Toku Sushi

2014 Northern Blvd. Manhasset, NY 11030 • (516) 627-7121 • tokumodernasian.com

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While not quite at the level of Makoto in Bal Harbor, Miami, Toku is very much cut from the same cloth. Great high-end sushi in a great high-end mall. And while mall sushi might sound like a very low bar to surmount, I can assure you this is not the Panda Express of Japanese cuisine. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find better sushi on Long Island. But it’s not just the sushi that makes the meal, they do so many other things well from tacos (pictured) to sliders to- we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s cover the basics first.

The service is always friendly and the décor is contemporary, with an expansive dining room, so fret not if you are a walk-in because there is seldom a wait, and even if there is, at least you have good window shopping nearby to keep you busy.

So once you’re done perusing Prada and are seated at your table, it’s your mouth that will take the baton, doing a little shopping of its own, because everything looks and tastes so very good. The sushi and sashimi are always melt-in-your-mouth fresh, and as I hinted above, even the non-sushi items are quite toothsome, like my personal fav, the assorted sliders. Also, be sure to finish off with my favorite Japanese dessert, the red bean mochi (ice cream dumplings wrapped in a thin layer of gelatin). You will love it almost as much as the new Gucci bag you just scored.

4 teeth

 

A Fish Called Avalon

700 Ocean Dr. Miami Beach, FL 33139 • (305) 532-1727 afishcalledavalon.com

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After hearing such swooning reviews both online and from our concierge, I was so hopeful for a less touristy seafood alternative to Joe’s Stone Crab. Well, those hopes were quickly dashed as we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the abyss. Lit up like a mini Vegas, Ocean Avenue is a hedonistic block party filled with patrons of ill repute, pumping techno music out of every orifice.

Fortunately Avalon itself is the classiest establishment on the strip, but to be fair that’s not saying a whole lot. Not that I should be picking on the setting, because truth be told that was the least of my issues. And boy do I have issues- with the snail-like service alone.

But had the food actually have been worth it I would’ve happily endured the aforementioned. Sadly, none of it was. Well, the octopus withstanding. It was actually pretty solid. Beyond that, however, I’ve had better seafood in many a land-locked state. MUCH better. And this is WITH ordering the local catch and specialty of the house, the macadamia crusted flounder with spinach risotto. It’s not bad. But “not bad” isn’t exactly what one would call effusive praise.

That said, the shrimp scampi was bad. Lacking any sort of impression on the palate. Not with garlic or spice. And while I appreciate the attempt to put a twist on the classic by adding avocado, the shrimp were as indecipherably bland as the “saffron” rice next to them. I use quotes because there was no trace of said saffron to be found anywhere. Not in taste, nor color.

Finally came the Key lime pie and yet another indigenous disappointment. Again second-rate, and I’m sorry, but when a national chain like California Pizza Kitchen bests you at a dessert for which you are supposed to have home field advantage, I think it’s time to question keeping it on your dessert menu.

If you have reservations here, cancel them. Go to Makoto in Bal Harbor, or Juvia on Lincoln. Both of them are better than A Fish Called Skip It!

2 teeth