. On one visit we had the bento dinner and I would not recommend that, the cooked items were made in the kitchen then the boxes brought out to the sushi bar and only then did the sushi chef start making up the nigiri so it sat on the sushi bar for a good 10 minutes while he made the sushi for the box, by time we got it some of the cooked items (especially the tempura) were suffering from the wait.