Walter Mencken 9:01 a.m., April 29
Tokyo Playground heading for the Gaslamp
Should we have a problem with “schoolgirl-clad” servers?
George’s on Fifth, the well-settled steak place you’d see downtown powerbrokers eating at as you hurried by, is history. Even their closing down is history. They served their last meal at the end of March.
But in their place, wait for it: Tokyo Playground, “the best looking sushi in town.” Think Hooters meets Nobu. It’s going to fill two floors of the historic building they always tell you Wyatt Earp hisself had his gambling halls in, at 835 5th Avenue in the Gaslamp (925-241-4664, though it doesn't seem to be connected yet).
What is Tokyo Playground? It’s the second of a wannabe franchise that started in the San Francisco area. “You’ve definitely NEVER been to a Japanese restaurant like THIS before,” their website says. It’s “Sushi/Asian menu is fused with traditional American Sports Bar cuisine and served up by the vivacious, eye-catching schoolgirl-clad Tokyo Playground Girls.”
The menu’s already up. Salads start with the sesame-peanut dressing house salad for $3.95 and go to a spicy sashimi salad with Kobe beef for $17.95. They’ll have fusion starters like Japanese nachos, which include mozzarella, spicy ground tuna, jalapeños and masago (capelin eggs). Rolls start at ten, and sushi combos at $14, going all the way up to $74.95 for the “Dream Boat.”
Except “schoolgirl-clad”? The servers in San Francisco are wearing short skirts and long stockings that stop at the knees. And: “Playground.” Are we supposed to think school playground?
The place is apparently owned by Carlos Bradley and Sean Kattner. Not to go Blue-Stocking, fellers...fantasies are fine, but are you sure you want to go there?
Opening's due soon.