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3
  • Food3.5
  • Service3
  • Value2
  • Ambiance3
  • Reviews86

Tojo's Restaurant

1133 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6H1J1
Tel: (604) 872-8050
Neighbourhood: West Side

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 86 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
extremely overpriced
By socaqueen of vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - 7:47pm [Dine in]

four of us were there for dinner at the sushi bar for the menu tasting @140.00 per person food only Not including drinks is totally outrageous...especially when the food did not consist of anything expensive...e.g bits of tuna, chopped scallops, crabmeat, avocado.....the only dish that was a bit different was a small piece of black cod baked in paper and the 2 stuffed morel mushrooms. There was absolutely nothing exquisite about the menu except for the presentation. the cooked dishhes were bland.
There was nothing on that tasting menu that could have totalled 140.00 per person. There was absolutely no service, we had to keep asking for drinks and not even once did they change our plates. The only thing that was positive about the place was the decor. Never to return for a fancied up sunomono salad and california roll. Overall it was a lay me down and take my wallet experience for close to $800.00 for 4 with 2 cold sakes and 4 hot sakes and a beer...UNBELIEVABLE

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Service So Poor, it Bears Repeating
By maggeh of San Francisco (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 5:43pm [Dine in]

May '08

We arrived for an early dinner and ordered the tasting menu. Service was so poor that we had to go to the kitchen three times to find out what was going on. The bill was over $600 and the meal took three hours, but by the end my husband didn't even know who our waiter was because he was in the bathroom the one time the waiter spoke to us.

We palmed some cash to the apologetic and very kind busser, who was the only person who delivered anything to our table, and asked to speak with management. When she found out who our waiter was, the manager just shrugged. The only conclusion we could come to is that the waiter must be related to someone.

The food was fine, but with the exception of one dish, our sushi was just... sushi. The whole experience was baffling and a month later it still upsets me. I genuinely felt they were taking advantage of us. Something incredibly dysfunctional is going on there. Please ignore the people urging you to go, it clearly isn't the restaurant it once was.

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Nice designed restaurant, good food but poor service
By ntousi of burnaby (5 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, May 11, 2008 - 2:56pm [Dine in]

I went there a few months ago with other 8 people. We enjoyed the dishes, the overall environment. However the service was poor. too many chefs in the kitchen (it's open kitchen) probably that's why the dishes are over-priced. I have read about Tojo, the Chef, before going there but overall I disappointed, I was expecting a lot more. Good for one time experience only, not a place to go regularly.

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Disappointed with Tojo
By djdining of New York (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, February 22, 2008 - 4:47pm [Dine in]

A party of 6 of us was served by a waiter who obviously had serious confrontational attitude and lack of respect for his customer. We left feeling disgusted and cheated that we wasted 2 hours eating 5 dish of incomplete omakase that cost $80. Why would an omakase not include sashimi, soup, meat or rice but contains 4 cooked fish dishes and 1 cone of sushi. We did get a pre made sushi platter after complaining that we did not receive nigiri sushi. Which restaurant makes pre made sushi platter ?

I have been to Tojo 3 times, twice at the old location, the new location after watching Anthony Bourdains show but its our last.

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Terribly disappointed
By northshoregirl of north vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 7:59pm [Dine in]

I had heard so many rave reviews about this restaurant. So, given our taste for sushi, I decided that this would be a fabulous place to celebrate my husband's 40th birthday. We decided it would be fun to get a big group us to go together. In total we had a party of 15. I had called over a month in advance to make a reservation and reconfirmed early in the week. Everything was set and Tojo's staff seemed friendly and accommodating. We were set to order the omokase.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. FOOD IS VERY GOOD AND FRESH BUT THAT’S IT. THIS PLACE IS ALL HYPE...TOJO SHOULD BE EMBARASSED

Drinks were terribly slow in arriving and completely forgotten in a number of instances. Food took so long in coming that people were leaving to go and buy food elsewhere on Broadway. We were so hungry, people were "weak"...and I am not kidding. For $110 a person we were expecting not only a bit more food better service and QUICKER. We did not receive our bill until 11:30!! That’s 4 hours in the restaurant and 3 hours from the time of ordering. I understand we were a large group but there was another large birthday group (12) that came in around 8:30 and was gone about an hour before us.

An important thing to note here as well...with the omakase (chef's tasting menu) they ask preferences and allergies. What a joke. One of our group did not want raw..First thing she got was raw. I am celiac (no wheat...which tends to be in a lot of bottled sauces like soy ). Guess who was sick about 2 hours after the meal. So if you have allergies or preferences, do not expect this "fine dining" restaurant to care.

The people in our group were so angry. The bill came to $1650 and the average cost per couple was $225 (included drinks). That’s a fair chunk of change in my world. I had to throw done $300 just to make sure a respectable tip was left...who wants to tip for crappy service.

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Above average, but a bit disappointing
By kaykat of vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, November 16, 2007 - 8:52pm [Dine in]

This is one of those much raved-about places that I've wanted to try for years, but never made it to until recently. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.

The food was good, but no better than some of the other top Japanese places in town. The space was also larger and more open than I expected, and it seemed to lack any intimacy. It almost felt mass-produced, rather than a special dining experience where they pay attention to all the details, which is what I was expecting. I personally have preferred both Yoshi's and Octopus Garden to this place.

That said, I went with the Omakase (where you pick a price point, tell them what you like, and they just bring you things). I generally liked all of the selections, but I may have enjoyed the overall experience more if I'd chosen specific items from the menu.

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Another Hit!
By gourmet152 of vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, October 19, 2007 - 3:52pm [Dine in]

This would not be our first time to Tojo's. Their quality of freshness is hands down second to none in the city! I'm the biggest fan of tuna toro nigiri sashimi. What can I say? Tojo's offers the most succulent cuts I've ever tasted. We were entertaining out-of-town guests to their omakase. This is a must try for any special occassion. I will point out that not all the dishes were big hits in this tasting menu, but definately well crafted. Their premium sake was absolutely wonderful and very aromatic. Overall, if you want fresh and creative dishes in Japanese cuisine, then book your next reservation here. Just don't expect them to serve you typical sushi rolls, cause they're capable of so much more!

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Give me a break: Tojo's sucks
By bitemebaby of Kitsilano (7 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, October 13, 2007 - 11:17pm [Dine in]

I finally went to Tojo's last night for the first time. I have lived in Kits for about 20 years and I have heard that the food here was excellent. I had a wide sampling of the menu (not the Omikase) but Tuna Sushi Tataki, Agedashi Tofu, Gomae, Sablefish, Magnum PI roll, etc. The food was definitely good ... BUT ... not for the price. The portions were pitiful (my wifes dynamite roll had four small peces and it was $12). I am normally happy to blow $150+ on a meal for two at Bin 942 or Vij's because he food and the experience are awesome. Tojo's was crap ... plain and simple starting at the door. We sat in the bar on these cheap leather seats and waited for 15 minutes ... past our reservation time. I sipped on a $14 Grey Gose martini (easily $2 over what it should have cost). When we were finally seated ... our server was annoying and had a really "canned japanese" schtick. Yeah ha ha ... get me my beer please. Half of our our food literally arrived in about 5 minutes. It was way too fast. It threw our whole meal out of tempo ... there was no tme to sit and chat with apps arriving. Some mains arrived, then apps, then mains ... and above all we had to wait for booze. How can a restaurant that is so diorganized stay in business? Okay back to my scathing review. The decor is brutal ... cold grey tones and high ceilings. It actually feels opressive for a Japanese restaurant which should be closed in and warmer (try finding 20 foot ceilings in Tokyo). The borthday singing was the only thing that made me smile ... at least even Japanese waiters can't sing karaoke. In the end ... if you want to spend a ridiulous amount of money for bad service, cld ambiance and acceptable food ... head to Tojo's. If you want to get your moneys worth ... go elsewhere (Bin 942 and Vij's are about two blocks away each and way higher on the scale).

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Tojo ruined all sushi for me.
By Jefferson of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, September 2, 2007 - 10:46pm [Dine in]

I went to Tojo's with my fiancee for an expected fabulous dinner. We were not let down.
The seafood was the freshest I've ever had other than getting fish straight from the boat. We went for the Omakase at the bar and let Master Chef Tojo take control of the experience. What a great time. Everything was absolute top quality.
The service was...very attentive. Almost too much though. That really is the worst of the whole experience. Not much to complain about I guess.
Although the meal was pricey, $350.00 for two, which did include saki and a very decent tip, I would do it again. You get what you pay for.
Any other sushi does not compare.
Domo arigato Tojo-san!!!

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Out of this world Japanese cuisine
By sage_mom of Oakridge, Vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 11:23am [Dine in]

Dining here was truly an experience of a lifetime. We had the Omakase at the sushi bar - frankly, the only way to go at Tojo's. We can't afford to dine here often, so we might as well have the best they can offer.

First of all, Tojo himself welcomed us as we sat and asked about our meal preferences. I specifically told him I was up for anything EXCEPT octopus, as I find them too rubbery. Tojo says, "well then you haven't tried mine". So what does Tojo do? He makes me an octopus dish and reluctantly, I ate it. Wow - it was so smooth and soft. As for the rest of the dishes, each one unique and delicious. You cannot even compare it to other Japanese restaurants, because it's not the same kind of food! There was no generic sushi or teriyaki in sight, only gourmet, one-of-a-kind creations.

I could never do justice to the food by describing it. You just have to go there yourself, be adventurous and put yourself in the very capable hands of the master, Tojo. Also, save up for it first. Food like this doesn't come cheap.

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Overpriced and Over-Rated
By PinkTink of Richmond (8 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 27, 2007 - 4:43pm [Dine in]

I was very disappointed at Tojo's. We went to go try it since we heard so many rave reviews and was gravely disappointed. The service was poor, the pricing was ridiculous and the food was nothing special. Their sushi rolls were anrexic and tiny. Even sushi from a food court is better. Their chef recommendations were mediocre. Something you could get at Hon's. Service was horrible. It's like they hire snobs just so you'll order more cuz nothing seems to be good enough. We ordered 5 dishes between 2 people and the waiter still tried to pressure us into ordering more. When the food came out, we understood why. Each serving was meant for a toddler. We're not big eaters either and at the end of the meal we were just so disappointed we didn't even wanna bother with the desert. If you go there, you're really just going for the decor, definitely not the food.

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Really Bad Service
By themachine of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 16, 2007 - 12:06pm [Dine in]

Although the woman who was bussing was quite friendly (not very helpful, but friendly) our waiter was incredibly rude. He kept us waiting for no apparent reason, communicating with me via hand gestures when I tried to get his attention. He treated us badly when serving us, and when we asked to cancel our orders and leave (as a result of the restaurant being out of what I wanted to order - what sushi restaurant runs out of tuna?) he laughed at me and said that he'd already put our orders in and we couldn't leave. Eventually we got out of there. I would go back just to see what the fuss with the food is about but I'm not expecting much. $65 tuna sashimi would have to be pretty amazing.

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Too expensive, way overrated
By bunnyhop of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 4:48pm [Dine in]

People gush endlessly about Tojo's, but it's not all it's hyped up to be. Prices are ridiculously high for the value of food and service. For what I'm paying, I expect impeccable service and tremendous dishes. Instead, I was left disappointed in every way. I would NOT recommend Tojo's for anyone.

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ok food, terrible service
By scyeh of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 1:38am [Dine in]

I took my friends from NYC to tojo's on monday night for dinner, and we had $80 set menu for each person. I was going to order some sake to share with one of my friends, and was browsing their wine list, yet everything was too expensive, finally, I ordered one for $18, and the waiter immediately gave me a bad look, it's like I ordered the cheapest one on the list. When the first dish came, we were told it was fish, and when we wanted to know more about that dish, like what kind fish it was, the waiter said: find out yourself, I am not going to tell you. We thought he was joking,and was trying to ask him more, then he left without saying a word. Same thing happened again on the remaining dishes. We had to ask the waiter for what we were getting, but it seemed that the wait staff was really lack of training, and had really really bad attitudes. Finally, after we paid the bill, I went over to talk to Mr. Tojo, and told him we were totally not happy with their service. He seemed to be surprised when I told him about this, but, hey, we paid $100 per person, and this was what we got from so called top rated japanese restaurant in town, I think this is totally rediculous. I have been to so many fancy restaurants in my life, and this is the first time I really had to complain about the service to the owner.
In conclusion, I totally agree with other people here: ok food, but over priced, and terrible service.

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Good sushi, lousy service
By skg of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, April 13, 2006 - 3:05pm [Dine in]

We managed to get a table without a reservation but immediately felt unwelcomed by the staff. We gave them the benefit of the doubt since it was busy. The sushi was fresh, innovative and delicious. The problem came when our Sri Lankan (?) waiter miscalculated on the bill and wanted our credit card back to add a 1 cent charge. That's right! 1 penny. He got confrontational when I told him I would just take the penny out of his tip. Needless to say, I didn't leave him much of a tip.

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Service Sucked
By vancouverdiner of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, December 28, 2005 - 10:50am [Dine in]

The food was very good alright but way overpriced. The place was moderately busy but not jammed but still service just sucked. Huge delays (eg 40 mins) between courses w no explanation. Had to ask repeatedly for a glass of water or to get some extra chopsticks. At $100 each they ought to be taking care of your every need. We actually had to get up and chase down the waiter to find out what was happening. A really disappointing experience for me and for my out of town guests. I don't plan on going back or on recommending Tojo's, thus this post. Happy dining all.

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Loved it!
By schweetb of Burnaby (11 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 30, 2011 - 3:03pm [Dine in]

My fiance and I went to Tojo's for our anniversary dinner and we had the 5 course Omasake menu.

Omg - I love Tojo's! I thought their service was top notch. Well, at least our server was very attentive to us. She was so friendly, and happy. On our way out she even gave us two complimentary shots, an extra dessert and a pair of chopsticks for us both. Just a few minutes ago, I received a phone call from Tojo's asking how we had enjoyed our dinner there. I mean...where do you get that kind of service?

The food was very good. There were a couple of dishes that were ok, but then there were also some dishes that we thought were delicious!

Some may argue that the quality of food is not worth the price; I would say it depends what you are comparing Tojo's with. If you're going to compare Tojo's with Sushi Garden or Hapa Izakaya or Sea Monster, then of course you're going to think that it's not worth it. You're comparing apples to oranges. If you compare Tojo's with say Hapa Umi or Kimura or Miku or Octopus Garden then I think there's a much fairer comparison. We did not like Hapa Umi or Octopus Garden.

We're definitely going back to Tojo's again and next time, we want to sit at the sushi bar!!

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Is the trade off between price and quality worth it?
By lyndawitha_y of Surrey, BC (13 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 - 1:52pm [Dine in]

I've been here a a couple times, once, after a stressful week of exams, and once for a romantic dinner with the boyfriend.

I find service here great. The first time I was here, my friend was over thirty minutes late, and the servers made sure that I was not bored by taking turns and having simple conversations with me. The second time, service was slightly worse, but better than most places. It was also pleasant to have a lady in a traditional outfit walking around smiling and greeting you too. I have been reluctant to speak to Tojo, who can be within an earshot range of you based on the word that he's a cocky little guy. But one day I would love to speak to the chef who claims he invented the California Roll! Nevertheless, he looks like one of those cute old Japanese anime characters, and he's fun to watch.

The place is fairly new, given they moved to their new locations within the last few years, so ambiance is outstanding. It's a little difficult to find the place on Broadway during the evening though, there's no bight lights pointing you to the restaurant; look for a little flag sticking out with the writing "Tojos."

As for food, I have tried the $80 and $120 dollar Omakase, and I enjoyed it! Omakase is what Tojo's is known for: you're entrusting Tojo to make your meal for you. All you have to do is tell the Server you want the Omakase and that you prefer ____ but you hate _____, and they sort of just stir something up.

Some people may not like the price because you are getting the same ingredients served in a regular Japanese restaurant for 20X the price, but compared to normal Japanese restaurants, there's a genuine delightful freshness to it.

However, I'm not sure if the tradeoff between price and freshness (that some people don't seem to notice) is worth what Tojo is charging. I would come back here again, only if I feel like real quality foods...but that probably won't be for a while.

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All Hype, complete RIPOFF!
By Pink Snoopy With Jewel of Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 6:31pm [Dine in]

Should have known better as this place was recommended by a 'friend'. You know, everyone has one of those 'friends' that must get the latest over price gadget. The same kind of person that wrongly believes that outrageously expensive must be good.

Well, curiosity got the best of me so I decided to see what the hype was all about. Plus, if I'm gonna talk smack about a place, I might as well check it out in person.

My bf and I went and ordered the chef special which is $120 for 6 dishes. They should clarify that it is really $120 for 6 appetizers, actually, the portions were even smaller. They were the same size as the samples at Costco.

And the worst part was there was nothing special at all about any of the dishes. Half the dishes I could cook myself. And the other half was just regular sushi/sashimi that you could get at Temaki.

For that price I expect to be served some kind of rare expensive seafood, not just regular salmon and tuna that I could get at any other Japanese place.

Oh well, live and learn. And now I can tell everyone, DO NOT GET SUCKERED BY THE HYPE. Just cause a restaurant is mentioned in some magazine means squat.

Plus, we were there on a Saturday night and it was absolutely dead. Including ourselves there was two other tables, guess everyone already knows what a rip off this place is.

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Well...
By hishou of vancouver (14 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 11:03pm [Dine in]

Good food should be expected when you pay expensive, and yes, they served good quality. Beautiful interior decoration, and I almost thought this would be a nice place for a romantic evening, until the moment when waiters started to sing "Happy Birthday" loud, I mean out loud. I am not quite sure where a restaurant should make a line of friendliness; I mean it is good to see friendly gesture but you do not want to hear waiters singing in a 5 star restaurant...or maybe it was not a 5 star, but the food prices were...

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