After spending only two weeks closed for renovations, the new Little Tokyo opened its doors. Mon. June 7 was their grand opening and people waited in lines out the door. This was a big new change for owner Utako Furukawa and her husband. At their original location in Summerville, "in the middle of nowhere," as Furukawa puts it, she and her husband ran the place alone; he cooked and she waited on the seven tables that filled the restaurant. Now, in the spacious Goose Creek location, there are two cooks running the kitchen and three to four servers waiting on numerous tables.
On Monday night, I watched as Furukawa kept everything running smoothly as an unexpectedly large crowd kept the door beeping every time it opened.
"Oh you, hey you!" Furukawa calls out to a group of guys as they enter the restaurant. One walks up to Furukawa, and I overhear him praising the delicious food that he's craved and thanking her for moving closer.
"My customers are the same faces," says Furukawa. When Little Tokyo was in Summerville, Furukawa knew that many of her returning customers were from Goose Creek. She says they were always on the lookout for a better location and, after finding the new space, Furukawa knew it was the right change.
The menu remains the same, with the same prices, but some new items have been added. The Teishoku comes with different choices of meats cooked and sauced in a variety of ways served with rice, miso soup, pickle, sashimi, and egg custard. Another new addition to the menu is Don Buri, a big bowl of rice with a variety of meats and sauces.
The prices on the menu range from $7.50 to $25 for dishes that range from chicken teriyaki and lobster tails to items too difficult to even pronounce.
After indulging in the yakitori (three beef skewers, three chicken skewers, vegetable tempura, soup, salad, and grilled rice) on Monday night, it's pretty clear to us what the buzz is all about.
For more on Little Tokyo, read Jeff Allen's review of their previous location.