I managed to get in touch with Ben from Chowtimes.com and he suggested we meet at Toshi Sushi for dinner and some food blogger politicing. I haven't been here for a year but I remembered that I had to get there early. We got there at about 4:45 and there were already people forming a line, 5 mins later there was a line up of 10 people. If you are eating at Toshi's Sushi you really have to plan ahead, if you don't get there right when they open then you have to go about an hour later when the early crowd is finished their meal and is leaving. Every seat in the place was occupied within 5 mins of the doors being open. Not many restaurants have lines like this, Toshi's and Stephos are the only ones I can think of.
Ben and I perused through the menu and I suggested a few items. The box sushi ($7.25 - which is not on the menu but it seems that everyone now knows about it), the baked eggplant ($5.75 - which has become a very popular dish) , appetizer tempura ($4.50 - 2 prawns, 1 potato, 1 bean, and a sweet potato), the house roll ($6.75- prawn tempura, avocado) and the salmon cheek ($9.50).
The two sushi rolls showed up first and they were very tasty. The box sushi consists of a slice of prawn, salmon, scallop, spicy mayo, avocado, lemon with rind and then shaped in form of a box. It is a really tasty roll and the lemon rind adds a very refreshing element to it. The house roll was tasty but in my opinion didn't stack up to the box sushi.
One great thing about Toshi's is that they have very tasty cooked food. The tempura was very well priced, and was on par with most Japanese restaurants, but the highlight was the baked eggplant. I don't even like eggplant however when baked with a miso glaze, I have no problems shoving this thing down my throat. The last dish was the salmon cheek, crispy skin and flavourful meat. You can tell by the photos that it much more than just cheek (half the collar actually).
All in all, Toshis is a great spot. They offer a great selection of tasty raw and cooked food at an affordable price which makes them stand out from their competition. The only issue is that they draw long lines and they have a strict waiting list policy. You could be like us and go at 5:00 but I hate the fact that I am eating at the same time my grandpa would.
Check out the Chowtimes review of this meal. Chowtimes is one of the first food blogs of Vancouver. Real OGs.
181 16th Ave
There appears to be a few rules at Toshis. It could be becoming the sushi nazi.
1. Please write your name and number of people in your party on the waiting list.
2. When name is called, all people must be accounted for. NO EXCUSES!
3. Groups larger than 6 people are not recommended.