Uh, if you look this place up online, most of the reviews are positive. I frankly don't understand how that's possible. The place totally sucks.
I had to stop at Costco last week and as I was approaching the intersection of Biscayne and 123rd, I saw Tokyo Bowl for like the 178th time in my life, always wanting to try it out, especially since living in Tokyo for half a year after finishing college. I have been on a kick of doing things about which I have thought "oh, that really interests me; I should really go there/do that". I stopped by Cape Canaveral in September on the way back from Orlando, so even though I didn't see a shuttle launch, I did see the site and the spectacular Cape. I missed Friday's rescheduled launch after planning on seeing it in October. I'm getting way off topic, but remember astronaut ice cream? That's fun.
Upon entering the restaurant, I made a note to self: hostess sitting at table reading newspaper is bad sign. The place was practically empty but it was late in the day to be lunching. It also reminded me of similar places in Tokyo where there is no clientele and you wonder how the place stays in business. It was depressing in a harakiri-inducing way, but at the same time comforting because it transported me back to my fascinating, but sometimes melancholy stay in the Land of the Rising Sun (Japan, silly).
Well, that hostess that had been sitting and reading took my order quickly. I ordered a Coke to drink, some miso soup, a curry rice bowl, and had a question about the gyoza. They were listed in the Noodle Bowl section of the menu. So I asked, "the gyoza come on noodles?". She said "no, appetizer". Well, that makes sense.
The food came quickly. The Coke was huge! The gyoza were soggy and terrible. The worst I have either seen or tasted. I had really been looking forward to those gyoza so that was pretty disappointing.
The miso soup looked kind of gross. Well, it did not surprise and it tasted gross, too! I even felt slightly sick to my stomach after downing the bowl. I was really hungry though, so I was able to wolf it down.
My main course is one of my favorite Japanese staples. Curry rice or "kari raisu" is something you can find all over Japan. They make this delicious thick brown curry with carrots, onions, potatoes and other veggies, served with sticky rice and sometimes crispy pork cutlets. My stomach is growling now just thinking about it. Well, at Tokyo Bowl, they have one with chicken. But it's a bunch of stir fry type pieces with tendons and fat on them over rice with huge chunks of raw onion and alternating hot and cold ingredients. Some of it was just warmed up better than the rest. On top of it, they drizzle about a tablespoon of curry sauce. Wow, that economy sure sucks. Or maybe it's just the restaurant.
I actually felt sorry for the place and its employees, unlike, oh, say, maybe Barton G, a place in which I dearly hope never to set foot for the rest of my life. I really hate Barton G and everything it stands for. If you like it, then you probably thought Twister was a good movie. I'm not saying that you're necessarily a bad person, but you're probably going to spend at the very least some extra time in Purgatory.
At Tokyo Bowl they were nice at least and kept checking on me. I just nodded and said neither something positive nor negative, all the while making little notes on my Blackberry. I even texted my good friend James to tell him I had a good scathing review to write. He wrote that he was concerned that I liked every restaurant at which I ate. He then wrote "LOL OMG : D". He's like a teenage girl with that thing.
Before the bill came, I ran off to the restroom where I found the conditions to be ok, but not welcoming. The soap was in a ketchup bottle. That was kind of sad in a "here comes the Depression" kind of way.
A funny note about Tokyo Bowl is that they play old fashioned music like the owner is stuck in the year he opened the place. Maybe that was around the time they were voted "Best Japanese Restaurant" by City Link in 1998. 1998! Ha ha ha. That's really funny. That was printed on the menus. Again, in a sad way.
Alas, there is a glimmer of hope. The prices are amazing. My huge Coke was $1. The grand total was $11.20 with tax. It still sucks, but at least it's cheap.