Tokyo Steakhouse in Saugus, MA opened up some time in the past few years and ever since, D and I have been interested in going in and giving it a try. If there’s one type of food both of us can agree on, it’s Japanese. The only thing that’s stopped us from going up to now was the fact that it’s in somewhat of an undesirable location — inside a mall in a not-so-friendly area. However, this past Saturday, we needed to go to that mall anyway for a few errands so we figured that would be the perfect time to stop in and give Tokyo Steakhouse a try.
The atmosphere inside was quite nice… as long as you weren’t seated in front of one of the windows that faces out toward the mall, which unfortunately we were. Looking out at the masses entering Sears made the restaurant feel like it was a little bit out of place, since the inside was filled with Japanese decor and interesting artwork.
I decided on the avocado maki (one of my usuals at any place that serves sushi) and for my main course, the vegetable yaki soba. D got the dragon maki and salmon teriyaki.
My avocado maki was delicious, but you can’t really mess up something that simple, right?
D enjoyed his dragon maki, but wasn’t too happy to see that they had drizzled very spicy mayo over each piece. Since he can’t really enjoy spice without heartburn, it wasn’t great to see that they had done this without mentioning it on the menu. Otherwise, he really enjoyed the unexpected surprise of shrimp in the rolls and overall it lived up to his very high sushi standards.
I have to admit, my yaki soba was a little disappointing. What I got was tasty and I did enjoy the noodles, but for being a “vegetable” dish, there was quite a lack of veggies on my plate. The vast majority of the veggies on there were the (excuse the technical terminology here) white leafy things that are impossible to even chew. I find these white leafy things are kind of a filler veggie in a lot of Asian dishes I end up getting.
By the end of the yaki soba, I was still hungry.
On the other hand, D didn’t have any complaints about his salmon and seemed to enjoy it.
The most disappointing part of our meal out had to be the service. It’s possible we just ended up with a server who wasn’t that great, but from the moment we sat down, she seemed to be distracted/upset/just generally not happy. She didn’t come to check on our meals after we received them at all and she was basically not around at all when we needed things. After we finished our entrees, we were hoping to order some dessert, but she never came to ask us and instead showed up at our table with the bill. When I told her we wanted some dessert, she became obviously angry, crumpled up the bill and stormed off, never to be seen again. About 10-15 minutes later, another waitress came by asking us if we were getting dessert, and when she realized we had been waiting, began apologizing profusely. This second waitress was great and I think she realized that we hadn’t been served very well up to that point.
We eventually did get our strawberry cheesecake for dessert and it was creamy and not overly sweet, and helped fill me up.
Overall, Tokyo Steakhouse seems like it has a lot of potential to be a good restaurant, but there were just some factors that pushed it in the other direction for me. The service was bad, but I can’t help but feel like it was just that one waitress. The food overall was great quality, but if we ever go back, I will order a different dish and hope for a little more substance.
Overall grade: 5/10