I'm well aware that all former culinary offerings in this spot along The Stretch on Franklin have failed miserably. Taiyo breaks the mold; and it's definitely deserving.
Place: Taiyo, Friday 9/9 8:00 PM
Myself + 1 guest
Ratings in brief:
Ambiance - B+
Service - B+
Food (Taste) - B
Food (Presentation) - A-
Wine/Drinks - B-
Price - B
Overall Experience - B
I felt like a jeweled ruby, waltzing into this rouge landscape, littered with lovely japanese lanterns and masks. The place serves sushi, but there is no sushi bar - instead, a cocktail bar awaits, and that's a fine replacement in my book. They have a limited liquor selection, but enough goods to make a few mean martinis, so again - hi, I'm content.
The menu certainly geared towards the more Americanized Asian nibblers - lots of rolls and sushi basics, along with a sizable list of cooked entrees that I didn't eyeball much - sashimi kept luring me away.
Over the course of the evening, my roommate and I sipped 4 martinis - all vodka based (a deviation for me, but what the heck). They were all very tasty and strong, if not a tad pricey. Still, thumbs up for a cool neighborhood sushi spot that actually has non-soju based cocktails :)
I had yellowtail sashimi (good - not ohmagod fantastic, but very solid), a Popeye Roll (spicy shrimp tempura with spinach - not all that good, as I didn't feel the heat and the spinach was minimal) and a Yuri roll (spicy tuna, avocado, and crab wrapped in cucumber - this one was HEAVENly, and damn healthy too - yum!)
Roommate had the basics - tuna, salmon, mackerel, shrimp sushi - and she was very happy.
No edamame or miso as starters (I love places that just bring this out as a given), so that was a bummer. But the service was ultra-friendly, and although the place was hoppin', we didn't have to yell at each other to converse.
Price, for all of the above before tip, was about $65.
Overall, a very positive experience: I will be back.
Taiyo - 5917 Franklin Ave. (near Bronson)