Every highly-rated and expensive restaurant suffers from the trepidation and expectations that diners set up in their minds before they go. For many those expectations become impossible to meet, and not matter what the experience, they feel cheated.
Tojo's is especially vulnerable to this because
1) It's "Japanese" and the expectation is that Japanese food is cheap.
2) The media coverage is truly amazing - and it's not because of his "PR Machine" - he doesn't have one. Truly: none. everyone comes to him.
3) Tojo's is not a typical "fancy" night out. Never was, never will be, in spite of the new, classier decor.
There are three truly exceptional passionate chefs in Vancouver: Vikram Vij (and his wife) are one (or two); Pino Posteraro is one; and Tojo is one. There are other very very good professional chefs (Hawksworth and others). But these three gentlemen are complete and total insane chefs. Not businessmen. Chefs. They live for food and for creativity. If you go to any of these, but let's talk about Tojo' here, go to taste the world through their sensibilities. Don't go to compare your favorite Japanese dishes. Don't go for a romantic candlelit date. Go to see and feel and taste what Tojo and a staff of totally dedicated superior souchefs have made out of what happens to be fresh and local and interesting today.
Do not order from the menu - how are you going to reach beyond what you already know? Do not sit at a table: enter into a conversation at the Omakase Bar. Don't keep looking at your wallet. If you went to Jean Georges in New York or Andy Danko in San Francisco, you wouldn't begrudge the prices. Tojo's is not a sushi place. Don't compare it to other sushi places. In Japan there are sushi places and places that specialize in cooked dishes. Tojo's does both superbly. That's very rare. Take the time to find out what he can offer you.
I've been eating at Tojo's various places (Maneki, Jinya and both Tojo's) regularly for more than 25 years. I can honestly say I've never had the same meal twice. If you truly want to experience what this passionate and obsessively creative chef can offer, put yourself in his hands, and come more than once. Learn the seasons. Learn the Vancouver climate. Learn to taste.