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Restaurants & Bars 4

Sushi Totoro in Santa Cruz (long)

tom | Feb 2, 200611:24 PM

This evening my gf and I enjoyed a rather inexpensive meal at sushi totoro (where sukeroku used to be). Before I visit a restaurant for the first time I like to do a little research to see if a restaurant is worthy of my hard earned money, and so I did and ran across a sushi totoro in san jose and when i arrived at the santa cruz sushi totoro it was evident that they were related and had second location in the san jose double tree hotel. I was impressed with the menu because it was mostly pictures and who doesnt love pictures of delicious looking sushi rolls and other food. If you've been to sukeroku the place is pretty small and the sushi bar consists of 10 seats or less if i can remember correctly and there were about 10 or more tables.

We ordered:

Agedashi tofu (my favorite)but compared to other Agedashi Tofus i have devoured in my lifetime this one ranks towards the bottom, they used a very rich tsuyu for the brothy sauce which i thought was too strong to compliment the bonito shavings, seaweed and most importantly the, fried firm tofu. I could've made that myself but I'd rather make homemade KFC fried chicken if I was going to go through the hassle of frying something. (yes i have the recipe for KFC if chowhounders want it)
(cost about 5 bucks)

West Side (roll)
Basically California roll with a unique type of seaweed on top of accompanied by a sauce. the seaweed resembled sea grass to me, they look like small scallions but a wee bit slimy with some crunch. never had it in my life before but it was good. the sauce was not that much of a wowzer it was a blend of what tasted like a cream sauce and teriyaki sauce.
(cost 6-7 dollars)

Golden Bell
It said on menu that it was a roll of cream cheese, smoked salmon, and avocado that was fried and accompanied by sauce (the same as above). This was the worst roll we ordered due to the fact that they put way too much cream cheese which overpowered even the taste of their sauce, not to mention the smoked salmon which looked more like halibut or old tuna (perhaps because the whole roll was fried?) so half of that one came home in the doggy bag.
(7-8 dollars?)

I like fried things and my gf likes crunchy things so this was one of our first choices. If i can remember carefully it was a roll of eel, avocado, and cucumber showered with tempura crumbs and tobiko and some sauce.
I think this was our favorite. We've also had Donbo's crunchy roll too which was just a california roll showered with the same things and their sauce, I think both are just as good.
(it was 9 dollars if i can remember correctly, kinda expensive for just a simple eel roll covered with ten kasu (tempura crumbs) tobiko and sauce.)

My gf ordered it cuz she likes futomaki rolls which i never knew until we came to sushi totoro but their futo maki was the average futomaki. some kanpyo, tamago,some greens and some other stuff. I forgot how much it cost but I remember it was smaller than other futomaki rolls ive had and I think it should have been slightly bigger considering futomaki means fat roll.

Tobiko sushi
I asked the sushi chef if they had any masago because i love masago but they only had tobiko :( so i had to make do with that. 2 pieces for 4 bucks.

Overall, I think I would recommend sushi totoro for anyone living on the westside who needs a quick sushi fix. I forgot to mention they give u free miso soup upon ordering (which was nothing special and the expected quality of free miso soup). Their service is pretty fast and friendly, but it might've been because there was only one other party at 630 when we went. But they had a steady stream of togo orders coming in. We failed to order real sushi because we got too wrapped up in the pictures :( so as for a real sushi report im sorry we neglected it. and in case you were wondering sushi totoro and the other sushi totoros are korean owned and so is donbo. no offense to koreans or korean sushi chefs/owners im just letting fellow chowhounders who might be curious know. And finally if u dont know where sushi totoro is or where sukeroku was its on the left part of the little complex on mission a few shops down from avanti. If your still clueless, it is across from the longs on mission. so give sushi totoro a try and lemme know what you guys think.

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