This Japanese sit-down eatery at Coastal Grande Mall is a convenient place to take the family for a fun hibachi experience after a day of shopping. But if that’s not your thing, a sushi bar full of fresh fish is also available, along with a separate seating area.
If you decide to go the hibachi route, your meal with come with soup, salad, two pieces of shrimp as an appetizer, fried rice, and your choice of main protein. In addition to standard hibachi fare – Chicken, Steak, Shrimp – the options here are fish-heavy and include Tilapia, Mahi Mahi, Flounder, and sushi-grade Tuna. Of course, combination choices are plenty, and pretty much all of the meats can be had in groups of two or three.
Opting for the sushi side of the restaurant will give you with a more traditional Japanese dinner experience. Appetizers are divided into two categories – Kitchen and Sushi. The first features mainstays like dumplings, egg rolls, and tempura in addition to more interesting starters like Kushiyaki (marinated beef with green onions, skewer-style) and Agedashi Tofu (fried bean curd). The Sushi apps are a little more adventurous, and highlights include Naruto (spicy tuna, avocado, and crab wrapped in cucumber and served with ponzu and eel sauce), and the outstanding Hamachi Kama (yellowtail collar, broiled and barbecued with chili peppers).
Of course, if you’re not in the mood for Japanese at all, Lil Toyko’s Vietnamese Pho menu lets your forgo the hibachi and sushi experience entirely. Pho is a traditional noodle soup, made with a rich broth, rice noodles, bean sprouts, fresh basil, and your choice of Beef & Meatballs, Chicken, Shrimp, Seafood, or Vegetables.
The vibe here will depend on whether you choose to belly up to one of the hibachi grills, or take a table near the sushi bar. Watching one of the hibachi experts is definitely an interesting and lively experience. The talented chefs often interact with the guests, telling jokes, making funny shapes out of food, flicking shrimp into the air in the direction of your mouth, lighting things on fire – you get the idea.
But a much calmer and more personal experience (hibachi tables are communal, usually seating around eight), which fits the cuisine perfectly – deceptively simple, artistic food is probably best enjoyed in peace.