Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tokai Sushi 4U

I should start by saying when it comes to sushi I prefer sashimi (hunk of raw fish on rice) to makizushi (sometimes raw fish rolled with seaweed). There are few things better in this world than a piece of tako (octopus) a bed of sticky flavorful sushi rice. That being said, I can not pass up the deal that Tokai Sushi 4U offers on their rolls. The happy hour at Tokai offers a two for one special on all of their rolls. The rolls are all large, fresh tasting, well constructed and beautifully presented. I will review each of the rolls we ordered individually here.* 

The Spider Roll
Inside: Fried Soft Shelled Crab, Crab Meat, Gobo, Radish Sprout and Avocado
Outside: Flying Fish Roe

Spider Roll
The Spider Roll is one of my two must have orders at Tokai. The soft shelled crab is crisp and lightly battered to not over shine the crab meat. The gobo gave the roll a mild pungent flavor that went well with the crab's natural sweetness. The avocado in the roll excellent creamy consistency. The flying fish roe (tobiko) was a beautiful garnish, but the added salty flavor was not needed.

Shrimp Killer
Inside: Shrimp Tempura, Crab Meat and Avocado
Outside: Shrimp and Avocado

Shrimp Killer
The Shrimp Killer had a slight sweet flavor from shrimp and avocado, which again brought a creamy fatty goodness to the roll. The Shrimp Killer is not complex by any one's assertion, but for a shrimp lover it is a great roll. The contrasting textures and flavors the tempura shrimp on the interior and the raw exterior shrimp provide excellent balance and show case the versatility of the crustacean.

Black Crunch Roll
Inside: Shrimp Tempura, Crab Meat and Avocado
Outside: Eel
Black Crunch Roll
This is the second of my must orders at Tokai. The sweet interior of the roll coming from the shrimp tempura and crab meat balanced with the smokey salty flavor the eel makes for an amazing meal. The the divergent textures from inside and out give the roll a deeper complexity than some of the other items we had that night.

Spicy Crab
Inside: Spicy Crab, Cucumber and Avocado

The Spicy Crab Roll is behind the Adam Roll, none of the Spicy Crab turned out well
Several at our table found this roll to hot to handle, I did not. The spicy crab had a creamy texture that I think helped neutralize the burn from the horseradish and peppers that were making the crab so spicy. The burn was a slow crescendo starting out slow and building to fire near the end of the tasting. It dissipated quickly in large part to the creamy avocado and the cooling cucumber. The major complaint against this roll is that the crab flavor is non-existent. It is entirely overshadowed by the heat and avocado.

Adam Roll
Inside: Shrimp Tempura, Eel, and Crab Meat
Outside: Avocado and Tobiko

Adam' Roll
The interior of the Adam roll gives the eater an abundance of flavors and textures. The crunchy tempura shrimp and crab meat with its sweet notes meet with the salty savory flavor of the rich dense eel endow this roll with fantastic balance. The avocado and tobiko provide a new level of texture to the bite, with added salt from the roe.

Tempura Banana
One of Tokai's greatest treats is that at the end of each meal you are awarded with tempura fried bananas topped with whipped cream, strawberry and chocolate sauce. The crispy tempura batter gives way to the soft caramelizing sugars of the hidden plantain providing the perfect sweet end to a filling Japanese meal.

*It should be noted that one of our dining party is pregnant and that limited our ordering ability. On subsequent post birth visits I promise we will be more adventurous and try some of the incredibly well named rolls like the Viagra Roll, Utah Roll, Spicy Pizza Roll, Dragon Roll, Caterpillar Roll and Play Boy Roll.

Tokai Sushi 4U on Urbanspoon


  1. A Snappy Sushi just moved in on my corner and I'm stoked. Never went to Tokai in SL but these look great. That said, is it just me or most of these feature crab, avocado and shrimp? Tuna, hamachi, salmon, tako ... sushi lover, repent!

  2. There was a reoccurring theme in our sushi that night. I mentioned in the note at the bottom that we were dining with a pregnant women and were limited on the types of fish we could order.

  3. I share your sentiments too. I prefer the simpler stuff like Nigiri over Maki, but with Tokai's deals its hard not to try a few. I've had some really good, and affordable dinners here.

    My main problem is the enormous menu, which is a bit overwhelming on first inspection. A lot of replication too with some of the maki, they use an awful lot of avocado, tempura shrimp and eel sauce in a lot of rolls.

    Nice blog! Cant wait to


  4. Yeah, I totally missed that ... ego te absolvo :) :) :) :)

  5. Hollywould-Don't worry I am sure there are grammar errors you can correct.

    Gastronomic-Agreed the menu is overwhelming and makes you settle into a routine when you go there of sticking with safe favorites rather than trying something new.

  6. Looks fantastic! Just curious, what is the other half's take on sushi? My other half hasn't budged and has dug her heels in so there's no way she'll enjoy such a feast. I'm sad for her.

  7. My better have ask almost daily if we can go get sushi. It is her second favorite meal after Macaroni and Cheese. We have found a place here to take you and yours that offers beef and the best sushi we have found in the valley next time your out this way.

  8. hot damn! i need me some of that!

  9. I (and my baby bump) take full credit for the "safe" nature of the orders on this particular visit. Give me 4 more months and you'll all get the pleasure of reading the Food Maestro's take on Tokai's Tuna Tadaki...