Rethinking the Rice Bowl | Restaurant Reviews | Salt Lake City

ALEX SPRINGER

The rice bowl—a mix of veggies, protein and sauce served up on a bed of rice—is the patron saint of the rapid-everyday cafe model. A zillion island grill impersonators have appear and absent, hoping that their spin on a rice bowl would give them just more than enough edge to compete in a sector saturated with sticky Jamaican jerk sauce. It received to the level exactly where I really burned myself out with this unique entrée, in particular when I was in college or university. Once you discover the length and breadth of Utah’s foods scene, a rice bowl just stops accomplishing the trick.

That reported, I couldn’t aid but be drawn to Tokyo Teriyaki (7121 S. Bingham Junction Boulevard, Ste. 102, 801-666-8867, tokyoteriyakiutah.com) after I started off to see it pop up on my social media feed. Anything about their spin on this rapid-relaxed mainstay discovered me rummaging back by means of all that rice bowl baggage.

A great deal of my first curiosity in Tokyo Teriyaki came from its site. Any time a new location opens up in the Bingham Junction region of Midvale, I tend to get a tiny little bit enthusiastic. This place usually appears to be to catch the attention of the gladiators of the cafe environment, just about every 1 vying for the primary foodie actual estate in between Top Golf and the massive business enterprise complexes that dwelling the company headquarters for Overstock.com and Zagg. It is really a tough location to set up store, for certain, but that continual battle for business enterprise-lunch supremacy helps make for a singular eating landscape.

Once you enter Tokyo Teriyaki, the trappings of a standard quick-relaxed restaurant are surely existing. The menu contains a checklist of signature rice bowls made up of steak, chicken, tofu, shrimp, veggies or a mixture of these alternatives. The possibility to get salmon or Spam as a signature bowl felt like a bold transfer, and the checklist of bowl insert-ons like a slice of grilled pineapple or a fried egg felt marginally badass. I begun my visit off with a steak and shrimp bowl ($11 for a half portion, $13 for a whole portion), and invested an added buck to get it topped with a fried egg.

As I waited for my buy, I noticed that the place had a excellent quantity of traffic for a lunchtime visit—always a excellent sign. I also assumed the assistance was a lot less sterile and transactional than your normal rapidly-informal joint. From the cashier telling my daughter how adorable she was to the brief-order prepare dinner at the grill who requested me how I wished my egg cooked, there was a incredibly pronounced community diner vibe occurring at Tokyo Teriyaki.

I went with the fifty percent order because I also required to test their potstickers ($3) and an iced Thai tea with boba ($4), and I was impressed with the part dimension. I’d say if you’re not preparing on snagging some extras all through your take a look at, a complete part must be obligatory, even so. Considering the fact that the steak and shrimp had been hot off the grill alternatively of hanging out in a heated tray on the quick-everyday assembly line, the flavors really popped. Steak and shrimp is normally a fantastic combo, but skewering both proteins with a bit of veggies, rice and a squirt of golden egg yolk can make for a hell of a bite. While this maintains the physical appearance of a meager rice bowl, the general working experience nicely exceeds the sum of its parts.

When evaluating every thing on its own, it is difficult to locate fault with this dish. Of course, it is making use of the uncomplicated components that introduced a thousand Rumbis, but every part has been pushed to its absolute restrict. The rice is correctly comfortable and fluffy, the steak and shrimp are expertly grilled and the steamed veggies are tender and sturdy. It aids that I’m an absolute sucker for the pure consolation foods indulgence that comes from the combo of egg yolk and rice, but this is a little something that redefines the ability lunch concept.

The potstickers and iced Thai tea ended up serviceable additions to the primary food, but I believe the greatest way to expertise Tokyo Teriyaki is to get a comprehensive-sized rice bowl and personalize it with their listing of increase-ons. You should not overlook the opportunity to costume up your dish with the various sauces on hand—they’ve got classics like Sriracha, chili garlic sauce and teriyaki, but they also have a spicy mayo called Yum Yum Sauce that tastes excellent on just about all the things.

I didn’t imagine a position could make me rethink my point of view on anything as mainstream as a rice bowl, but Tokyo Teriyaki did the trick. It’s a textbook instance of how squeezing every single ounce of opportunity flavor from a modest arrangement of very simple ingredients can genuinely hit the spot. Coupled with all people good customization alternatives and some friendly support, I would say Tokyo Teriyaki has a shiny foreseeable future in retail outlet.