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Dec 22, 2010 08:38 AM

Life After Tomo

We used to love Tomo Sushi in Signac/Little Falls. We have been living in Montclair for 5 years, after a decade in LA (nothing like Izayoi) so coming to the greater NYC area has been tough for us, Sushi wise. I mean Blue Ribbon sushi? Please. Dry, old, and dull fish. Aozora? I find it really hard to believe that the fish we ate there, beautifully presented though it was, was what it claimed to be. Toro that has an entirely different taste and texture? No. Fake sushi is not good sushi. Sushi Nobu with "creative" sushi? No. Sushi is not creative. Why would you ever put a habanero pepper on sushi? It makes me cringe just to think about it.

But we found decent sushi at Tomo and we went there a few times a year. Moreover, we modified our own family Christmas eve dinner tradition (I'm raised Catholic) of seven plus cold fish dishes by going out to Tomo. The kids loved it! Now sushi's no longer what it once was in our lives after we've learned that toro is going extinct during this decade, but we did want to have our Christmas eve tradition. We recently tried to get in touch with Tomo and found out it's closed! NO!!! Stuck in a land of fraudulent sushi.

What to do? We're in trouble here. I think I've made our tastes pretty clear.
Basically if it's full of Japanese people, especially if they leave their sake bottles behind (as at Tomo), and has weird Japanese dishes that scare white folks, then it's probably a good bet.

Toros Restaurant
1083 Main St, Paterson, NJ 07503

Blue Ribbon
510 Summit Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306

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  1. It's been well over a year since I was last there, but (NOT connected to the Montclair one) Nori in Caldwell on Bloomfield was always very good... I don't think they have a website, though.

    406 Bloomfield Ave
    Caldwell, NJ 07006

    (973) 403-2400

    1. No question, only place in NJ I have found that is "up to snuff" is Hiura in Fort Lee. Tiny place, usually only Japanese clientelle. Sushi chef is a master, and yes you can leave your own sake and they will store it for you, and they are BYO.

      Hiura Restaurant
      400 Main St Ste B, Fort Lee, NJ 07024

      1. I was a regular at Tomo's as well and am still heartbroken over it. There is no equal sushi nearby. However, for the other, cooked dishes, I recommend the Matsuwa market in Edgewater. It's an upscale Japanese market and there are food stalls making ultra authentic foods. Best to not go at the height of lunch/dinner service because finding a table can be a challenge. After eating you can food shop for Japanese ingredients and the biggest array of Sake I have seen.

        1. Haven't made it to Shumi in a few months as its a hike for me - but I found it to be different, albeit in our opinion, a bit better , than Tomo. Shumi is in Somerville and although the place is dying for an update, food is great. Otherwise make the trip to 15 East in NYC , grab a seat at the bar, and mourn Tomo there!

          Shumi Restaurant
          30 S. Doughty Ave., Somerville, NJ 08876

          1. Honestly, Shumi is the best sushi I have had in NJ, anywhere outside of SFO really. The fish is as fresh as fresh can be and Ike is a master. Sit at the bar and put yourself in his hands, you won't be disappointed. The tuna is special, monkfish liver w/ toro is incredible and the unagi is ridiculous. Sure, the decor isn't great by any stretch, but the quality of the food more than makes up for it... Located on S Doughty St in Somerville in an unassuming building

            Shumi Restaurant
            30 S. Doughty Ave., Somerville, NJ 08876