Food Porn: Tao Sushi & Grill

When my Dad is in town, I immediately need start to think of potential dinner possibilities.  He’s not the most adventurous eater, so the options usually are limited to Pizzeria’s or American/Diner locations.  Which is great since Buffalo has an almost endless supply of fried foods and we definitely don’t mind crossing them off our list.  But this weekend I decided to try something new and recommended Tao, a new Japanese Restaurant that opened in Orchard Park.  Since he’s allergic to to fish, I had to bring up the fact that you can get Hibachi and or various chicken entrees.  Somehow I sold him on it and we decided to try this newly opened restaurant on a Saturday night.

Now we have been to other restaurants that were located in buildings that previously had chain restaurants as their tenants (El Palenque, Duff’s in Orchard Park and Cheektowaga).  Those restaurants only did minor interior adjustments and you can tell you are sitting in an old Denny’s/Ponderosa.  However, when I walked into Tao I could not believe this was the Denny’s I visited many times in my teens when I lived in OP.  We decided to pass on the Hibachi and order sushi, here’s how our meal went….

Note: Due to the dim lighting we couldn’t pull off proper pictures, so we apologize for the horrible quality.  Alli is upgrading to an iPhone 4 in a couple weeks, so look forward to those pictures.

We started our meal off with an appetizer that we just had the week before at Wasabi, Beef Negimaki.  Our experience this time around was definitely different; these beef rolls were wrapped around full pieces of vegetables instead of ground scallions.  There were large pieces of scallions and carrots and the steak itself wasn’t stringy or soaking in sauce.

Since we passed on the hibachi, Alli and I decided to order some sushi rolls.  She ordered her usual, a California roll ($4) and Spicy Crab roll with crunch ($6), pictured below.  I ordered one of my “go to’s”; the Spicy Tuna roll which was actually impressed me by being pretty spicy.  Tao also has a selection of “fusion rolls”, which are more elaborate sushi rolls that combine different types of fish.  I decided to try out their Kamikaze Roll ($13), which is a combination of scallops, crab, salmon, yellow and fish eggs.  It was pretty delicious but also a bit overwhelming, the tastes and mixtures of all the fish started to blend together but it was nice to try something a little more elaborate.  My brother, who is new to sushi, ordered the Yellowtail Jalapeno roll which had large pieces of, you guessed it, jalapeno pepper in the roll.  I kind of wish they had found a more creative way to pull that off, I’m not a big jalapeno fan but if there was a sauce or if they have minced the peppers I think I would have enjoyed the roll more.

My Dad ordered the Chicken Katsu which is apparently fancy name for “Giant Chicken Finger”, because that’s exactly what it was.  The order was delivered as two larger pre-sliced chicken cutlets that were battered and deep fried.  Honestly, it was the most American-ized menu item there.  I did take a bite and it was great, but then again when is a Chicken Finger not?

I’m glad there’s another Japanese restaurant in Orchard Park and I know I would order sushi to go from here if I still lived there.  They have a pretty decent menu of sushi and watching the hibachi shows behind us, it sounded like everyone was having a good time.  If anything, the people of Orchard Park should just see the transformation of a run down Denny’s that has been turned into this sheik, trendy Japanese Restaurant.  That’s impressive all by itself.

Tao Sushi & Grill on Urbanspoon

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