We drove around for a while before succumbing to hunger-rage (the point where we *almost* don't give what we eat, so long as we get to eat!) and deciding on Aka Tom-Bo on Lonsdale at 8th Street. The place used to be a "pizza and sushi" restaurant prior to the current management taking over, and to be honest, we've rarely had a dine-in meal at Aka Tom-Bo. There used to be a ridiculously inexpensive party platter, which if we picked up and paid in cash, would cost us a little over $18, and would feed both of us for a solid two meals, plus a light lunch for myself.
The good times have passed, however, and although the current management offered the same "grandfathered" deal to us for a while, we felt kind of bad and stopped ordering our special deal. It was time to try the dine-in experience!
A lot has changed from when we used to frequent Tom Bo. For one, pizza is no longer served! Another is that there are a seemingly endless selection of specialty rolls, many of which contain cream cheese. As we're not fans of cream cheese in sushi (kind of defeats the our purpose of eating sushi - we choose this fare when we feel like something "light"), we opted for an assorted sashimi and a lunch special which included a miso soup.
The miso soup was nothing special; although some people would say "WTF with the spoon in the miso soup!". :p Us, we just removed the soupspoon from the bowl and sipped from the bowl.
The assorted sashimi included 12 mouthwatering pieces, 2 each of salmon, tuna, saba, tako, tai and toro with a garnish of tobiko. All the fish were fresh and flavourful For $13.99, the assorted sashimi could be a little expensive to some, but the quality is what you are paying for here. And there is no "cheapie filler" of hokkigai here - just tako and yummy fresh fish. We would order this again.
The lunch special we ordered included three pieces of the ocean garden roll, and a whole dynamite roll and unagi-avocado roll. This plate, along with the miso soup came to $7.99. The ocean garden roll is essentially a California roll and salmon held within a thin sheath of carefully trimmed cucumber. It is delicious and refreshing.
The tempura prawn in the dynamite roll could have been a little hotter, but flavour-wise, satisfied our deep-fried food craving. The bbq eel and avocado roll was garnished with toasted sesame seeds. The roll didn't require a dunk in wasabi soy sauce; it was flavourful enough on its own.
Overall, we enjoyed dining in at Aka Tom-Bo. Since the chances of us getting take-out from there is close to nil as we live across the water, that's a good thing! A plus is that Aka Tom-Bo is open on Sundays whereas other places (like the beloved Hachi Hana) is closed. Ahhh, the North Shore (the city where merchants make too much money and close on Sundays), you gotta love it.
Aka Tom-Bo also offers rolls that are prepared with soy paper instead of nori, and a variety of combos and bento boxes. On weekdays, the restaurant is packed with business people and health care workers from the nearby offices and Lions Gate Hospital. With a deal or two and a large menu, Aka Tom Bo is sure to satisfy any appetite.
751 Lonsdale Avenue
North Vancouver BC