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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Cafe With Characters

MTTo Da Syo's fun cartoon logo is fitting for such a small, cute sushi cafe.
To Da Syo is a cute little sushi cafe, soon to become a chain with the imminent opening of a second branch on the Arbat. And although sushi chains might seem to be a dime a dozen in this town, To Da Syo does manage to distinguish itself in a number of ways.

For starters, it is not strictly a sushi bar. As suggested by the restaurant's logo -- featuring two cartoony critters, a male with a fork and a female with chopsticks -- To Da Syo serves both Japanese and European dishes. The prices also set it apart as To Da Syo must have some of the capital's lowest-priced sushi. There are 15 varieties ranging from 29 to 60 rubles apiece; salmon costs 29 rubles. There are 10 spicy sushi options (50 to 70 rubles). The 12 varieties of sashimi cost from 65 to 190 rubles, while a serving of rolls starts at 29 rubles for cucumber and reaches 290 rubles for soft crab. One tasty option is the To Da Syo house rolls -- scalded tuna and spicy sauce rolled in rice and coated in green tobiko flying fish roe (six rolls for 240 rubles).

The relatively pricy end of the Japanese mains climbs up to 230 rubles for the likes of prawns in chili sauce, smoked eel on rice or grilled dorado.

The uninspired European section does look a little like an afterthought and is substantially smaller than the Japanese. Nonetheless, the prices are also bargain basement -- macaroni "Fleet-Style" with ground meat costs a mere 29 rubles, as does mashed potatoes with mushrooms.

Strangely, the draft beer prices seem slightly inflated given how inexpensive the remainder of the menu is. Draft Baltika No. 7 costs 100 rubles for a half-liter and Baltika No. 8 goes for 110 rubles. Bottled Japanese Kirin is 130 rubles for 330 milliliters.

The design is fairly minimal, but not at all stark and is actually rather warm. One subtle but humorous design feature is the male and female lavatories, each signified by a critter from the restaurant's logo, only this time complete with the appropriate miniature cartoon genitalia.

7 Tsvetnoi Bulvar, 621-4273, 11 a.m.-last customer, M. Tsvetnoi Bulvar.