If you know me, you know I’m a picky eater. The joke in my family is that I don’t eat anything “from the ground”, which isn’t quite the truth, but not far from it. I refused to even enter a sushi restaurant until I was in my late 20s, and then I insisted on ordering a rice bowl. Chicken and rice. That’s it.
A few years ago, I learned that there are sushi rolls that have cream cheese and are deep fried. That changed my thinking a bit.
Tokyo Steakhouse & Sushi Bar opened its doors in Claremore’s Ne-Mar Center on October 2. They are occupying the space formerly known as J&J Pharmacy, which relocated to the old Hallmark location. Confused yet?
The entrance to Tokyo looks completely different than it used to. It feels much more formal and according to my lunch date, Travis Peck, the door is heavy. Upon stepping in to the restaurant, you’d never guess it used to be a pharmacy. Everything is gray and tile and looks very soothing. The foyer had about six people waiting in front of us, but it took less than 10 minutes to be seated. That’s pretty good, considering it was smack dab in the middle of the lunch rush, every table was full, and they’ve been open for three days.
The black leather menus look upscale, and there are plenty of dishes from which to choose. There are close to 20 appetizers, and we settled on the Spicy Tuna Jalapeño for $5, which is described as “Cream cheese, jalapeño with spicy tuna, tempura-style with eel sauce and spicy mayo.” Honestly, the phrase ‘eel sauce’ turns me off, but I guess I ate it. Two thumbs up for the appetizer.
There are several hibachi options, which brings to mind restaurants like Tulsa’s Tokyo Garden and Shogun, and while the food is cooked in the same manner, it’s done in the kitchen. So no ‘egg roll’ or ‘Japanese ketchup’ jokes. No shrimp in the pocket. We chose to split Hibachi Lunch Combo of chicken and filet mignon, which came with clear soup, salad, and fried rice. This arrangement worked out well for us, since I like soup and Travis likes salad. Both were solid, standard issue for Japanese restaurants. The interesting thing is that all of Hibachi Lunch Combos are the same price, whether you get chicken & scallops or shrimp & steak. (They’re all $16, by the way.) Also, we forgot to take a photo. Use your imagination.
We couldn’t try the new sushi restaurant without having some sushi, so we each chose one roll. I went with the Spicy Cowboy Roll, which is shrimp tempura, crab meat, and spicy mayonnaise. Travis went with the Philadelphia Roll with smoked salmon, avocado, and cream cheese. Normally, there’s an option on the menu to substitute rice paper for seaweed, for wimps like me. I didn’t see that anywhere, and didn’t think much of it. Travis convinced me that seaweed wouldn’t taste like anything and that smoked salmon is actually cooked (even though it’s denoted as a ‘raw fish’ item). Well….he was right. It was fantastic. Seaweed and all. The Spicy Cowboy Roll did not disappoint, probably because it had my favorite: cream cheese. Also, you know: fried.
Our Hibachi Lunch Combo was overflowing with food and it was all delicious! The chicken was juicy and the filet mignon was cooked perfectly as requested (medium). The fried rice was really good, too, and I’m not a huge rice fan. The platter came with two sauces; we determined that one was a ginger sauce (I liked it better than Tokyo Garden’s version) and the other was similar to a honey mustard. Both meats were great in both sauces. Everything we ate was excellent!
The menu is pretty extensive; there is an entire page devoted to lunch specials, including the Hibachi Lunch Combo, the Hibachi Lunch Special (which is basically the combo with just one meat), a Lunch Bento Box for $11, which is a combo of teriyaki meat, soup, gyoza, salad, and California Roll. There is also a sushi lunch special, with two rolls, soup, and salad for $10.
There is a sushi bar, and I won’t even pretend to know how that works. There are about 60 different sushi rolls on the menu, too. There is a separate dinner menu, with choices of Hibachi, Tempura, or Teriyaki meals. There is a kids menu with smaller portions of the hibachi meals. No grilled cheese or chicken fingers, so my kiddo may be out of luck.
We didn’t get dessert, because MY GOODNESS we had a lot of food, but the choices are ice cream, fried ice cream, and tempura cheesecake, which I would totally be tempted to try. Because you know: fried.
Our service was pretty good, and our server was on top of our drink refills. I would definitely return. Like, tomorrow.
Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar is located at 979 W. Will Rogers Blvd. in Ne-Mar Center. Open for lunch Monday – Friday from 11a – 3p and Saturday from 11:30a – 3p. Dinner hours are Monday – Thursday from 4:30p – 10p, Friday and Saturday from 3p – 10:30p, and Sunday from 11:30a 9:30p. They are closed Monday – Thursday from 3p – 4:30p.
Find the full menu online at tokyoclaremore.com, and you can even order online! If you prefer to call in your order, you can do so at 918-283-2226.