Tom Ton

In a shopping center where Japanese restaurants abound, it’s hard to stand out unless you have a strong selling point. Tom Ton has one—it specializes in the many ways that the kuro buta (black pig) can be prepared. With dark wood, dim orange lighting and numerous booth seats, the restaurant from the guys behind Tampopo had a soothing, private feel to it. An engaging member of the wait staff made us recommendations in a friendly manner—impressing us with her initiative and knowledge, so we settled on the black pig shabu shabu (Japanese-style steamboat) for two. It came with vegetables, mushrooms, chewy glass noodles and thinly-sliced shoulder and loin cuts of the black pig. The meat was deliciously tender and when dunked into the fab dip that came with it (it was so good we drank it like a soup), was wonderful. But we still had space in our tummies for the deep-fried black pig spare ribs, which were lip-smackingly succulent. Our dessert of avocado salad ice-cream was smooth and creamy. Though a tad pricey, the attentive and personalized service made all the difference.