From takeout to hibachi, Hello Tokyo is on a roll

Japanese food & Louisiana flair

As someone who puts a priority on family dinners and has a family with a color-coded schedule, the words “online ordering” are music to my ears.

When it comes from a local restaurant with great Japanese food? Bonus.

Hello Tokyo is tucked in a strip mall behind a gas station. A visit to its website, gonzaleshellotokyo.com, and a few quick clicks, and dinner was waiting on my route home.

We started out with a pair of appetizers, fried tofu with a teriyaki dipping sauce ($3.95) and pan-fried pork dumplings, or gyoza ($4.50 for six). Both were solid choices, though the tofu was a hard sell for the younger bunch.

The adults split sushi rolls. Since it was a Saturday and LSU was playing, we went with the $12.95 LSU roll (snow crab, cream cheese and crawfish masago in a soy paper wrap, fried and topped with spicy sauce and eel sauce) and the $11.95 Death Valley roll (spicy crawfish, avocado and cream cheese topped with boiled shrimp and spicy mayo). Not your traditional rolls, these two put a south Louisiana stamp on sushi. A tasty, tasty stamp.

Being fans of spicy tuna, we also opted for the red dragon Roll ($9.95), which had shrimp tempura and cucumber inside and spicy tuna on top. A fine choice, it packed a spicy punch that was a great counterpoint to the other, more decadent, rolls.

We kept the last roll simple, ordering a hand-rolled garden roll ($4.50). Simply and artfully presented, this roll was stuffed with fresh vegetables like cucumber and asparagus and had a clean, traditional flavor.

For the younger and less-adventurous eaters in our group, we chose a chicken and steak teriyaki combo ($14.95), which was served with a clear soup and rice. Both proteins were succulent and juicy and came bathed in an ample amount of sweet teriyaki sauce, perched atop a bed of grilled onions and peppers.

The restaurant boasted a good crowd even though it was mid-afternoon on a rainy day. In addition to the sushi bar and regular seating, the bigger-on-the-inside restaurant also has hibachi seating, making it a destination for more festive occasions.

Our order was ready exactly at the time I said I would be there to pick it up, and even though there wasn’t a wait, I did notice there were specials advertised for both LSU and Saints games.

Hello Tokyo just made my gameday list, too.