This is going to be a difficult admission due to my faithful and undying love for Little Tokyo, but on Saturday night, I had a pretty darn ethereal sushi experience. At Tomoe Sushi.
This tiny little joint is right down the street from me on Thompson Street and boasts a serious line around the corner every single night. The line is so daunting, in fact, I doubted I'd ever be able to experience for myself what all the obvious hype is about. I almost couldn't understand it. Was it really that good? But on Saturday (note: Halloween) we found ourselves with hungry stomachs at around 5:00pm. And we were in luck: a nearly line-less Tomoe. We were in.
The inside is all business. Your classic sushi restaurant. No frills. But as we all know, this is totally my scene. It was warm and inviting, and we happily clinked our glasses of over-sized Sapporo's. Have I told you about my love for Asian beer? Well I am now. I love, love, love Asian beer.
So my fellow sushi-eating companion and I split a Sushi Deluxe spread. And after some smokey, salty, soul satisfying miso soup, and the classic green salad with carrot ginger dressing, we were presented an awfully impressive spread. (Again, I flew out the door sans camera but I would have been too much of a wuss to take pictures anyways. Again, this place is all business.) Beautiful pieces of gem-like glistening fish awaited consumption. Tobiko, salmon roe, abalone, salmon, tuna, fluke, yellowtail, hamachi, galore. We didn't know where to begin.
And so then we just did. The fish was of such brilliant and pristine quality, you could cut it with the side of a chopstick without applying any pressure at all. And then it just melted away like sweet oceanic butter in your mouth. The salmon roe burst like tiny pellets of fresh sea water and the abalone was a sweet and exotic indulgence. Each and every piece sent near chills down my spine. So unbelievably simple and pure. It makes me wonder why I even bother eating any of it cooked when its raw, naked, unadulterated state is so sublime and perfect.
We wolfed our sushi down in record speed (so much for savoring) and lingered over our Sapporos, watching ghosts, goblins, and pirate hookers walk down the street (and some enter the restaurant). And upon our exit, I couldn't help but glance to my right and see a line of sushi savants waiting for their chance to sit.
And now? I totally get it.
172 Thompson St. (nr. W. Houston)