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Here’s a summary of a return trip to Whitewater’s Tokyo restaurant.
When I visited Tokyo two years ago, I wrote that I liked it, despite a “décor [that was] a bit aged, but pleasant.” In the times that I’ve visited since, including recently, the establishment is no less aged, but no less pleasant, either.
Tokyo doesn’t inspire an out-of-place feeling, it inspires a feeling of being from another time. I like it that way: it’s not like anything else in the city. Switch an air-conditioner for fan, squint a bit, and one might just as easily be in a sushi restaurant from sixty years ago.
It’s wonderful, really: outside one sees Main Street from ’15; inside it might as well be ’55. Not 1955 as it was, but 1955 as we would like to believe it was, calmer and quieter, slower-paced and less fraught.
Everything in Tokyo is soft, calm, almost sedate. A press release slipped under the restaurant’s front door would shrivel for want of fussiness and concern. It’s a preternatural calm, and so few in Whitewater have that, as we’ve a small town of insiders’ bother, worry, and cliquish insecurities.
Try the sushi. Just the sushi to start: a few dishes to share with someone, or a combination platter. Drink what you’d like, tea, iced tea, water, sake: just try the sushi. I’m writing of my own experience: of six different preparations (tuna, salmon, eel among them) and all delicious.
This is a family-run establishment, relying on one person to cook, one to serve, but although there are few on staff, I have yet to have a bad experience or meal.
It may be a long wait, but then time’s not a concern here, and those looking for fast should look elsewhere.
One note: it’s pricier than some other nearby restaurants, but I have found the portions ample. In fact, although I rarely order so much that I would need to take food with me, I had remaining sushi that served well for lunch.
LOCATION: 161 W Main St, Whitewater, WI 53190 (262) 473-3000. Google Map linked above.
OPEN: Open daily 11 AM until 9 PM, except Sundays.
PRICES: Main entrée and a drink for under $20.
DRINKS & WINE: Sake, wine, beer.
SOUND: Moderate volume, with background music reinforcing the notion that this is an establishment from another time.
SERVICE: Friendly, quiet, at a relaxed pace.
VISITS: One as a revisit (supper).
RATING: Recommended. 3.25 of 4.
RATING SCALE: From one to four stars, representing the full experience of food, atmosphere, service, and pricing.
INDEPENDENCE: This review is delivered without financial or other connection to the establishment or its owner. The dining experience was that of an ordinary patron, without notice to the staff or requests for special consideration.