Tomo Japanese Road Food stuff reborn with modest environment and everyday food items Tomo Japanese Street Foodstuff reborn with small environment, informal food stuff


Seeger Gray/The Day by day Northwestern

Tomo Japanese Road Foods. The homeowners shut the earlier spots at the starting of the pandemic and opened an Evanston location in April.

Just two months following opening, Tomo Japanese Road Foodstuff now has repeat shoppers.

“One gentleman, he came 3 days in a row final 7 days,” Co-Proprietor Penny Mohr explained. “I have a further person … pick up just about every working day and test various factors.”

She and her husband Chris Mohr reopened Tomo Japanese Street Food stuff on Sherman Avenue on April 19, additional than two several years immediately after their prior two places shuttered due to the fact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomo serves relaxed Japanese food items, with menu merchandise ranging from fried octopus dumplings to spicy pork yaki udon to kimchi ramen.

A compact cafe, Tomo seats about 30 persons. Pink lanterns cling in the kitchen area, and photos of Japan and a teach map of the town of Nagoya adorn the wall upcoming to superior best tables in the taking in location. Diners can location orders by scanning a QR code taped on the table.

Penny Mohr reported inspiration for the restaurant came from two locations: her cousin’s thriving Japanese dining places in Chicago and a excursion she and her partner took to Japan various decades in the past.

“We used 10 days in Tokyo, just so substantially appreciate the food stuff,” Penny Mohr reported. “My assumed at the time is, ‘Okay, it’s gonna be good if I can deliver this avenue meals … to America.’”

She stated she and Chris Mohr begun functioning Tomo in 2018. Their two Chicago places shut briefly when the pandemic started. But as it stretched on, they shut down for great and appeared for a new place.

Whilst the Sherman cafe is comparable to the previous locations in many strategies, Penny Mohr said Tomo stopped serving sushi and poke to aim on ramen.

Naywri Wright, a Chicago resident who has been reviewing dining establishments on line for several a long time, visited Tomo on opening day and stated he would most certainly return.

“(There is) beef udon that I want to attempt future time,” Wright stated. 

He named the cafe “small, very affordable and abundant.”

For Bienen and SESP fourth-calendar year Steven Lyu, the restaurant’s proximity to campus and the limited Asian meals solutions in the vicinity of Northwestern built Tomo an attractive preference.

When he went Friday night, he purchased the karaage. Lyu claimed the rice in the dish absorbed most of the curry, which he appreciated, however it remaining some liquid behind. He mentioned the restaurant was really occupied, with an atmosphere related to a tiny bar.

“It didn’t really feel like a formal restaurant, but it also did not experience like a speedy meals restaurant. It was kind of in in between,” Lyu reported. “It’s like a everyday surroundings for hanging out, a lot more chill.”

The cafe is still dealing with opening pains. Penny Mohr mentioned Google retains misreporting its several hours, which has been challenging to right. Tomo is open up Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The cafe has also been busy, she explained, for the reason that team are continue to undergoing coaching. 

With so a great deal level of competition in the market, Penny Mohr mentioned her most important hope is to endure and then mature. She stated she’s been really content with client turnout so far, viewing new clients and outdated close friends alike visit the restaurant. 

“It’s been likely so properly,” Penny Mohr explained. “People lined up. And I just — we cannot get people today in simply because we really don’t have sufficient seats.”

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Twitter: @avivabechky

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