|Review:||"According to their webpage, the Sarasota location is now closed and they just have this one in Bradenton.
Full disclosure: I worked for them years ago at the (now closed) Main Street (Little Paris in Taste of Tokyo) location as sort of an apprentice cook, a job which later mutated into becoming essentially Fumi's driver/personal assistant while also helping at the 3 restaurants in minor capacities. I also used a Kanji/kana word processing program and Excel to make their menu dual language (with 'Joe' re-checking this caucasian's work).
Fumi is a demanding boss and 5 months at TOT nearly drove me crazy, but I still think of them almost like extended family though I haven't seen them in years. Luckily, Fumi's perfectionism also extends to the cooking. The reason I applied for a job there in the first place was my love of their food at the Bradenton location for years. If they were more affordable, I'd probably eat there 2 or 3 meals a week.
As mentioned by other reviewers, Fumi's parents are Vietnamese, but her husband Hideo (aka 'Joe') is definitely Japanese and he is very picky about the food preparation, particularly the rice - as I recall during my employment there - probably because of its importance in quality sushi nigiri and makimono. Joe's pickiness extended right down to the miso soup I used to have to cook in large batches. They did have one problematic non-Asian cook in the app/entree kitchen whose standards were a bit slacked, but that was many years ago. The back kitchen in Bradenton was therefore more consistent at the time.
Fumi's ginger dressing is the only way anyone can get carnivore me to eat salad and her ginger ice cream is excellent. The entrees from simple Chicken Katsu to Gyuudon to more complex dishes is excellent as are their appetizers, though the last time I had gyouza there, the dumplings tasted a bit off to me (though they had been excellent in the past and I'd eaten them often).
A very good restaurant, though definitely not a cheap date. I was saddened to learn from their website that the Sarasota location seems to have closed and they're only in Bradenton now.