Tojo’s Restaurant

November 15th, 2011

Location: 1133 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC  View Google Map
Website: Click Here

Tojo’s, named after its proprietor Hidekazu Tojo, has been heaped with praise – and with good reason. I have been frequenting the establishment since it was an awkward, second floor space on Broadway; he has since moved to a grand, airy, ground floor room befitting the excellence of the food he prepares. Tojo is at once an innovator and the benefactor of the bounty of the Pacific Ocean – he is credited with inventing the ever popular California and B.C. rolls which have spawned scores of imitators near and far. Still, there is something to be said for going straight to the source. Tojo’s Great B.C. roll which is stuffed with barbequed salmon skin that is crisp but still tender, and refreshing cucumber, is layered with still more oily and rich salmon on top. These simple ingredients, when combined this carefully feel very decadent. I usually start with Tojo’s tuna, a signature dish which melts in your mouth. I realize this is a strange description for fish, but it’s the best way to describe this concoction in which he has dressed chunks of tuna sashimi with a sesame and wasabi sauce creating a perfectly nutty and spicy marriage. The quality of the fish used is superb throughout. Occasionally, Tojo offers a Bluefin tuna special which consists of simply the best tuna available – a minimalist’s delight, it is supremely delicate and clean. You can see Tojo behind the sushi bar preparing many of his Omakase dishes himself. Literally translated, “Omakase” means “to entrust” because you leave your meal in the chef’s hands, trusting him to draw upon the best ingredients of the day to create an original dining experience. Because the raw materials themselves are so precious, you pay for this quality; Tojo’s is expensive but a treat. (EL)

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