Monday, April 13, 2009

little tokyo

Let me preface this by saying, I love sushi. Like really, really, really love sushi. As in I wake up craving sushi and could eat it every day for lunch and/or dinner for a week straight and not bat an eye. As in Jeremy Piven and I may soon share more in common than I'd like to think. That said, Little Tokyo in Norwalk, CT, is, in every way, my heaven.

Henry, the Manager and THE MAN, the myth, the legend, stops at nothing to ensure everyone who walks into his quaint Japanese haven, has the most memorable of meals and is treated with service you'd expect at the finest of restaurants. And he smiles, smiles, smiles, all the way through. Henry, I believe, has found the key to happiness.

And that key, is the freshest most sublime fish I've ever encountered.

Now every Friday night, my mom and her closest friends can be found at Little Tokyo. And as a commuter, before I made the move into the city, you could find me there too. It literally pains me to be so far away from it now, but it is understood that whenever Kiira is home, at least (at LEAST) one night is spent at Little Tokyo so that I can have my temporary fix. I believe they call this addiction.

After we're seated, we don't even have to order anymore. Henry knows exactly what each of us likes and then throws in a few surprises that based upon our likes, he knows we will love.

Plate after plate of delectable raw treats are ushered to our table. This Friday it started with a spicy seafood salad: shredded crab tossed with matchsticks of cucumber and dressed with a spicy mayo dressing and garnished with tobiko. Thin slices of fluke danced along the edge of the plate, dressed with a sweet but light soy-based sauce and shaved pieces of scallion. Perfectly balanced, beautifully presented, it was gone before I could snap a picture. Next came fresh tuna, covered in a spicy (TOO SPICY) rub and quickly seared on all sides before sliced, drizzled with a spicy mayo, and set down at our table. While the initial bite was soft and melt-in-your-mouth, it quickly became an emergency heat situation. My mother and my wimpy palettes couldn't really stand the heat. But delicious, nonetheless. The showstopping platter of sushi came next.
Oh. My. God.

Salmon, tuna, and white tuna nigiri sushi, two raw oysters topped with a spicy soy sauce, scallions, and tobiko. The most unbelievably tender pieces of Alaskan King Crab that I have ever encountered in all my 23 (almost 24) years. You didn't even need to chew. It just melted away into a briny, oceanic flavor that was superior to any lobster I've ever had. And of course, a Love Roll. Which my dear Henry knows (without me even having to say) that I cannot leave without having. Spicy white tuna with avocado inside, with a spicy crab salad with crunchies on top.

I couldn't stop.

And then there was more.

Henry's prized specialty: Lobster Cantonese Style. A whole lobster, chopped into pieces, shell on, is quickly cooked in a ridiculously hot wok with slivers of ginger, and a whole bunch of scallions, some sort of sweet sauce that I can't quite decipher but I don't even care. This thing is border line obscene. And I worry even mentioning this in a public arena as he only makes a couple a night and God forbid the next time I go in and he's sold out of them.

There will be trouble.

The point is, this place puts out incredible food and I have yet to find a place in the city that can live up to it. Honestly. And yes, it's Henry, it's Nancy (our adorable waitress), it's the sushi guys, it's friends, it's family but really? It's the food.

It's the freaking food.

Little Tokyo
120 New Canaan Ave.
Norwalk, CT, 06850

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