Tojo's is an upscale Omakase icon in the heart of Vancouver renown for its (purported) invention of the California Roll. Though its namesake is legendary, the experience does not live up to its reputation.
The entire ambiance of the location was strange. Overly bright white-light illuminated the seating arrangement that seemed uncharacteristically quiet. If not for the elegant decor on the walls and tables, one might mistake the setup to that of a casual Japanese diner. In light of properly furnished and designed interiors such as that of Nobu in L.A. and even Minami in Vancouver, the setup of Tojo's removes one from the experience they expect the moment they enter the restaurant. After seating, service was reluctant, and communication was difficult.
Our dinner was limited to the two pre-selected set menus for Valentines Day. A sushi menu for $150 and a Wagyu menu for $250. This is not cheap even by Vancouver sushi standards. Naturally, we ordered one set each, paired with a bottle of Pinot Grigio. The sashimi openers were good, classic diced toro in a sesame yuzu for the Wagyu menu and an assorted sashimi platter for the sushi menu. Good, but nothing to distinguish it from the other sushi joints that littered Vancouver's Broadway. The soup and salad that followed were elementary. Overly umami soup and a seaweed salad that tasted and presented like they were purchased from the local grocery and quickly put together to appease the volume on valentines day. The seafood mix (wrapped unnecessarily in a paper bento) and mushroom platter that followed were worse for wear. Salty and minimally appetizing in the mouth. Further dampening was the fish bone found in the seafood platter. The sushi and wagyu mains were mildly redemptive. Though, the pairing of plain white rice with the fatty wagyu left the entré experience wanting. The cheesecake, though a sweet end to the rather disappointing meal, was on par with any other dessert from other restaurants.
I don’t know what happened to Tojo’s but it seemed like a totally different restaurant comparing to my experience there 2 years ago. Their menu has changed a lot. We went for the Wagyu Beef Omakase. The value of money is extremely low for this 5 course dinner. The sashimi was just so so. Nothing different from what you would expect from a takeout sushi place believe it or not. The beef, which was supposed to be the highlight of the courses, was mediocre. The whole Omakase worth no more than 100 dollars. We were really disappointed given the price and the expectation we had before we go. This probably is the last time we will ever go there. Don’t waste money on this place.
As always, the most amazing sushi I’ve ever had. So fresh and expertly prepared. Highly recommend.
The ambience was nice and so the staff , but overall I found it way overpriced. The one dish we really wanted they didn’t have and they told us few minutes after we ordered . The food didn’t come with any special presentation , just plated simply. The nigiri sushi you can only have as a big order ($55!) and the one salmon one wasn’t even sockeye . I think that even the tea was just regular green tea, not the Japanese version of it.
Standout Japanese food. Beautiful presentation. Friendly helpful staff. Loved the signature cocktails and a good sake selection.
My only complaint is that I live in Australia, so it will be a while before I can come back. Highly recommend.
We had a $500 budget for my retirement dinner and gave the menu selection to the chef. Although most of the dishes were very good there was little variety. All of the dishes were sushimi, it would have been nice to have other foods too.
Food was excellent, servers too!
My favourite better than Miku or Minami which in my opinion are too sauced out
The best Japanese food experience I've found in Vancouver.
The service was abysmally slow. The wait staff compensated for this by offering a free round of drinks and free dessert, which mollified us. But still, there is no excuse for how slow the service was. The restaurant was not that crowded and we were only a party of 6.
Food was great, we came here for birthday dinner. Everything was perfect.
Very consistent and high quality cuisine and service!
Chef's Omakase was fabulous
Excellent service and good variety of sushi and cooked food selections.
For 30 years this is still one of the best Japanese restaurants in Vancouver.
Service was good but food was bland, we had the tojos favourites omakase, Bill was $250 for two of us.
Can get a much better meal at minami for that price
Always great food & service
For the best Sushi anywhere on the planet! Seriously. I took a professor from Japan to this restaurant. He is a foodie and takes vacations every year, around Japan for the best restaurants. He said that Tojo's was the best restaurant he had ever eaten at. I think that says it all.
They missed up our order taking a very long time to finished the meal. The apologized and offered a desert on the house good move but we waited a long time for each course for the prices you expect a way more dedication to details in the service. Once you get the food , it is amazing !
1st time here, food was fantastic, service was top notch. Everything was great but found it a bit pricey.
I like ambiance and food quality and taste was excellent. Best Tojo role ever eaten
This is probably one of the more pricy Japanese restaurants in Vancouver. Considered the pricing, we were expecting good services. Unfortunately, most of the waitresses do not know the food or drink menu well. And it is really hard to get them to come to the table for more drink order or food order. We ordered some $80 and $120 per set sampling menu. The items in the menu are pretty much the same dish after dish.. salmon, yellow fin, tuna; then repeat. Very few variation. And the freshness of the fish is okay grade. Nothing exceptional. We even see the sushi chef pick his teeth and touch his nose from time to time while working in the sushi bar.
Over all, not worth your money. You get better service and food quality going to Raisu, Seiza and Kinyo restaurants while at fraction of a cost. Usually for a family of four, we spent $150 at Seiza. We spent $400 at Tojo's. Not worth it.
We are disappointed to hear that your meal did not meet your expectations. We can assure you that serving the freshest and best seafood is of utmost importance to us. We are working on improving the training for our wait staff so that they are better able to describe the origin and uniqueness of our ingredients and dishes. Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback.
Outstanding as usual
Best Japanese restaurant in Vancouver
Food was excellent and service started off great. Had to wait after for drinks and food.
Had a business dinner. Both of us had the Chef's Choice or whatever it's called. While the dishes might not have been the fanciest, they were, without exception, delicious.
Came highly recommend but was slightly disappointed. Possibly expectations were too high.
My date and I ordered the Chef Special, a dinner of six courses selected by the chef. We listed food allergies, made note that some of our favorite foods are salmon and unagi and enjoyed six perfectly timed dishes covering sashimi, to soup, to pan-seared fish and mushrooms.
It was the most exceptional meal and dining experience, ever, for both my date and myself. We made reservations one month in advance because our schedules demand planning ahead. We were looking forward to the special occasion and had heard the highest praise from a coworker who recommended Tojo's. We were blown away. Each dish left us smiling, in awe, full of wonder - I am not exaggerating. The quality of the fish, the presentation of each dish, the mind-bending new and delicious flavors. We left full to the brim, grinning, wondering how long it might be until we can visit again.
From now on, Tojo's will always have a special place in our hearts. Thank you to Tojo, the wait staff, and chefs for such a special experience. I highly recommend and look forward to my own next visit.
Food was great. Service was also excellent. Love this place.
Arguably the best Japanese restaurant in Vancouver. Their sushi is beyond belief . Their sable fish snd salmon entrees must be experienced at least once in everyone’s life at least once. It is not cheap but worth every dime
Definitely one of my top 3 best meals in my life. The To-Tu tuna was unremarkable, but the rest of the meal was absolutely memorable. The seafood tempura used high quality ingredients, especially the meaty juicy prawn. The ama ebi was like butter rolling around in my mouth. The baked oysters were plump and delicate, no chewy or sandy textures that can sometimes be found in baked oysters. The sashimi selection was just decadent with the freshness of the fish paired with real wasabi. The golden roll was the best bite I have ever eaten. The rice was fluffy and light, the ama ebi and crab was sweet and fresh, wrapped in a fluffy sweet egg crepe and topped with masago? You get a bite of umami-flavoured genius in the fluffiest roll ever. Did I mention how light and fluffy it was? And the service was also at a level of classic French style. Servers (and food runners) made sure our drink glasses were never empty, watching from far away but not hovering. Everything about that meal was perfect.
We were missing two rolls when we noticed that the chefs were not making our rolls..so we had to ask about the status and then we saw them starting to make our rolls. Other than that, good food.
Very professional, classic Japanese, no faults. Definitely be back. Extended menu, good service, quality sushi. Go for the set menu, that's the best way to experience it. And very friendly staff !!
Sat at the Bar for the full Omokase experience. Exceptional food, great service and enjoyed watching the kitchen at work. Smoked Sablefish was a standout dish, but all the food was fantastic. A memorable meal and experience.
Outstanding experience. People, food, atmosphere were all fantastic. Definitely coming back next time we are in Vancouver.
The best sushi i ever had in Vancouver. So fresh!
Fantastic Food, very friendly service, good athmosphere.
I’m only giving 2 stars for service because we didn’t see the person who was supposedly our server for most of the night and was served by many others from the restaurant. All other staff were excellent. The food was unbelievable, I couldn’t pick out the favorite dish we had because they were all great. We sat at the sushi bar and had a chance to chat with Tojo which was very nice.