By Maritza Velazquez
The sushi may not be spectacular, but the price is just right.
Sakura of Tokyo in West Covina probably has the best lunch specials of any Japanese restaurant I’ve ever frequented.
My lunch companions and I pondered over the expansive menu that included more than 35 lunch combination specials for at least 10 minutes before making a decision.
After members of the attentive wait staff returned to take our orders more than once, I finally settled on a combination plate of sushi, sashimi and tempura for $8.50. It included salad, rice and a serving of miso soup.
Probably the biggest disappointment was that the five pieces of sushi on my plate were really only just three. Two of the pieces included only egg and rice. The shrimp sushi wasn’t the most fresh seafood I’ve ever tasted either.
But the sashimi (sliced raw fish without the rice) consisted of a good-sized helping of my two favorite fish – salmon and tuna.
The tempura, a popular Japanese dish of battered and deep- fried meat, included both shrimp and vegetables.
If you’re not familiar with sushi, or Japanese cuisine in general, Sakura of Tokyo is a great place to start. Every menu item has an accompanying photo, and each booth has a poster of the names of all the different kinds of fish.
Lunch specials range from $5.75 to $8.50 and include many different options, such as California rolls, gyoza (fried chicken dumplings), beef and chicken teriyaki and even egg rolls.
Dinner specials at Sakura aren’t too shabby either. All priced at $8.25, there aren’t as many options as the lunch specials, but you can still order some of the same fare – teriyaki, sesame chicken and sushi.
The whole staff at Sakura of Tokyo is friendly from the get-go. It was great that we never had to wait, and even our food came out in less than 10 minutes.
The restaurant is adorned with random trinkets consisting of both Japanese and ocean themes. My aquaintances and I enjoyed observing all the fun decorations – like the blow-up oversized Sapporo bottles and killer whales, combined with faux cherry blossoms and Japanese lanterns.
Sakura of Tokyo is at 533 S. Glendora Ave., in West Covina. It’s open seven days a week, and closes between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. On Sundays, it’s only open for lunch from 4:30 to 9 p.m.
For more information, call (626) 960-7155.