Let me just start off by saying that this was a really looooong dinner at Tokio. I had no idea that Japanese dinners were supposed to last nearly three hours long.
A bunch of friends and I decided to celebrate my birthday dinner at Tokio, a fun, new Japanese restaurant on Cahuenga just south of Hollywood (right next to Beauty Bar, its sister operation). I wanted a fun place, with a diverse menu (for all those non-Sushi eaters) which could accommodate a larger crowd. While the dinner started off on a fun note, because the service was horrendously slow, the dinner ended up dragging on and on. This particular east-coaster became rather impatient and I almost fell asleep at the dinner table. Just to cite an example, it took us nearly 35 minutes just to get the bill. We were starting to believe that the restaurant didn't want our money.
The food was okay, some better than others. Overall the prices were a bit expensive for the "small" hot plates. The ambiance is rather nice. We ordered:
-Various rolls, including spider, spicy tuna with albacore tuna on top, and various pieces of sushi. I'd say that the rolls are rather "fun" (good for non-serious sushi eaters) and the sushi was okay.
-Mixed tempura (nice big pieces of veggies, lightly fried. The shrimp was a bit skimpy.)
-Seared tuna with a spicy mayo sauce and wasabi mashed potatoes (I'm not a huge fan of mayo, however, my friends seemed to enjoy this one.)
-steamed scallops with mushrooms (Okay, not great. Very delicate in flavor. ~$18(?) for a small plate.)
-Sauteed shrimp with green tea noodles (The noodles here were delicious. The shrimp were small and few. I don't think that the dish was worth $18, however, the noodles were so good that I wish that the restaurant would serve it as a separate entree.)
We also ordered two small bottles of cold sake. The "cherry blossom" one was the best of the two ("pretty daughter" was the other).
The price for six people came out to $45 each.
After I hailed the waitress at least twice (once leaving the party room to find her), and my boyfriend went to go find the manager (no one ever came by our table to see if we were okay), the manager became alerted to the fact that we were becoming impatient. As a result, he brought over a plate of dessert (mochi ice cream and a green tea tiramisu-like dessert) on the house. He apologized time and time again for the slow service, explaining that some servers had called in sick. I thought that was nice of him. However, if he wanted us to return in the future, I expected nothing less. My boyfriend is a former server and was much less forgiving. He said at the very least, the waitress could have stopped by our table to let us know that she was "busy" and that she would get to us as soon as she could. Instead, she choose to ignore us. He thought that this was bad service. O well, at least I got a free dessert!
Regardless, with so many other restaurants to try, I doubt I'll go back.
1640 N Cahuenga Blvd (Cross Street: Hollywood Boulevard)
Hollywood, CA 90028
Phone: (323) 464-2065
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