An Insight on Toukei Izakaya


A look inside Toukei Izakaya. Photo by Eric Sandler.

Nava Smith-Litvak

Toukei isn’t your average Pei-Wei or Panda Express. It’s more of a modern Japanese  restaurant that offers a variety of small, inexpensive dishes served to accompany alcoholic beverages. Toukei has been serving the public authentic Japanese food since Oct. 1st, 2019. 

The restaurant boasts a hip atmosphere, with light jazz music playing in the background, accompanying the sound of clinking glasses at the bar and the scratching of utensils on plates.

Beyond the bar, which was not investigated, the dining room features all-booth seating, each seat with a view of the kitchen and its custom-made, wood-burning grill. Our party was greeted by kind waitstaff who showed us to our seats. Shortly after, the menus were placed on the wooden tabletop, and our pleasant and attentive waiter arrived.

We started off with two glasses of water, a bowl of edamame, and a dish of takoyaki–fried balls stuffed with octopus and topped with dried fish flakes and scallions. The food came to us quickly, and the smells perfumed the air. The edamame was perfectly salted, beautifully textured, and had a lovely shade of green. The takoyaki was wholly fried, and every bite of the octopus gave a nice crunch. Our table decided to order various plates so we could share them with one another. We ordered okonomiyaki (a savory pancake), two skewers of chicken meatballs, a skewer of seared tuna, a plate of different kinds of sushi, and yakitori-style pan-roasted duck. The portion sizes were generous.

The meat was well-cooked, each meatball was well seasoned with teriyaki sauce, the tuna had a beautiful sear, and the roasted duck was delectable. The savory pancake, which came a little later, was marvelous and had a satisfying crunch. The sushi was fresh and was an excellent addition to complement. 

Though Toukei offers an exotic variety of food, it is reasonably priced for the amount of food we ordered. Whenever you are in the mood to break out of the mode of  Pei-Wei or Poke Inn, come out to Toukei and give it a whirl.