18 Aug

TwoKoi Japanese Restaurant is exactly what you expect as you walk in the door: clean, fresh and obviously Asian inspired decor. What attracted us today was their Monday-Thursday lunch special: all you can eat sushi rolls. You must sit at the bar to get the deal, but it’s fun to spy on the chefs as they skillfully cut and wrap the fantastic ingredients together to create your sushi desires. The rolls span anywhere from $5-15 per roll, but when you have the special you only pay $19 for all that you can stuff into your body. We must have put away $80 worth of sushi today which was well worth the price! Read on to see the exciting rolls we had and to read our final thoughts on TwoKoi in Tacoma.

Look at that master roller!

One of these koi must feel very under appreciated

Derrick: This spider roll seemed a bit inauspicious at first, especially considering the over-the-top presentation of my companions’ during round 1, but it turned out to be pretty tasty. The soft-shelled crab was lightly fried and nestled amongst avocado, krab, pickled vegetables and kaiware (daikon radish sprouts…had to look that one up), then topped with flyish fish roe (tobiko).  The flavor of the crab was lost a bit from all the other ingredients, but that’s why you buy crab in nigiri form when you’re not stuffing your face at the endless roll lunch.

Adam:  This is a fantastic, possibly a preordained choice that is a fantastic way to start a meal. The Heaven of Tuna roll had spicy tuna sashimi placed over a crispy shrimp roll with crispy potatoes and special sauce. It had a light flavor offset by the crisp texture of shrimp and the potatoes, yet it was well balanced with the fresh cut fish.

Adam: The Angus Beef Roll was a meal in itself. Filled with Yakisoba noodles and topped with thinly cut marinated beef that was quickly sautéed, this should have been a show stopped. Yet since we really wanted to make it worth our time and money, we happily trotted forth.

Derrick: East meets West.  East met West at a local social gathering, they had a few too many drinks, one thing lead to another and….. this enormous log of a roll appeared.  Completely different experience, but a good one.  The one $15 roll I suggest you steer away from if you intend to eat more than two rolls during your endless roll lunch.

Awwwwww! Look! It has antennae! I ate that delicious caterpillar. I ate it up good.

Derrick: This caterpillar roll was a delicious concoction that was surprisingly simple: unagi (freshwater eel), kaiware, avocado, tobiko, and two kinds of sauce that lead me to believe this caterpillar was headed toward chrysalis before I ate it.  I am a true lover of unagi, but the highlight really was the sauce (and presentation….just look at it, it’s adorable).  The sauce was just sweet enough, and paired so well with a generous amount of soy and wasabi.

Polar Bear Roll

Adam: This roll might have been constructed of the most amazing ingredients on earth. Although it was only a basic california roll, TwoKoi seemed to use it as a canvas to play with fresh flavors and fish. The white tuna melted in your mouth after you dipped it in your soy and wasabi mixture. A roll that I would come back for, even if I had to be rolled out after another all you can eat lunch!

Adam: Similar to the Polar Bear Roll, the Rainbow Roll was cut from the clean canvas of a California roll but covered in classic sashimi – mackerel, salmon, tuna and shrimp. All good and presented quite lovely.

Last man left standing….

Tiao Cruz, eat your heart out.

Derrick: Yet another California roll, this time topped with cubed fish and some sort of fruit or sweet vegetable, baked, and smothered in Dynamite sauce yes, dynamite sauce. I was pretty full when I stubbornly ordered this, and was shocked to see the size of it once it came. Another substantial roll that you might want to stay away from during your endless roll lunch, especially if you are at the end (note to self).  The fish was tasty baked, similar to the way unagi is typically presented, but I expected more spice considering the title. I had to shed a couple pieces to Adam and Sheli, and I felt a bit like John Candy from the steak scene in Uncle Buck, stomach distended, the last bit of food on my plate taunting me…. but found the strength to persevere until all that remained was dynamite dregs. Victory.

The Verdict:

Tacoma is blessed with many very good sushi joints.  I can assure you, we will work tirelessly to find the best aspects of all of them. TwoKoi’s specialty is rolls, and they do it well.  The fact you can drop $19 and eat till you rupture a vital organ is just a ridiculously awesome bonus.  We left very happy and very very full.

Go and mention us and you can get….. no discount! But at least you will have some cheap sushi!


1552 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 274-8999

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One Response to “TWOKOI”

  1. Jennifer Johnson August 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Love it. Reminds me of Jake and Jason De Paul.

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