Friday, November 21, 2008
I happened to be in the Hilltop Mall area in San Pablo around lunch time the other day, and found Tokyo hidden in a strip mall. On its menu it states "Fine Japanese Cuisine, Sushi & Seafood". I was immediately struck by the friendly atmosphere which included Japanese touches like Japanese music in the background.
A jazzed up cucumber salad was served first with the lunch set I ordered.
This was followed immediately with a nicely flavored and hot miso soup.
The kabocha age (fried squash) was coated with panko and freshly crisp and delicious. Tonkatsu sauce was served for dipping on the side.
My main course was zaru soba with maguro (cold green tea soba noodles with fresh tuna slices). It's hard to find this dish out of the summer season, and it's one of my favorites. You put as much of the green onions and wasabi (mustard) in the dipping sauce and enjoy dipping the noodles in it to taste. The noodles had the perfect bite, and it was generously portioned. I also liked that although the staff couldn't have known that I speak Japanese, that they greeted me in traditional Japanese and said the customary polite things in Japanese as my visit progressed. It was another nice point for the atmosphere. It is a casual, family style restaurant and I would not hestiate to visit again if in the area.