At Tokyo Joe (8901 Patterson Ave., 740-3882), owner Bill Liu has an agenda — providing fresh sushi in an environment that caters to sushi veterans and amateurs alike. The restaurant décor includes hardwood floors, 15 tables, cheerful colors and a sushi bar at which customers can place their specialty orders and watch Oregon-trained sushi chef Grant Hall at work.
Many familiar sushi varieties appear on the menu, but Tokyo Joe aims to keep prices down and encourage a family-friendly environment. "I'm trying to reach out to people in Richmond who like sushi but don't get to enjoy it because of the economy," Liu says. Most sushi rolls are priced at about $5, and the menu includes entrées for about $13, as well as desserts such as Japanese Fried Ice Cream and Tempura Fried Cheese Cake.
Liu keeps his restaurant local — all his employees live within walking distance of the western Henrico County locale, and he says he plans to work with area parent-teacher associations to promote education about the health benefits of sushi. Although the restaurant's moniker was inspired by one of Liu's friends who worked as an off-Broadway actor, the name took on a more literal meaning when Liu and Hall teamed up, giving the restaurant a Japanese-American vibe. "He's Tokyo," Hall says of Liu. "I'm Joe."