Johnny Caito 7:07 p.m., July 28
Authentic Japanese in Old Town
It's no secret I'm a bit of a Japanophile. I caught it (yes, it's contagious) from my man, whose affinity for Japanese aesthetics and tastes was long developed before we met. We've even been to Japan a few times. Now that you know this, you have no choice but to believe me when I say the food at Sushi Tadokoro (named after owner and chef Takeaki Tadokoro) is authentic and exquisite Japanese cuisine. So of course we were ecstatic to discover it in a strip mall on the way to Old Town, about a mile away from where we live.
Let's skip right to the important bits - it's not cheap. This makes sense when you consider the chef insists on selecting higher-end (and pricier) ingredients to start with. As it says on his site, "Behind every meal is hours of careful preparation using skills and techniques acquired over the years," and by "years," he's referring to 14 of which were spent making sushi in Japan.
This was apparent when we began tasting the fare. Here's a sampling of some of the things we've tried so far (descriptions beneath each image):
Gyoza, with a satisfyingly crunchy exterior.
Agedashi tofu, minus bonito flakes (which I don't care for, so to me this is a good thing), and broth so savory you're encouraged to drink it down. And we did.
Seafood miso -- this is a David thing, I could never deal with all that shell in a dish. But he said it was delicious, which is enough for me to recommend it, if you're into that sort of thing.
Grilled Chilean sea bass -- this is classified as an entree, but it's just the fish. Tasty, but you'd definitely want to order something else to make a meal.
Veggie roll, with avocado and cucumber (among other veggies) and soy paper. Refreshing and delicious.
Tuna with asparagus -- I didn't try this one, but my friend Terri declared it "yummy."
Always a purist, David goes right for the fresh and simple. The sashimi was both fresh and well cut.
One thing to note, if you're going to splurge a bit and order some of the finer sake, such as Shimeharitsuru, your server will allow you to choose from the Edo Kiriko (classic Japanese glass-crafted) cups lining the shelves behind the sushi bar, so you can sip your fine junmai ginjo from cups that are as elegant as they are individual.