You don’t often hear the words " sushi " and " inexpensive " in the same breath, but at Allston’s Tokyo City, you’ll be saying them yourself — in between delicious bites. Although the restaurant’s large menu also offers Chinese and Korean cuisine, the big draw here is the sushi. Seat yourself at the sushi bar and watch the chefs work, or take a seat at any of the tables set beneath floating Japanese fans, glittering lights, and bamboo. Although you’re just steps from the busy intersection of Brighton and Harvard Avenues, you’ll feel miles away.
What you’ll notice first about Tokyo City’s sushi is its presentation (picture-book pretty) and portions (very generous). One order of nigiri includes two pieces ($2–$5). The ebi (shrimp) and maguru (tuna, which can be ordered spicy) are especially fresh and flavorful. The larger maki orders, which contain six pieces, range from $4–$6 for seafood and $2.50–$4 for vegetable. Mix and match to create your own " Super Sushi Platter " ; an 18-piece assortment ($17.95) will satisfy two people. Tokyo City also offers five special, more-expensive sushi dishes, which you can’t include in the sushi platter. The $8 rainbow maki, a colorful combination of tuna, salmon, and avocado rolls, is almost too beautiful to eat.
For those who can’t stomach raw fish, Tokyo City also offers a selection of ramen and rice-bowl meals ($4.95–$9.95). The Tamago-Don, a rice bowl made with sautéed eggs, onions, and mushrooms, is well worth its $6.95 price tag. And even the most timid taste buds should find a safe choice among the restaurant’s Chinese specialties ($4.95–$10.95).
Although the food at Tokyo City certainly speaks for itself, the atmosphere and service really set the restaurant apart. It’s the kind of place where you never have to ask for a drink refill, and forks are produced without a snicker for those who haven’t mastered chopsticks. Bring up to 25 friends and have an Asian-style celebration in the private tatami party room, where you can take your shoes off and toast good times with a bottle of Sapporo.
Tokyo City, located at 90-92 Harvard Avenue, in Allston, is open Monday through Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, from noon to 11 p.m. Call (617) 562-8888.