Toyo Bar & Grill: Students can roll on down for delicious sushi and warm atmosphere at an affordable price

Water flows from a calming stone fountain at the front doors of Toyo Bar & Grill located off Piner Road in Santa Rosa.

Estefany Gonzalez, A&E Editor

Seaweed is the ocean’s pest problem; it smells weird and looks even worse. But at Toyo Sushi Bar and Grill, the chefs manage to turn a pest into the best wakame salad you’ve ever tasted.

Toyo serves the Japanese delicacy on a boat-like plate with fresh greens tossed in sesame citrus dressing. It’s  sweet, tangy, chewy and a pleasant surprise upon your taste buds. 

The restaurant offers a traditional sushi menu as well as one-of-a-kind house rolls. The menu isn’t limited to sushi; it also offers udon noodle bowls, egg rolls, teriyaki and 30 different types of sake.

The staff is friendly and quick to seat guests. Once you place your order, food comes within minutes. The sushi chef is knowledgeable and willing to make special rolls for those with dietary needs. 

The menu is filled with colorful, beautiful looking rolls like the Mango Spider with soft shell crab, spicy tuna and mango on top or the Rain Forest, a spicy tuna roll topped with seasoned wakame. 

What is most unique about Toyo is its vegetarian options. Finding a good vegetarian roll is difficult because most places only provide classic cucumber or avocado rolls for non-meat eaters.

Toyo offers something different for vegetarians and vegans looking for new sushi combinations. The Vegetable Futo-Maki is a delicious fresh roll with yellow beets, cooked spinach, pickled mushroom, carrots and Japanese egg. The Yam Avocado is a baked roll with large chunks of yam tempura, fresh avocado, drizzled with warm teriyaki and sesame seeds. 

 Lunch is the best time to go. Toyo has an abundance of bento box specials for under $10 and great deals on rolls. They have a two-roll spread with soup and salad for $11 or a three-roll spread for $15.  

Portion sizes are generous so spreads are best for groups but also make great leftovers to bring to school the next day.