If I’m ever on death row and it’s time for me to choose my last meal, I can’t say that I know what I want to eat. But I do know where I want that meal to come from and who I want to prepare it.
In New Jersey, there’s a Japanese restaurant called Tomo’s Cuisine, chef-ed by a food magician named Tomo. Back when I was in college, Tomo’s was located in South Orange and the Fat Triathlete and I frequented (and that’s putting it mildly) Tomo’s. These days, it’s a tad more difficult, what with me living in Ohio and all.
Tomo’s has relocated to Little Falls, and on our trip to New Jersey this past weekend, the Civee, King Classic and myself (sorry, FT) stopped there for dinner on Sunday night. The location may be different, but Tomo’s hasn’t changed a bit.
The place has six tables. The other five tables were filled with people I assumed to be Tomo’s Sunday night regulars. Because it’s just Tomo and his server Fin, Tomo gets quite busy multitasking. Because of this, Tomo has always had a set of rules in place, an older version of which appear below. The rules are very important, and even though I knew these going in, I was pleasantly surprised to have rule #10 broken for me, as both Tomo and Fin remembered me even though I haven’t been there in eight years.
Anyway, about the food, it was spectacular. Most people think of Japanese food as sushi. Tomo can do sushi. Tomo excels at sushi. But he does so much more than sushi. In addition to a boatload of sushi, we also had a few appetizers, including a black seaweed salad, an asparagus/corn tempura, broiled conch in a soy/butter sauce and braised (for six hours) ox tail with potatoes and carrots.
As for the sushi, we got an assortment of rolls and nigiri. Ordered a special surf clam (one of my favorites that I haven’t had anywhere else (or, rather, haven’t had as good anywhere else)), some salmon belly and two types of toro.
Altogether, if I ever get to pick a last meal, I’d want it to be something like that. It was great to go back (even if I had never been to the new place before). On our way out, I thanked Tomo. I could have thanked him a lot more, but remembering the rule about Tomo being very busy, I wanted to keep it short.
The unfortunate part about leaving was realizing that I wouldn’t have another meal like this until the next time the Civee and I were in New Jersey.
Now that I think about it, all I have to do is take 71 North, head east on Interstate 80, and it’s a straight shot to Little Falls.
Sure, it’s an eight-hour straight shot, but it’s worth it.
If you’re ever in the area:
113 Rt. 23 in Little Falls.
(Near the Willowbrook Mall.)