Dan Vuong, the general manager of the gorgeous new Toyama Japanese Restaurant (2802 S. Shepherd, 713-528-8528), is from Hong Kong by way of Los Angeles. "I've been here four months now," he says. "Toyama is owned by Shirley Li. She is also the owner of Osaka Japanese Restaurant. Toyama is a city that is close to Osaka in Japan, just like Toyama restaurant is close to Osaka restaurant in Houston."
What's the difference between Toyama and all the other sushi restaurants in Houston? "Even though we're serving high-end food, we have reasonable prices," says Vuong. "We have a beautiful bar, where we have happy hour specials on drinks and appetizers."
The interior of this restaurant is stunning, with a huge, semicircular bar anchoring one end and a sushi bar at the other. Dish ordered the Chirashi Sushi, which was an assortment of raw fish and vegetables on top of sushi rice. As with many Japanese dishes, the art of the presentation is worth as much as the dish itself, and the arrangement of this dish in a small, lacquered box was superb. Pieces of tuna, octopus, red snapper, white fish, shrimp and egg omelet were all as fresh as could be. Dish also tried the Fish Fry, which consisted of five small filets of red snapper rolled in panko and fried along with onions, red peppers, mushrooms and bean sprouts. It was elegant in its simplicity.
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