Friday, February 11, 2005

Tomoe Japanese Restaurant - 3rd Street - San Rafael - Marin

Tomoe Japanese Restaurant - 810 3rd St - San Rafael - CA 94901 - (415) 456-3844

**Update** I have heard that as of November 30th 2005 Tomoe will be closing. Sad news...

Click on the picture to enlarge

Tomoe is a Japanese gem, unceremoniously plonked at the corner of a parking lot facing a one-way thoroughfare where three lanes of cars hurtle by, probably unaware of what they are passing up.

I've only ever been for lunch. View the short, very reasonably priced lunchtime menu here

All the dishes are served with a little pickle and green tea plus rice and miso if you aren't having one of the noodle or soup dishes.

On my last visit, with friend, V, we shared an order of gyoza to start. These fat, juicy and extremely garlicky ground pork dumplings are clearly homemade. One of them was even falling apart, as I imagine mine would, if I ever tried to make them myself. This was not a problem, because they tasted superb, especially when dipped in a mixture of the vinegar and sesame oil provided in unmarked, quirky, plastic bottles. Garnish included a huge pile of crunchy shredded green cabbage with a superlative golden-orange coloured dressing that neither V or I could work out the components of.

The gyoza were filling. For lunch, an order of them, would actually be enough for me, but a dish of winter Ramen noodles had already been ordered and was on its way. A steamy bowl of thin, savoury stock topped with succulent slices of pork, psychedellic fish cake, seaweed and boiled egg. Underneath the surface were slices of tasty, al dente mushroom (at least I think that is what they were) and a pile of eggy noodles. The broth's delicate flavour was given a bit more of kick when sprinkled with Ramen Kosho - a white pepper mix prepared with garlic and onion.

I was so engrossed in my own food, I forgot to ask V what he thought of his Sashimi and Tempura plate. As he eats the same thing there almost every week, I will assume he finds it excellent. V told me he had recently been talking to the owners and that they had told him they are thinking of retiring and closing up the place this Summer. I can't confirm this is true until my next visit, but in the meantime it makes a good excuse for you to get your arse over to San Rafael before it's too late, just in case.
Tomoe Japanese Restaurant - 3rd Street - San Rafael - Marin


  • At 11/2/05 08:46, Blogger Amy Sherman said…

    That's the Japanese food I grew up on! I'm so glad to hear it is as good as it was. Thanks for the memory.

    By the way have you been to Las Camelias? Very upscale but wonderful Mexican food also been in downtown San Rafael forever...

  • At 11/2/05 11:27, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    But my favorite dish there is the Summer Noodles. They just refuse to serve it to me until the Summer, no matter how much I argue that it is summer somewhere... :)


  • At 16/2/05 02:04, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been wanting to try this place, and after reading your article, I finally made it out to San Rafael tonight to have dinner there. We talked to the owner/mrs. in Japanese about this and that, and enjoyed our meals which included tempura, sukiyaki, and sashimi. After we had already ordered all the food, we learned that she even makes her own gyoza skins from scratch (which no one does these days!), so we had to add that to our order... and so glad we did. They were huge and so fresh...a real treat... could be a meal in itself with just some rice. The rest of the food was plentiful in portion (the sukiyaki was actually enough to feed 2 people!). Taste is pretty solid, a bit on the heavy on the soy sauce flavoring, but still an excellent place for authentic home-style Japanese food.

  • At 19/2/05 09:53, Blogger Sam said…

    I am glad you liked it - I can't wait to go back. An my friend V raves so much about the summer noodles, I am thinking roll on Summer!

  • At 28/12/05 23:25, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry, I posted this earlier in the wrong place:

    As a regular, I was so distressed at the thought of Tomoe's closing that I'm making a short film about it. In the mean time friends, patrons, and Tomoe's enthusiasts can check out the Yahoo! group dedicated to the restaurant and all things fun & yummy:

  • At 24/7/08 20:42, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very Goods article , you make some interesting points.

    Japanese Restaurants website


Post a Comment

<< Home