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Boston Area Hidden Gem

Toraya - the hidden gem


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Restaurants & Bars Boston Area Hidden Gem

Toraya - the hidden gem

Sgt Snackers | | Dec 25, 2007 05:24 AM

I was warned by a friend not to "spread the word" on this place, but I can't help it. Out on Mass Ave. in Arlington, Toraya was a real find, excellent sushi and Japanese food, very "down home" feel. I'd put the quality of the sushi right up there with Oishii, though the menu tends to be a bit more straightforward: nothing with macadamia nuts on the menu at Toraya. The fish was very, very fresh, and the rice perfectly seasoned (which matters a lot in my book).

Started with the agedashi tofu which was *superb* -- four squares of fried tofu in a wonderfully savory broth topped with tiny mushrooms and grated daikon. I'd go back to Toraya just for this dish. Scallop sashimi was subtle and sweet. Went for various kinds of sushi: squid, toro, salmon, unagi, hamachi, etc. -- everything was great. No need for soy sauce or wasabi here. The only roll we tried was a spicy tuna and cucumber roll -- very nice, although the spicy mayo tends to overwhelm the fish, and with sushi this good it's not necessary.

For non-sushi eaters they have a number of entrees on the menu (tempura, tonkatsu, and the like); based on the agedashi tofu I'd say the kitchen can do as well as the sushi bar. They have a few beers and a nice selection of a dozen or so sakes. The only downside is that the interior is a little grubby -- not a place I'd want to go on a date for example. If they put some money into sprucing up the interior they would probably see lines forming each night ... for now it's nice to know there's a place where you can get great sushi without a wait. Just don't spread the word, OK?

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