As someone who was fortunate enough to actually eat a plethora of food in Tokyo, I realized long ago that Japanese cuisine is a lot more than sushi. I also realized, when moving to Orange County, that it’s like going on a scavenger hunt to find a place that serves food past 8pm, let alone food that is a little more culturally diverse! Alas, there is hope, (and Saketini’s – yes, I do mean martini’s made with Sake). Tokyo Table is a little gem located across from the Irvine Marketplace that has married the spectrum of authentic and innovative Japanese food with American taste buds. In essence, this fare could be classified as Japanese fusion.
With an impressive, and mildly overwhelming, menu, there are over 150 different choices from sweet potato fries, bacon-wrapped asparagus, sushi, sashimi, curry rice, udon, and even burgers. The idea is to share and enjoy. The décor is a strange toss up of retro and modern, and if you feel like dancing, they play house/dance music throughout. (There is even a Karaoke Bar above them so for those “keep the Asahi” coming nights, eat up and go have some fun!) The favorite menu item is the curry. (Yes, curry at the Japanese restaurant). They prepare it in a stone bowl that is still simmering when it arrives at the table. The trick is to let it sit so the outside gets crunchy. It is a nice little treat, as are the portions. They food isn’t the highest quality in the world but it serves the purpose of a late night meal with options for taste and variety. Overall, it’s a nice and distinct break from the norm. Is the best food ever? No, but it’s good for kids, Happy Hour, AND tasty when you’re hungry for more than a late night In N’Out run.
Written by Dawn Garcia