Chef Hiro Miyoshi has been cooking in Las Vegas for 12 years, perhaps most notably at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Nobu restaurant—certainly a game-changer in the local sushi scene. He’s off the Strip and out on his own now in Henderson, having opened Tokyo Boys in July. Though it’s been around since last summer, this restaurant is still being discovered, maybe because the previous occupant of the building was just another unremarkable neighborhood sushi spot.
Tokyo Boys, however, is across-the-board impressive. The chef is clearly shooting for a refined experience, and those intentions come off as charming and quaint in this space, which was originally built as a nostalgia-inducing American diner. Now the booths are purple, and the diner counter is the sushi bar. It lends a little extra fun and lightheartedness to a restaurant with serious food.
The standard offerings of sushi, sashimi and rolls meet the mark, always fresh and prepared with precision and simplicity in mind. But the rest of the menu at Tokyo Boys is more appealing, stacked with dishes that set it apart. There are Nobu-style cold plates like yellowtail ($15) or kanpachi (amberjack) sashimi ($18) with jalapeño and ponzu, as well as marinated tuna with starchy mountain potato ($12) and sweet, vinegar-y octopus and cucumber salad ($7). On the hot side, grilled hamachi kama (yellowtail collar, $12) is rich with flavor, while a ribeye steak ($18) is supplemented with garlic soy or teriyaki sauce.
It seems more local sushi houses are branching out and adding more variation to the repertoire, but few restaurants consistently pull off those other dishes like Tokyo Boys. Simple, addictive bites like the kakuni (braised pork belly, $7.50), Japanese-style fried chicken ($6), and the pickle-topped rice and dashi dish chazuke ($7) give the place the personality of a laid-back izakaya … until you see one of Hiro’s beautiful premium sashimi assortments, customized to your table’s tastes, starting at $50.
The chef also has a particular skill with katsu, panko-coated, deep-fried meat. I couldn’t decide which I loved more, the juicy pork tenderloin or the fatty, luscious dark-meat chicken cutlet, both perfectly crisp and tender with a slightly spicy, almost fruity dipping sauce that far exceeds the sweet stuff usually served with such a dish. Come to think of it, the crispy-chewy gyoza potstickers ($4.50 for four big dumplings) were just as good, a snack you see and eat all the time but rarely remember. Like its dumplings, Tokyo Boys stands out among the Valley’s multitude of local sushi-oriented Japanese restaurants.
Tokyo Boys 375 N. Stephanie St. #311, 834-5578. Monday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-2 a.m.