Saturday, July 16, 2016

Tanto Japanese Restaurant - Sunnyvale

crab gratin 
We have a gathering and a friend suggested this place. Yelpers suggested to make reservation so we did. The restaurant just opened at 6 and I arrived at 6:15 and the parking lot was all full but one spot left. The lot was shared with a few more stores and easily filled up. And the restaurant itself was already full with few people waiting outside.

We got a table sort of tucked away at a corner which almost felt like a private room separated with curtain. There were two more parties on our right and left hand side tables which also were separated just with curtain. It's a cozy setting. I love it.

When I got there our friend who made the reservation was already there. He is Japanese and the menus left on the table were all in Japanese. An older lady came over asking me whether I wanted to order any drink. I requested English menu and she brought a few for the rest of our group.
Assorted tempura
Pressed mackerel sushi

Mentaiko pasta

So we ordered fried chicken (tori kara age), grilled beef tongue, saba oshi sushi (mackerel pressed sushi), pork kimchi, hot stone beef, crab gratin, deep fried squid legs (geso kara age), assorted tempura, stir fried udon (yaki udon), spicy cod roe pasta (mentaiko pasta), deep fried shrimp ball (ebi shinjo). And last but not least for dessert we ordered ice cream, red bean paste and rice cake (ichigo shiratama ice cream).

Out of all those orders I enjoyed the hot stone beef the most. It's very simple just beef on a very hot bowl with simple sweet tangy sauce. The rest were just standard and nothing to write home about. Yaki udon was pretty lame and didn't taste like Japanese style except for the topping of bonito flakes. I remember years ago I had this wonderful yaki udon at a small Japanese restaurant in Mountain View. I don't remember the name of that restaurant.
shrimp ball

The other unique dish was the mentaiko pasta which was pretty much spaghetti in kewpie mayonaise (plus ketchup?). It felt so sinful but I didn't particularly enjoy it.

Yaki udon - stir fry udon noodle
vanilla ice cream, red bean paste and rice combination dessert - served on a plate !
The dessert was a unique combination of vanilla ice cream, red bean paste and rice cake ! I suggested that one because of the rice cake and red bean paste. Surprisingly the dessert was served on a plate. Not particularly pretty because of that huge dollop of red bean paste. But I enjoyed the rice cake which was shaped like a tiny cylinder and a bit chewy. We only tried a bit of everything and deserted the rest of it. Too sweet.
Tatami room (photo courtesy of yelpers : Jeanie L)

If you are making reservation, try to request the tatami room. It's not quite sitting on the floor because of the opening but it gives you the feeling of it. And the whole tatami "room" setting also felt very cozy.

Tanto Japanese Restaurant
1063 E El Camino Real
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(408) 244-7311