Maki Toki on Braker/Metric
- amysuehere Aug 17, 2010 10:43 AM
Well wasn't this a pleasant little surprise.
I was craving sushi like a son-of-a-gun today, but wasn't really in the mood to spend $15 for a roll over at my regular haunt (Mikado) so I thought I'd try a little place I'd noticed in a strip mall on Braker. I had passed it over several times just because of the location and vibe, but I'd seen some good reviews.
I was a bit worried as I approached and saw fish tacos (seriously?) advertised in the window. As you walk in there are a booths to the left and a very long, high, dark sushi bar to right. Little paper "flyer" menu and pencils are at each seat.
The menu has three different combo choices ($8, $12, $14 - I'll try that next time), fish, chicken or steak tacos (really...$5), and several bento box options ($8), as well as the usual nigri ($3) and roll options ($5 - $10).
I ordered the Spiro, described as spicy tuna with salmon and avacado ($8), and asked for roe instead of avacado. I really didn't expect quality and/or quantity for the price and was really pleasantly surprised. First, the roll was eight pieces and were cut into perfect bite-sizes (a pet peeve of mine lately is how huge around they're making rolls), but this was not a puny roll in the least. Second was that instead of the spicy tuna "puree" most serve, this was a very generous tuna steak like you'd get in a regular tuna roll. Third, the roll was made properly and tightly and was fresh and ocean-sweet with the spicy sauce lightly drizzled over the top. The salmon/tuna/roe combination was a perfect light summer lunch.
This is exactly what I was looking for to get through this hot, sticky summer.
It isn't high end sushi where you are gonna find decade trained sushi chefs...I think big time sushi connoisseurs hate this type of place. Cheapie sushi. It is a little Korean owned casual sushi/taco cafe. I am not a sushi connoisseur, so this place is fine enough for me to hit the spot for a sushi craving. Yes, they have Kim Lan on the table---or was it Lee Kum Kee...it wasn't Japanese soy sauce, whatever it was. No, the rice isn't perfectly cooked for sushi, either. But the fish slices are large (I hate cheapie sushi places that give mealy, thin slivers of fish) and the fish was very fresh and delicious. They also have very inventive combinations of modern American type sushi, although the nomenclature on their menu confused me; just what was in the Spicy Fat Saxophone? Let me read the menu card again!!! Okay, there is no Spicy Fat Saxophone, but the names are like that. My dining partner and I shared four rolls, all delicious. Lord help me, I cannot remember the name of those rolls, though.
Maki Toki is indeed reasonably priced, but on top of that I see a lot of coupons floating around for the place.
I kind of wanted to try the tacos, but I was there for sushi, so didn't. Who knows, they could be a hidden gem of a taco source? Sounds unlikely, but why not? Anyone try the tacos?
I am with you amysuehere, quality exceeds the (low for sushi) price and this is a great place to quench a sushi craving.
Tried Maki Toki today based on this review. I got lunch Combo B - cali roll, spicy tuna roll and salmon roll for only $12. The rolls were just as you described and really did hit the spot. Both the tuna and salmon roll had actual pieces of fish instead of the puree. I pulled a piece of the Salmon out to try on it's own and it was fresh and toothy.
The only downside is that I was not crazy about the spicy sauce they drizzled on top of two of the rolls. Thankfully it was very light and I could pat it off with a napkin. I also did not love the soy sauce, it tastes too strong to me. Small complaints for the price.
I had tried them once when they first opened and was not impressed. Glad they have gotten much better. Thanks for giving me the heads up.
Second visit today wasn't so great. I mean, it was a couple of steps ahead of HEB, but that's about all. Rolls weren't as tight. Seafood, while fresh, wasn't as ocean-sweet as the first time. Spicy sauce was VERY sweet (did like missmitzi and dabbed it off).
I'm rethinking and for the $14 I spent, I could have gotten an excellent bento box at Mikado...
We get takeout here with some regularity on nights when I can't even think about cooking and am tired of pizza delivery. It's fast and affordable. Plus, it's right around the corner from my house. Is it my favorite sushi in town...No. But, is it a good pinch hitter....Yes. I've never gotten bad fish here and the folks who work there are really amenable. I'm sure you could ask for spicy or other sauces to be left off or on the side.