Saturday, November 21, 2009

Toraya, Arlington

Toraya in Arlington is one of those places that I would have driven right by had it not been for the endless source of positive reviews on Chowhound. A minimalistic sign outside is the only sense that in this tiny restaurant (with just 26 seats), is a Japanese restaurant. Perhaps, though, due to these accolades, the couple behind me waited for over an hour on a Saturday at 1:00 to sit down. As I was alone, I was able to quickly sit at the little sushi bar.

In fact, sushi is the centerpiece here. The waitress recommended chirashi sushi as the best way to try a variety of the chef’s best. What arrived was a generous portion of fish: included 2 to 3 pieces of shrimp, tamago, tuna, sea bass, fluke, sea trout, crabstick, salmon, eel, octopus, mackerel. This was served over a bed of delicious sushi rice. It wasn’t fancy, but the portion was certainly filling and with a bowl of miso soup it cost just $11.50.

Each white fish tasted so different, ranging from smoky to delicate. The salmon melted in my mouth. The tamago (egg omelet) was sweet with the sharpness of the wasabi.

Any questions anyone would have about the freshness of the fish was apparent as the chef and owner, Mr. Toraya, was literally fileting fish as I watched. Many other customers ordered the lunch specials in a bento box. The variety was impressive and cost under $14.00. It is also family friendly as I was one of the only people with children.

Would I drive out to Arlington just for Toraya...No? I admit that I am too big a fan of Oishii Sudbury. But if I am in the area, it was a treat.

Toraya Japanese Restaurant
890 Massachusetts Ave
Arlington, MA 02474
(781) 641-7477


  1. LOVE toraya! But yes Oiishi is good too :-)

  2. Toraya is definitely a solid choice. I agree, I wouldn't go to Arlington just for sushi. BUT, if you threw in ice cream at nearby Maggie Moo's I'd be there in a heartbeat.