Restaurant 17 in Little Manila in Carson, CA, USA.
17. Tokyo Bowl
21616 S. Figueroa St. (northeast corner of Carson St. & Figueroa St., just EAST of 110 Harbor Freeway, with parking lot.)
Carson, CA 90745
hours: phone to verify; breakfast 7:30-11 a.m., lunch specials 11 a.m.-3 p.m., open till 8 or 9 p.m., seven days.
9/23/00 Looks like dishes, prices, and hours could be variable. Call first to verify this information.
A new sign says "Oriental Cuisine - Japanese - Chinese - Filipino." It's Friday 9/22/00 just before 7 p.m., and it's dark and drizzling in L.A. I'm here for the steam-table Filipino dishes. Tonight they have beef mechado with potato and pork adobo which I tried and crispy, roast pork which I didn't. The other steam-table items look Chinese or generic. I got the two-item combo which comes with rice and/or chow mein and a small soup. I got all chow mein and wait a few minutes since they were all out.
Even the fresh chow mein was oily, with just a trace of vegetables, and was slightly below average. The pork adobo and beef mechado were mostly tender chunks of meat and looked like a lot of food. But, the beef was maybe one-third fat and unchewables and the pork was maybe one-quarter fat. Both meat dishes were a bit oily and slightly bland for my taste. The adobo was slightly above average, but the mechado was slightly below average. I was offered chicken broth, received egg flower (which I don't like), and got a vegetable broth with bits of chicken which was far below average.
I don't recall any help-yourself condiments or water. I ate it there, except for a few noodles, fat, and unchewables and watched the rain.
History - With a name like Tokyo Bowl, you'd assume they started with Japanese food. But, the first few times I went a few years ago was to see their all-you-can-eat buffet. It was mostly Chinese, maybe some Japanese, but don't remember any Filipino items. It never looked good enough to eat; I just went to look. Maybe a year ago they stopped the buffet, started "$1" and up Chinese food, became a mini fish market, served fish plates, and started "you buy we fry" fish.
Maybe a month ago they put up the "Oriental Cuisine - Japanese - Chinese - Filipino" sign. They have two printed menus, old and new, and inside and outside signs which don't agree on content or price. At least 53 items don't have a price and may not be available every day. The steam-table food is mostly Chinese, Filipino, and generic items for the combos. One and two item combos are $2.75 and $3.75 or $4.29. I pointed at the $3.75 price and got that price. Five or six Filipino breakfasts are $3.25 and $4.25 with free coffee from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Fish plates for lunch and dinner range between $3.99 and $6.99. Other to-go orders include food by the pint and larger orders of fish from $2.75 to $9.99. The newer printed menu doesn't say "and fish market" nor does it offer the larger fish orders.
Overall - The decor is slightly above average, today's food was slightly below average, and as in most places you'll eat with plastic ware. You can find better food at lower prices. The fish plates may be an ok deal if you like fried fish and fries. The main reason to come here could be if your group wants an assortment of oriental food and fish plates in one restaurant.Overall Score for this area is slightly better than average, but this food places them below the top several restaurants. Remember, Iba'n Express (16) is next door, and they're tied for second place for their Filipino food.