My friends and I wanted late night AYCE one night, and decided to come here. I came here a few years back and it was decent as far as AYCE goes, so we decided to come back. Overall, our visit was pleasant. We found out from trial and error which AYCE foods to order, and which to stray away from. If you want to save you and your tastebuds the hassle, keep reading on!
The restaurant is not brightly lit at all, as you can see from this picture. We actually parked at the wrong restaurant initially, because there was a Korean/Japanese restaurant on the second level two blocks down Broadway. I thought that they had just changed the exterior and added Korean food to their offering, but nope.
We came for the late night AYCE. For those who don’t know, some AYCE restaurants offer a discounted rate if you go after a certain time. For Tomokazu, it was 9:30. They do this to attract late night goers and also to get rid of food (Gosh, sounds like we’re animals eating scraps.. HAHAHA). Their late night AYCE menu isn’t as extensive as their regular menu, but it’s cheaper!
Here are the first four dishes that came, starting with the salmon and tuna sashimi. As expected, the sashimi pieces were pretty small and did not taste super fresh, but still passable. The tuna pieces in particular were really tiny, like tiny mini erasers. There is also a limit of 6 pieces of EACH sashimi that you could order per round (max 12 per round). I forgot about the miso soup and it turned cold, when I drank it it tasted pretty watery. You could tell that the spinach gomae had been in the fridge the whole day, but it was still pretty tasty due to the rich peanut butter sauce. The spinach itself did not taste bad either, it was pretty juicy. I ended up ordering 2 more orders of this because I liked how juicy and refreshing the chilled spinach was. I laughed when the salmon teriyaki came because it was so thin, but it was cooked well and decent.
Next came our rolls, which were pretty good! The salmon maki tasted like a regular roll you would order at a restaurant. The chopped scallop cone had a generous portion of scallop, we were all pretty impressed. We ordered one seafood cone because we were curious, and it was pretty good as well! It came with cooked salmon and mayo. The beside it was the BC Roll , I’m not a fan of salmon skin but my friends liked it. Next was the Tomokazu special roll which we ordered because my friend is very adventurous and has a “why not” attitude when it comes to ordering. We were glad that we ordered it since it was very tasty! We agreed that this plate alone was worth the money, because when you go to restaurants, cones are around $4 each!
All of these plates were so good! The agedashi tofu was very crispy, I’m pretty sure it was made fresh which is rare for AYCE! I didn’t try the seafood and oyster motoyakis, but my friends both loved it. It was very cheesy, and the seafood one came with a lot of salmon. I loved the chicken karage. It was crispy, well seasoned, and cooked well. We ordered a lot of them afterwards too. The korean BBQ pork was really good as well. It was seasoned and grilled perfectly and cut into small strips.
But wait, there’s more! The hokkigai tasted pretty chewy and rubbery to me, so I probably wouldn’t order this again. The beef teriyaki was very sweet, but towards the end, the remaining beef was very mushy and looked like stew. The BBQ chicken wing was good according to my friend, I was too busy eating the rest of the chicken karage to try this. Finally, the gyoza which my friend thought tasted pretty good (At this point, I was stuffed and wanted to save room for jello).
After drinking more tea and resting, we were ready to stuff ourselves with jello! My friend noted that some places keep their jello with the seafood, so it ends up tasting like fishy jello. He was happy when he found out this was not the case here. I personally never had that happen to me before, have you? And if yes, which restaurant? However, I noticed that some restaurants keep their jello out for so long that the edges of the jello become kinda hard and dry, but this was not the case either. It was pretty decent jello!
Overall, we had a great experience at AYCE. I personally came with low expectations because it’s AYCE, you can’t expect supreme quality when you’re getting as much food as you possibly can. Service was average, the workers didn’t really come to top our tea or anything, but it was fine. We ended up staying for more than 1.5 hours (the maximum time limit), but they let us sit and digest our food until they closed.