Being a born and raised Vancouverite and having heard about Tojo's for years and years, I finally had the chance to go with a group of friends this evening. I was very sadly disappointed. First of all, the atmosphere reminded me of being in an all-you-can-eat style restaurant-- tired decor, way too huge for a supposed fine dining experience. It lacked intimacy and felt too airport-ish.
Next-- the food. Everyone had varying omakase-- vegetarian ($55), seafood only ($60), $80 and $110. The food, while tasty enough, was terribly overpriced and there was no innovation here, especially in the sushi course. The food also seemed tired-- pumped out way too many times, lacking edge.
Service was friendly but inconsistent-- courses arrived sporadically, with some diners lacking courses only to receive them a while later after others had already finished theirs.
Highlights were the eggplant wrapped in a thin wooden parcel, the sablefish and the black sesame panna cotta. Lowlights were, well, everything else--all the fish was fresh and well prepared, but, again, lacking in spark or innovation. You can find fresh fish in many other Japanese food restaurants in Vancouver, without the hefty pricetag.
Tojo's, as my husband noted, is like the Hard Rock Cafe of Japanese food in Vancouver-- a tourist trap, a place that has lost its authenticity along the way. There are way better places to experience well-prepared and delicious Japanese food in Vancouver-- Toshi's, for example.
Certainly wouldn't go back again, especially for the price.