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Takeout Trials: Tokyohana in Greenway Plaza

In the pepto-bismol colored shopping center known as the Greenway Plaza lies Tokyohana, a Japanese restaurant that offers patrons a Benihanaesque dining experience, i.e., communal tables surrounding a hibachi grill manned by a chef charged with entertaining as well as cooking. But, according to the website, Tokyohana isn't your standard teppanyaki establishment: "And, unlike so many other traditional Japanese operations, you can also enjoy a rather extensive frozen cocktail."

Why skip an extensive frozen cocktail alongside an equally extensive performance/meal involving lots of grilled proteins?

First, perhaps you're in the mood to try Tokyohana's specialty sushi rolls; second, you're in a "can't face other humans" headspace following a challenging day at work; and third, you're financially incentivized via a current grubhub deal for $6 off your first takeout order over $10. Time to create another email address and get that coupon.

In my experience, GrubHub, the Houston version, is remarkably efficient and your food is usually delivered (or available for pick-up) right on time or sometimes earlier. Order confirmations and updates are sent via text messages and vendors will contact you if they have questions. The ability to tack on a tip for the driver is also helpful as anyone can tell you there is no greater douche moment than when during a delivery handoff you sheepishly admit to the driver you have no cash...yet you definitely could afford $60 worth of Chinese food.

Tokyohana offers a decent selection of sashimi and nigiri as well as some nice combination platters, but like many (Americanized) sushi places, it's the funky hand rolls that are most fun to explore. Sometimes appetite wins over authenticity, yes?

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Their version of the oldie-but-goodie spider hand roll is a thick cone stuffed with sizable pieces of soft-shell crab, soft rice, and discernible bits of tangy green onion. Showier and more flavorful is the Fuji, not something to order if it's 100 degrees outside and you want something light and cool, but EXACTLY what to get when it feels a bit like fall and your stomach is rumbling loudly for sustenance. Plump rice cylinders filled with smoked salmon and overripe avocado are covered in a "special mayonnaise" (spicy = peppery and creamy ) and then baked such that a pleasant charred crust forms. That roll is filling enough on its own for lunch or a light supper.

If you're go bold in terms of flashy hand rolls, the Hot Mama roll also holds up well as takeout. The tempera fry coat only became minimally soggy during the trip home and the crawfish and cream cheese filling provided a more mild briney balance to the crackly topping of tuna, more tempura flakes, and spicy pico de gallo. The Hot Mama roll is sort of like the Japanese version of a chimichanga, and as such, is appropriately greasy and delicious.

Sushi, both authentic and bastardized, is best enjoyed very fresh and therefore in-house, but if you'd rather be in your house, then Tokyohana via grubhub ain't a bad option.

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