A big poster on Yoi Tomo's all-glass entryway--the spot once occupied by KB's Burritos--informs patrons about the sushi joint's kickin' dinner-and-a-movie deal at nearby Edwards. For $20, diners get any movie-themed roll (except for the Titanic, which is served in a boat for $24.99), miso soup, a house salad and a movie voucher that never expires. A ticket, a medium popcorn and a medium soda can set you back $23, and the idea of sitting down to a roll of ahi tuna and tempura shrimp before catching Piranha 3D is hilarious.
It's also hard to argue with Yoi Tomo's all-you-can-eat special ($17.99 lunch, $24.99 dinner). Initially, it sounds pricey and the penalties for leaving any food behind are severe: $5 for each half roll, $10 for each whole. But it's worth the risk.
The AYCE menu rivals the regular menu in number of available options (though they both could use an edit for length) and affords diners the option of sampling a good portion of the menu.
Though my only dining companion for the night was a paperback, I was seated at a comfortable four-top near the front of the restaurant by a wall of windows that face Capitol Boulevard. Often restaurants push solitary diners into back corners, but my five fellow solo eaters were scattered evenly throughout the dark-wood, red-walled eatery and everyone appeared to be dining as comfortably as I was. Each of the three servers working waited on me but they never hovered. The occasional "Can I get you anything?" as they whooshed by served to make me feel welcome but left me to my reading relatively uninterrupted.
I ordered a la carte: the seaweed salad ($3.99), the Yoi Tofu ($5.50), the French Kiss roll ($13.50) and a cup of hot green tea ($1.75). The Yoi Tofu (breaded and deep-fried) was served in a bright white bowl, with perfectly-sized cubes swimming in a hot, sweet earthy brown sea of tempura and teriyaki sauce. The dish's tiny little scallion slices tried to escape the click of my chopsticks. The French Kiss is a fave--crab, cucumber, deep fried shrimp, salmon and avocado dressed with three special sauces--but the real treat is a wee crunch of lemon rind on each slice that pops the other flavors into focus.
The seaweed salad is also a big draw. When I choose the AYCE option, it's specifically so that I can get two (I've even considered three) portions of it. Long rubbery strands of the ocean plant coated in a vinegary sesame dressing were a fresh counterpoint to thick sushi slices and dense fried tofu.
I felt a little strange ordering AYCE alone, but wish I'd done the math ahead of time. Even with an accidental 5 percent discount (I like to think she pushed the "BSU Student" discount button not the "Senior Citizen" one), my total was $23.50. For less than $2 more, I could have had seaweed salad for dessert (as well as an appetizer and an entree).
--Amy Atkins thinks What Women Want is a French Kiss on the Titanic at Twilight.
Boise Weekly sends two reviewers to every restaurant we review. Read what our other reviewer had to say about Yoi Tomo Sushi & Grill.