So I have started classes again and that means I will barely have time to do things non-work related. However, I am still eating well and will try to continue to find time to write about these eating experiences. Last Friday, my friend Stephanie and I went to a cozy little Japanese sushi restaurant called TOMO. The one that I went to in Elmhurst (about an hour train ride on the R from the Village, faster if you take the E/F and transfer) is called TOMO Japanese Cafe while the other location in Jackson Heights is called TOMO Japanese Cuisine. Don’t know why they have two different names but what they both do have is good, cheap sushi.
Stephanie introduced me to this place a little under a year ago and at that time, I didn’t even like sushi. She convinced me to go with her using the words “3 rolls for $10 and $1 sushi/sashimi!”. Well, I always love a good deal and had to see what the sushi fuss was all about. The sushi there was actually quite tasty and ever since, I’ve been trekking there for my cheap sushi fix.
I usually order my same three regular rolls: spicy salmon, eel avocado and shrimp tempura. Last Friday, I got those three again but this time I also ordered some sushi a la carte: flying fish roe (tobiko), salmon roe (ikura) and sea urchin (uni), which came out first.
I love getting salmon roe because it’s a nice burst of flavor in my mouth and Tomo’s roe is always pretty good. This was only my second time have uni, however, so I can’t really tell what exactly is amazing, fresh quality sea urchin. What I did have was really tasty though and had a nice brininess as well as soft, tender texture to it.
The presentation of the rest of sushi was very pretty but the restaurant was dimly lit so the pictures don’t really capture the different colors.
I love the eel avocado roll because the combination of the sweet brown sauce, eel and buttery avocado is fantastic. The eel avocado at Tomo is a solid, tasty roll and I think it’ll continue to be of the three I always order.
The spicy salmon roll was also very good. Just a hint of spiciness so it didn’t overwhelm the salmon. I’ve been getting this one a lot so perhaps next time I’ll get the spicy tuna roll.
The shrimp tempura roll was fantastic! The shrimp was still hot and crunchy from being freshly fried, which resulted in a nice contrast between that and the cool rice. The roll had thin cucumber slices wrapped inside it and was topped with tobiko and a light drizzle of sweet brown sauce. I didn’t really care for the cucumber but it did add some more crunch to the roll.
Steph got four uni’s, three unagi’s (hehehe salmon skin roll!), one tuna, one white tuna and
Steph and I ended our meal as we always do at Tomo, with a nice vanilla tempura ice cream. I’ve had some really good fried ice cream before where the shell is still insanely hot and needs to be cooled down before even attempting to eat. Tomo’s fried ice cream is a bit different. I don’t know how they do it but their tempura is more on the soft side, like the batter was fried first, cooled and then wrapped around a scoop of ice cream. I guess that’s why they call it tempura ice cream instead of fried ice cream on the menu but I was hoping to have a nice contrast between hot and cold. Still, the ice cream was tasty and the softer tempura became more of a crispy cake consistency, which made for an interesting eating experience. I definitely prefer real fried ice cream but this was a pretty decent dessert for about only $3.50.
Overall, the meal and service was very good and the sushi was great for its price. For three rolls, three sushi a la carte and a dessert, I paid less than $20 after tax and tip. If only this place wasn’t so friggin’ far from civilization (even for me, and I live in Queens!) I would eat here much more frequently.
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0