Tokyo Sushi food tasty, a bargain New: The tiny Glen Burnie restaurant, which opened Nov. 3, is difficult to find, but its menu and prices make it worth the effort.

December 10, 1998|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Tokyo Sushi, a tiny restaurant tucked into the quiet part of a Glen Burnie strip shopping center, serves up tasty sushi at even tastier prices.

The food is excellent -- the tempura is the best I've had in northern Anne Arundel County -- the service is great, and the lunch prices are unbelievably inexpensive.

A famished friend and I arrived at 1 p.m. on a weekday and found the restaurant empty except for its owner and his family sitting in the back, chatting over lunch.

The restaurant, which opened Nov. 3, has been building up a clientele, but its location doesn't make that easy. You have to look hard to see its sign from the parking lot of Southdale Shopping Center.

But the moment we walked in and saw the lunch menu, we vowed to be regulars.

The menu offers chicken, beef and salmon teriyaki combination platters that come with shrimp and vegetable tempura, miso soup, rice and tea for $5.95 to $7.95 and a wide range of sushi rolls at $5.95 for any two.

We were a little suspicious about the quality of food -- especially the sushi -- we'd be getting at these low prices, but we were not disappointed.

The chicken and beef teriyaki were excellent, although a tad less teriyaki sauce would have been nice.

The hearty portion of tempura shrimp and vegetables was delicious. The batter was so light and fluffy -- unlike the stale and heavy tempura often served up in these parts of the county -- that it almost melted in our mouths. We couldn't get enough of it.

The only drawback was that the dipping sauce was bland and did not seem authentic. We agreed that the restaurant probably deserves more than three stars but won't get them until it improves its dipping sauce.

The sushi was outstanding. The California roll -- with crab sticks, avocado, cucumber and flying fish roe -- and the tekka maki, or tuna roll, were standard sushi choices that offered no surprises, but both were well done.

The tempura shrimp roll is a must. The shrimp was crisp and freshly fried -- rare in neighborhood sushi joints that keep a stash of pre-fried shrimp for rolls -- and the roll had an unusual zing. (After quizzing our attentive waiter, we learned that the sushi chef adds dabs of a homemade spicy mayonnaise to some rolls.)

The Alaska roll, with fresh salmon, cucumber, scallions and avocado, was similarly excellent and also brushed with spicy mayonnaise.

The final bill -- including a a soda and an iced tea -- came to $28.25 plus tip. We left feeling guilty for not paying more for the amount of great food we ate.

Tokyo Sushi

Where: 60 Mountain Road, Glen Burnie, 410-768-9336

Hours: Dinner, 5 p.m. to 10: 30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 4: 30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. Lunch, 11: 30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Prices: Appetizers, $2.75-9.95; entrees, $4.95-$13

Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club

Rating: ***

Ratings: * culinary wasteland -- **** culinary heaven

Pub Date: 12/10/98

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