Tojo's is a Japanese restaurant on Broadway that is consistently rated one of the top restaurants of its kind in Vancouver.
Absolutely the best sushi/seafood I've ever had. I took my husband for our anniversary and we both had the $80 chef's menu. They bring out course after course of the freshest and tastiest seafood followed by a giant plate of sushi rolls and nigiri. The decor isn't anything special, nor is the service (I had a post-it note with the number "1" stuck to my hand as I went in and had to wait despite having reservations). Looking at other diner's meals, I would probably get the $60 menu next time, but there will be a next time!
I love Tojo's. He truly does serve the best sushi in the city. The flavours are always clean, simple and very fresh. My only quibble is that I think the overall ambiance would benefit greatly from an update or renovation to the interior. Either way, I will always look forward to going back.
Truly the best Japanese food I have had in my life...I celebrated my birthday there and it was favorite birthday meal ever! The service was excellent and you feel very special when you're there. I had plenty of fun looking at past patrons at the restaurant. It's been a very popular restaurant for many visiting celebrities, musicians, and movie stars. Its worth every dollar and its more than a meal, its an experience!
Ordered chef Tojo's special combo. You don't choose the items, just a price point and off you go. I've never eaten cooked fish as perfect as the black cod that arrived at our table.
My only complaint with the dining experience was that I expected a sampling of many different flavors. Most cooked dishes we recieved came with savory mushrooms, however, they lost their lustre round after round. The overall quality is exceptional however. Next time I will order a la carte.
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!
Yes, Tojo's was expensive. There's no doubt. Was it worth it? That of course comes down to personal experience, and of course the value that each individual attaches to their $. Personally I enjoyed my experience at Tojo's.
The kitchen food was particularly creative and the quality was good. The sushi on the other hand was okay, but nothing special. I can think of a handful of other restaurants that produce sushi of equal or even greater value.
The ambiance I found to be a bit boring, but definitely upscale. The open kitchen was quite impressive.
The proprietor himself was attentive, but a little over the top. We overheard him claiming to be the first sushi chef in North America! The inventor of the California roll?!?! Give me a break... My partner and I just rolled our eyes. Perhaps such unsubstantiated claims are good for business? I guess.
Overall, a good one time experience.
I've been to Tojos four times, and had great but differing experience everytime. Note that I give four stars for food rating; that's because Tojo is inconsistent in that most times the food will be very very good, and a few times it will be to die for. When the food is to die for, it is worth every penny. When the food is very very good, it is also worth every penny, but the value diminishes greatly. The value really depends on the customers bias of the dishes. Anyway, there are no other Japanese restaurants in BC that can make food as good and as consistent as Tojo's.
The service is always excellent, and there was at least one waiter who constantly wait on my table everytime. If you want to get all your money's worth, then do the omakase. It is the only way you'll get the best of your money at Tojo's as ala carte is on a hit and miss basis. The quality of the ala carte dishes depends on customer's preference and luck as there are so many different style and taste on the menu.
There are no words to describe how good, how delictable, and how amazing the service was at Tojo's!
Went there with my husband for our anniversary and it was the best decision ever!
Food- to die for! The sashimi was so fresh, it melts in your mouth! The special rolls, so delictable! Quality and originality rings out through the whole meal!
Ambiance -- Clean, neat and trendy
Service- outstanding!!! Never once did I have to wave down our server, he was always there when we needed something. Also Chef Tojo himself even greeted us and thanked us on our way out!
Overall -- would go back in a heart beat!
A must go!!!!
I understand where many of the people who tried this place became disappointed.
The reason for this is that the restaurant is authentic Japanese cuisine, a rarity in Vancouver. Tojo's expresses itself through its subtlety's and is extremely unlike the Japanese-American fusion (Chinese owned and often with Chinese cooks) restaurants that make up 90% of the 'Japanese' restaurants in North America. If you ask many Japanese Issei (first generation) where they prefer to eat for Japanese, many will in fact say no where. I've found that most who say they 'know' about Japanese food would not be able to tell the difference between from a dish whose recipe originated in the east opposed to the west of Japan. Even the simple facts about Japanese cuisine such as 'sushi' (which actually doesn't accurately describe the food its labeled to as its means "it's sour" as they no longer use fermented roots or fish in its preparation that ended in the 14th century) being an uncommon addition outside of a special occasion in the regular diet of Japanese people.
Like a expensive and aged wine, it's wasted on the majority of people despite the fact they may in fact drink wine on a regular basis.
Tojo's refines itself on fresh ingredients, the blending of flavours, and its dishes that are inspired from north, south, east, west, and island cuisines from around Japan.
If you consider yourself a connoisseur with a sharp pallet and a knowledge of Japanese food beyond ordering box A then I encourage you to try this place.
Otherwise, places like Shabusen and the Kamei Royale always rate well with my friends that gravitate to a less adventuresome and western oriented pallet.
A friend and I went to Tojo's tonight looking for a delicious dining experience. I live downtown and don't often leave downtown to eat (except to go to my number one restaurant in Point Grey) but used to go to Tojo's at least once a month about five years ago. The first time I ate there, it was like a mouth orgasm and I loved it every time after that. Two weeks ago, my friend and I were in Vegas where we ate at Nobu (among other delicious restaurants) and bragged to everyone about how Vancouver has superior sushi and our palates were used to quality sushi because we had Tojo's so when we were thinking about where to eat tonight, we decided to make the trek out there. We were so excited. When we got there, we ordered the small Omakase as we just wanted a light meal. However, it was still $80 a person so we expected at least a somewhat above quality meal. Every course was disappointing. We started with a tuna tartare that was okay but nothing to write home about - very oniony. Next we had an octopus sashimi salad which was inedible - it was rubbery and had a horriblly fishy smell. We had to send it back. Next we had a cooked salmon dish - the sauce was okay but the salmon was overcooked and dry. The server was good and was trying to be helpful so she brought us a sockeye salmon salad to make up for the octopus one we didn't eat. It was bizarrely spicy and something in it made the roofs of our mouths feel numb. Again - horrible. Next we had a platter full of various rolls - a few of these were really good but two of them had tobiko on them - one of only two things we told the server at the beginning of the meal that we ddn't want. We were really liking the server before then but were disappointed with the service after that point. While three of the rolls were good, the two pieces of accompanyng sashimi were also rubbery - we felt like we were literally choking the sushi down. We declined dessert and got out of there - after which we picked up some naan from Raga to get the taste out of our mouths. I am absolutely horrified by the quality of the meal we had there. We have no problem paying for quality meals but that is the first time I have ever spent a bit of money and felt ripped off. I eat sushi normally downtown at Coast and Miku and it is vastly superior to what we had at Tojo's. It is not even close to being worth what it costs. This one night totally ruined the years of good memories I had about it. Save your money and go to one of the better sushi restaurants in the cty....
Went to Tojo's 2 weeks ago; chose Tojo's b/c of all the hype & to see Tojo, a celebrity chef, in action! However was disappointed with how expensive the rolls are and how uptight our waiter was! I mean, all the dishes were very delicious, yes, but I believe I could get a much better dining experience at any other high-end sushi restaurant. and would it kill our waiter to crack a smile at least once? I mean, who's serving who here? I realize now that I was paying for the "Tojo-hype" and that is something I think once a year is enough. Will not go back anytime soon! Btw did i mention they charged us for a pot of Green tea??? Have you ever heard of a sushi restaurant charging for green tea? It was only $3.50 but still...could i say frugal?
We had the pleasure of dining at Tojos 3 times over the past couple of months. We are new to the city and had heard that Tojos was worth a try. I had read some of the reviews and was a little bit skeptical about the quality and value of this restaurant. Much to my relief the food and service surpassed my expectations. If you appreciate the highest quality fish,exquisite flavours and stunning presentation, you will find all of this at Tojos! The Tuna Tataki was fantastic as well as the Halibut cheeks! We ordered the Omakase one night where Tojo provides you with his creations. Fantastic!!! Yes it was a little pricey but absolutely worth it!! The service was absolutely fantastic too- friendly and personable! Ambiance was average- nice!
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.
Finally we decided to try the "amazing" Tojo's. We do love sushi and we have tried many many different sushi restaurants. Everything from all you can eat to high high end. From authentic to modern. Wow, what a waist of Friday night! The new location (as was the old, we are told) is poorly designed. The walls, high ceiling with pipes exposed, the lop sided dirty chipped tables and uncomfortable chairs, the pictures of fish on the walls with cracked frames/glass, the smell of raw fish creeping everywhere, and the dirty bathrooms was not what we expected when we reserved at Tojo's. It was bad! We sat at the bar waiting for friends for 15min and NO ONE asked us about drinks, menu, anything!!! NO one even looked at us!! Then when seated, there was 6 of us, we were given 3 food and 6 drink menus. There was no one in sight to ask for more menus. After 10 min we flagged down a waiter and asked, he said the place is busy and we would have to do with 3 menus!!! Then it took another 15 min and us waving for a waitress to come over. She was in her 60's dressed in a cute kimono, and could not really understand/speak English. Now, I am NOT racist, in fact I'm Mediterranean, but there is a lot to be said about language, especially in the service industry. We finally ordered our drinks and appiz and wanted to order more appiz but the waitress said "no no, it's too much for you, no need more, stop, I will go"!!!! WHAT!! Then she left!! The appiz finally arrived one at a time at a snail's pace, but no drinks yet! We were halfway thru appiz when the Sake finally arrived. We decided to order dinner, but the waitress was nowhere to be found. Again we had to wave her down!! She couldn't give us any suggestions on dinner (maybe the language issue or she thought we had had enough). The service was baaaaaaaaaaaaad, awful actually. The food was mediocre at best (and we tried everything), the atmosphere was dated, poorly designed, and uninviting. The bill was huge, $700 for 6 people. I will NEVER waist my time again. There are so many other sushi places way better than Tojo's. Its not the $$, its everything else. Tojo should get off his high horse! Next time try Miku on W Hastings.
We had the omakase tonight. It was such a great experience. Tojo himself explained all of the dishes to us, recommended when to cleanse the palate, how to eat the dish and whether or not soy sauce, ponzu sauce, or any other sauce would complement the dish. We had a great variety of fresh fish including toro and lobster, the presentation was clean and spare (no stupid garnishes!), and Tojo based how much he made for us based on how we felt (hungry, full, etc). Tojo was a very friendly, humble, and down to earth dinner guide, and it is obvious that many famous people dine here because of his personality and the quality of the ingredients he uses.
I think to be able to enjoy the omakase, you need to be able to appreciate great flavor and freshness, texture, and maybe have some experience trying tasting menus and sushi beyond the "all you can eat" variety. It is really unfair to judge a restaurant by how much sashimi you get dollar for dollar, pound for pound, as many reviewers have unjustly done. Tojo's commitment to great, fresh, local ingredients is the reason why the price is higher than most establishments. There is so much careful preparation which is evident when you see the kitchen staff in action.
One must also remember that Tojo's innovative rolls have been copied by almost all Japanese restaurants in....Vancouver...and Canada! People looking for innovation - well, you've found the source. Sometimes a return to pure and simple is very refreshing, especially when the city is full of "fusion", and the innovation lies in the combination of flavors and textures, not presentation or molecular gastronomy.
We intend to return, and would love to be "regulars", like some of the hollywood directors that faithfully frequent Tojo's. The price does prevent us from visiting more than a few times a year (and you really should just do omakase every time), but if I had the money, i would go a few times a week. Eating there is just very relaxing. No booming dance music, like most other establishments.
A very classy, humble, elegant place with old school japanese values, blended with Vancouver modernity. Forget all the negative reviews, those are so uncalled for, and can basically be traced to a problem with money, or inexperience with high quality japanese food. bring your credit card, order sake, and enjoy.
The food was OK to good, the ambience was OK and depending on your taste better than OK and clearly if you see his wall he has received more medals and commendations than all the restaurants on Broadway combined, but is it a value at $250? Is the wine that says Tojo's on it fair value at $40?
I am not saying it is bad but this place is for gf meetings not wife dinners.
As you can guess the answer is no, no and no and the service is below average.
Look, I loved dining at Tojo's. The food and service were world class. Ultra fresh fish, great preparation, wonderful presentation and terrific service. So why 3 stars from me? The check. At $225 for one, that is really beyond the pale in the price department. And at that price, I expect a meal that is nearly one-of-a-kind on the Earth. Tojo's was outstanding in every normal respect, but not far enough "out there" to justify the price. Better overall experiences can be found at places like the French Laundry in Napa or the Inn at Little Washington in VA, Le Bec Fin in Philly, Aureole in NYC and others for about $150/head, including wine. I recommend eating at Tojo's once. But only once. After that, spend your hard earned fine dining dollars elsewhere.
Been to this restuarnat many times in the past years, both new and old location. Each time has a good impression on its own. The service was usually good and even though it is expensive, it was well worth the pride much like drinking a starbucks coffee over a McD.
This time, coming with guests of mine. Actually my aunt and uncle, food critics in their own right, picky as heck, it fell flat on my face. Although we were promptly seated and in our booth as requested, no server came for 10 minutes. As embarrassing as it is, we had to wave to flag a server. This is not only seen as rude to the server but annoying in such a prestigous restaurant. BUT unfortunitely, we had no choice since we had nobody to help us.
The food was decent, it wasnt as "awesome" as I would have hoped it to be. We had a vegetarian in our family so we ordered a chefs selection for her and two 150 tojos selection.
Frankly, the money wasnt the problem tonight, we just wanted to have the best for my family. 5 of us, the bill was 600 dollars and yes we were full but the items were not nearly as impressive as they should of been or i would have hoped they would be.
The only uniqueness was the blue fin toro for 79 bucks, as an a la carte item. We also had a few nigiri and cones that were good.
WE think it was a solid restaurant. However it isnt always easy to deliver prefection everytime.
I visited Tojo's a while back first at their old location and more recently at their new location. There's no doubt that their food and quality are great, however based on their escalated prices, we would have expected more outstanding and extraordinary dishes. However, the service we received was so poor that we would never go back - first, we waited over 45 minutes to get a table and once we were seated, waiting for our first few dishes, the waiter asked if we wouldn't mind changing tables so they could make room for a larger party. We agreed, then once we started our meal, the waiter again asked if we would mind moving so they could accomodate another large party. We again agreed, and after we moved tables, the waiter forgot the remainder of our order and we waited over 30 minutes to get all of our dishes. Although they apologized, their lack of service and lack of courtesy to existing patrons was unexcusable! They offered us "free" ice cream dessert for our troubles which we wholeheartedly declined! It was a total insult to the troubles we encountered and poor experience we received. We would never go back regardless of the food!
Server interrupted us while we were presenting a gift to our guest.
We waited 20 minutes with nothing and no offer for drinks while our guest was served dish after dish.
When our food arrived I ordered a beer. It finally arrived 15 minutes later, long after the sushi was finished.
The server completely forgot one dish and them blamed the kitchen for it.
All in all, the worst service I have ever had in a "high-end" restaurant. I would never eat at Tojo's again. You can get comparable sushi at at least 5 or 6 other places in Vancouver for half the price and get good service.