Maybe it wasthat we had just left Gochi due to a long wait or maybe we made bad menu choices , but Tanto was not what I had expected and not nearly as good as I had hoped.
From the Yelp reviews I had expected small Kyoto style Japanese plates like Gochi or Kappo NamiNami, though probably not as good or as fresh. But what we ordered was hearty, heavy, and not that great.
Our waiter, who was reluctant to recommend anything, did recommend that we order more than we had planned. We wanted to know if our first three orders would have been enough food, and he said we should get a couple more. This makes sense at a place like Kappo NamiNami where the plates are much smaller than many people would anticipate, but made no sense given how much food those first three items already were. So a better waiter could have gotten us off to a much better start.
We went with less fresh and less traditional options since we didn’t get much guidance from our waiter and felt adventurous, but we probably could have chosen better. We got the Nabeyaki Udon ($9.50) which was the best of the four dishes we ate and was very large. It has a tasty broth, typical thick udon noodles, flavorful friend veggies with too soft batter, and fish cake. The pot stickers were fine, but pretty typical. We ordered the crab gratin which was heavy on a creamy cheese sauce which managed to be both smelly and bland at the same time. The flavor was all too earthy and a little like spoiled milk. The tomato dish was more similar than we had expected and had a very tasty tomato broth/sauce with hot boiled tomatoes and cheese. The cheese was again unappealing (should have avoided cheese all together with Japanese food – lesson learned), but the tomato part of the dish worked really well and had lots of flavor. Let it cool a little though, since it comes filled with very hot liquid. They were out of the asparagus dish we ordered, which gave us the opportunity to limit our all too large order.
The hot sake was not one of the better hot sakes I’ve had, but not bad. And the final price of $48 was less than I expected.
I’ll give this place one more try after putting together a game plan on Yelp, but I hope its not like this experience again."