WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
This is the original Little Tokyo restaurant, consistently one of the best purveyors of sushi and other kinds of Japanese food for many years. It’s significantly better than the other Little Tokyos on the South Shore. Despite the restaurant’s small size, it turns out an enormous menu of cooked dishes as well as a comprehensive array of sushi and sashimi.
A large contingent of long-time regular customers–many of them Asian–keep the standards up at the Metairie edition of Little Tokyo. Temperature, moisture, selection, and portioning are all just about perfect all the time. The sushi bar always seems to be overstaffed–a good thing. Meanwhile, the non-sushi eaters are kept happy with the monumental fried platters served at the tables.
The name Little Tokyo is on the marquee of several past and present Japanese restaurants. All were associated one way or another, but there’s always been a wide disparity in goodness among them. I’ve had both the best and worst sushi in New Orleans under the Little Tokyo name. The Little Tokyo on Causeway Boulevard is the original, and tied for best with the franchise in Mandeville. It’s also second only to Shogun in longevity among sushi bars, having opened in 1988.
Little Tokyo’s two rooms encompass a smallish sushi bar, a lot of tables where a lot of fried food is eaten, and a lively karaoke bar in a separate room. The restaurant is in need of a refurbishing.
Lettuce wrap (for two; shrimp, mushrooms and vegetables)
Baked mussels with creamy smelt roe sauce
Seafood and vegetable tempura
Yaki tori (broiled, skewered chicken teriyaki)
»Hamachi kama (broiled yellowtail)
Cucumber with seafood salad
Scallop or snowcrab with avocado
Angel roll (spicy tuna and snow crab inside, escolar, avocado, wasabi tobiko outside)
Baked salmon roll
Boston hand roll (shrimp, snow crab, avocado, »seaweed paper, no rice)
Box sushi (salmon, yellowtail, tuna, and/or eel)
»Burning man roll (spicy tuna inside, pepper tuna, avocado, green onion, hot sauce outside)
»Cajun pepper tuna sushi / sashimi:
Calamari crunchy roll:
»Chef special roll (yellowtail, salmon, tuna, asparagus, avocado, seaweed paper)
Cowboy roll (beef, lettuce, avocado and snow crab)
Dancing tuna roll (spicy salmon, sliced tuna, avocado)
»Devil roll (salmon, tuna, yellowtail, cucumber, Japanese yellow mustard)
Dynamite roll (salmon , tuna, wasabi)
»Fresh salmon roll
»Jazz roll (BBQ eel, avocado, spicy tuna)
Lettuce wrap roll (shrimp, snow crab, avocado, lettuce wrap–no rice)
»Louisiana roll (spicy crawfish and avocado)
Mandeville roll (whitefish, snow crab, asparagus, smelt roe, seaweed; whole roll fried)
Manhattan roll (fried soft shell crab, BBQ eel, snow crab, avocado, smelt roe)
»Old school roll (scallop, tuna, salmon, yellowtail)
»Rainbow roll (California roll inside, tuna, salmon, yellowtail outside)
Rice paper roll (tuna, salmon, crab stick, carrot, lettuce, asparagus, cucumber, avocado, rice paper, chili sauce)
Scallop and asparagus roll
Smoked salmon roll
»Special eel roll (BBQ eel, cucumber, avocado, smelt roe, sesame, eel sauce)
Spicy tuna roll
Tiger roll (yellowtail, tuna, smelt roe, BBQ eel, salmon, avocado)
»Tropical roll (coconut, avocodo, mango)
Tuna tataki (sliced seared tuna with ponzu)
Tempura udon (shrimp and vegetable tempura)
»Nabeyaki udon (seafood noodle)
Yaki udon (pan fried udon noodles with seafood)
FOR BEST RESULTS
For a really incredible evening of Japanese eating, you can order ahead for the all-evening kaiseki, a procession of small, elegant courses.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The restaurant needs some minor repairs and repianting here and there. The service staff is a touch indifferent.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment -1
- Consistency +1
- Value +1
- Wine & Bar
- Hipness +1
- Local Color
- Live music every night
- Good for business meetings
- Open Sunday lunch and dinner
- Open Monday lunch and dinner
- Open after 10 p.m.
- Open all afternoon
- Quick, good meal
- Easy, nearby parking