My search for real Tokyo sushi was rewarded with a visit to Tokyo Dori on Saturday night.
The two of us arrived just before the end of happy hour (3 - 6 pm) when pints of beer are just $2.25.
We each ordered a pint, and ordered tofu tempura as an appetizer to eat while looking through the menu.
We were told the tofu came with something like a tempura dipping sauce, so assumed the dish was age-dashi-dofu. We were wrong -- it was firm tofu, tempura battered and fried, served with dipping sauce. Still, not bad for $3.50
For sushi, we decided to start with the Nigiri Assortment, 12 different pieces of nigiri sushi. All were good, but the standouts were the hamachi, suzuki and the unagi (freshwater eel) served instead of the usual anago (sea eel). We'd planned to start with the assortment, but the fish was so generous on the pieces we had little room for more.
Our sushi chef was a cheerful Korean named David, who has recently come from sushi shops in San Francisco. He had lived in Japan for some years while learning sushi-making. He told the restaurant manager we were from Tokyo, and a while later he served us a complimentary dish of spicy marinated octopus with apologies that they weren't entirely authentically Japanese. Maybe so -- but the sushi David served us was very good by Tokyo standards, and we found none of it lacking.
Our beers were finished, so we ordered a 300 ml bottle of Karatamba sake, a honjozo of medium quality, which was only $7, quite a low price.
Upon David's recommendation, we ordered uni, which was stunningly creamy and delicious. We also had raw scallop, which was thick cut and very high quality even though it likely arrived frozen.
Since David and the owners were Korean, I asked for a little home-made kimchee and was given a small dish on the house.
After asking for the check we were given a small plate of chilled fruit pieces.
The bill was only $46, and we left a $10 tip. I feel we got excellent value for our money, and we liked the friendly casual atmosphere. We noticed that most of the diners were getting grilled meat with teriyaki sauce over rice, and knowing that the owners are Korean, we will definitely be back to try out that part of their menu.
5050 Rocklin Rd. #A-1
If you take Interstate 80 past Roseville and exit at Rocklin Road, you will easily find it, like we did by chance.