Tona Sushi bar and Grill opened its doors on March 29th, 2004 – and you are invited to celebrate the 10th anniversary with the restaurant all week long. During the 10th anniversary week, 3/25-3/29/14 – you can visit on any day and join in on the festivities!
Tuesday: All food items (entrees and sushi rolls) are no more than $10.
Wednesday: Enjoy two tapas for $10.
Thursday: Answer a Tona Trivia question for a chance to win a $10 Gift Card.
Friday: enjoy 10% off the entire bill.
Saturday: Live music, featuring Brad Wheeler (namesake of the Brad Roll) and Dan Weldon, and surprise gifts will be presented to guests. These gifts, hand made by Tony, have a very special value. During the entire year of 2014 there will be free featured specials that you can enjoy just be presenting your hand crafted Tona key-chain.
Through the years, Tona Sushi has received many awards, recognition, and is regularly ranked in the top restaurants in the Ogden area. Tina and Tony wish to express their gratitude to the community with this week of specials and celebration. Please join us, March 25-29th!

 

Tona Pumpkin Painting Contest is on!  Get creative and get rewarded.

Our theme is Tona and Pumpkin.  Paint a pumpkin, bring the pumpkin in to Tona between now and 10/29/2013 for display.  You will be entered to win big prizes!  Please make sure to write your name on the pumpkin and fill out one of our contact forms.

During Halloween week, we will pick a Tona Favorite base on creativity and best representation of Tona.  The Tona Favorite will receive the grand prize of a night stay at the Ogden Hilton Garden Inn.  Tona customers also get to choose their favorite.  Customers’ pick for 1st place will receive a $75 Tona Gift Card, 2nd place will receive a $50 Tona Gift Card, and 3rd place will receive a $30 Tona Gift Card.

Winners will be announced on Thursday 11/7/2013.   Hurry, get going with your pumpkin!

pumpkin contest

Held annually in Snowbasins Earls Lodge, the Utah Red Cross Autumn Gala is a fundraising effort that partners the gorgeous lodge and fall scenery with 10 local chefs of Northern Utah restaurants. The event attracts guests and businesses who wish to enjoy the local fare while also fundraising for the Utah Red Cross. The events main sponsor was the Standard Examiner, and was hosted by ABC4’s weekend anchor Kim Johnson. Heidi Ruster, CEO of the Utah Region of the American Red Cross says they hoped to raise between $10,000 – $15,000 from the ticket sales and auctions.

Red Cross Gala Red Cross Gala

The American Red Cross Utah Region serves more than 2.8 million people across the nearly 85,000 square miles, statewide. The American Red Cross Utah Region has been proudly serving Utah for more than 100 years. Some of the figures provided to the guests put into perspective what the donations truly mean. $250 provides clothing for two people who are left with nothing but the clothes on their back. $500 provides the first months’ rent for a displaced family. $1,000 is enough to provide emergency assistance for up to five families who have been displaced by a fire.

Red Cross Gala Red Cross Gala Red Cross Gala

Participating restaurants served signature dishes showcasing their talent. This is the fourth year Tona participated in this community event.  Tona served up four plates of delicious food, including a Seaweed Salad, A Pork Belly Wrap, Tuna Corn, and Assorted Sushi. Guests visited multiple times to enjoy the delectable bites, and awed over the beautiful plates and delicious flavors. “I’ve never had such wonderful sushi in Utah!” One guest excitedly exclaimed, as she slipped back to her table, all four plates in hand.

Red Cross Gala

Red Cross Gala

Other participating restaurants included Bistro 258, Davis Hospital, Harley & Bucks, Jasoh, McKay-Dee Hospital, Roosters, Slackwater, Zucca Trattoria, and Snowbasin’s own chefs. There were two complimentary bars serving wine, locally brewed beers, and a signature cocktail created by Ogden’s Underground Distillery and Five Wives Vodka. The entertainment of the evening was provided by local band “Shades of Grey”, and the evening drew to a close with the live auction; including live auction items such as an all-expenses paid vacation to Naples, Florida, Use of a beach-house in Oregon for up to 8 guests, and a Royal toy Schnauzer puppy.

Red Cross Gala Red Cross Gala Red Cross Gala

The only thing lovelier than the fall leaves and the gorgeous ambiance of Earls lodge at Snowbasin Resort was the spirit of giving. From the participating restaurants to the donors, and the fun and friendly competition between bidders, who opened their wallets and hearts, the evening was truly beautiful.

Get Fresh On September 14, Tona Sushi participated in the Junior League of Ogden’s Get Fresh Event, a raw food challenge targeted at raising awareness, support and funds for their organization, along with interest in healthy eating! Chefs from all over Ogden were invited, from all walks of life. In addition to our very own Chef Tony Chen was a long line of participating chefs: Steve from Sonora Grille, Mikaela from Indie Ogden & Mama Mouse Says, Gary from Good Life Café, Danielle from Pretty Smitty Pie Company & Alisabeth from The Seductive Soul.

Kind of like “Iron Chef” for Ogden, the Get Fresh Challenge is a lot of fun: starting with the chef’s duking it out over a table filled to overflowing with local produce (From the Ogden’s Farmers Market, Linda Weiskopf – read about her on Indie Ogden http://indieogdenutah.com/2013/09/indie-ogden-local-spotlight-linda-weiskopf-part-two/). Tony and his assistant Shawn were quite methodical in their planning before the challenge began, so that when the countdown to start reached zero, they calmly went about selecting the produce they would need for their submissions: peaches, cucumber, beets, tomatoes, peppers & more!

Get Fresh Get Fresh Get Fresh

The rules of the game: Make delicious foods for the crowd to sample using only fresh produce provided by the Junior League of Ogden, with three “secret” ingredients allowed by each team. Then, the crowd would put dollars into jars at the front of the sampling tables to indicate which foods they liked the best.

Tona’s strategy was to use what was provided at the 8′ table by using a majority of the veggies provided by the Junior League, for example, local grown okra from Linda at the Canine Companions for Independence garden.  The purpose is to let the ingredient shine. Tona’s first offering was a light and crisp okra salad with peaches, which was a crowd favorite. They couldn’t keep the spoons on the serving platter! Next in the lineup was Tony’s “citrus ravioli” – grapes with orange slices, pepper shavings, citrus reduction…it was delightful.

Get Fresh Get Fresh Get Fresh

During the chef’s challenge, the crowd was entertained by guests from the Ogden Nature Center, educating the children about nature and letting them play with a snake and see the lovely owl. There were also children from the Evergreen Academy Montessori School, making peach salsa and limeade and getting the word out about their school.

Tony then pulled out all the stops. Where most chefs only made two offerings, Tona had four! In addition to the okra salad and citrus ravioli, Tony presented the crowd with a fresh veggie roll: beets, oranges and peaches rolled in cucumber with a bright tomato and some basil on top. Delicious! Then, with mere minutes to go, he threw out veggie “pizzas” – a cucumber base, with sliced tomatoes, basil and pepper shavings…It was an amazing display.

Get Fresh Get Fresh Get Fresh

When asked what his strategy was, Tony explained that he had been prepping for the event for about a week, thinking of different combinations and practicing with his secret ingredients. Not knowing exactly what would be available to work with, he said, made it a real challenge.   But, ultimately, he wanted to make the same quality of food he makes at Tona Sushi, just using veggies and fruit instead of fish. His goal was to make food he’d be proud to serve to the public in his restaurant… He succeeded! Many members of the crowd specifically asked for the okra salad to be added to the menu!

As the clock ticked down the final seconds of the game, it was a mad dash by the crowd to get the last of their dollars into the jars of their choosing. After the clock hit zero, the jars were taken by the representatives from the Junior League and the celebration continued while the counting was underway.

This celebration marks the anticipated grand preview of the Oasis Learning Pavilion. Currently under construction, this beautiful pavilion will feature community gathering space, a demonstration kitchen, greenhouse, and rainwater harvesting; when completed the facility will be able to host group gatherings and classes to teach garden to plate nutrition. All proceeds from the event will go towards help the Junior League of Ogden with its projects to benefit the health and nutrition of local women and children.

At last, the time had come. The final numbers were in. Tona was awarded Third Place, missing Second only by $.31 to Good Life Café!! Such a close competition! The returning champions, Sonora Grill, won First Place for a second year in a row using his own secret ingredient Avocado to make the Guacamole.

All in all, it was an amazing day filled with laughter, great food, friends and community supporters coming together to raise money for a great service to the community. Next year will be just as fun, if not better and we are looking forward to it!

Get Fresh Get Fresh Get Fresh

SakeSake is the traditional rice wine of Japan. When first produced over two thousand years ago, it was revered and used as an offering to the various gods and deities of Japan’s indigenous Shinto religion, known as the “drink of the gods”. For quite some time, sake production in Japan was carried out mainly within the Imperial Court, only being consumed on festival or celebration days.

Now, however, sake is widely available and relatively inexpensive while still playing a large role in many aspects of Japanese culture. Whether being sipped by bride and groom during a traditional wedding ceremony, or consumed to celebrate a victory, sake has deep seated and widely known symbolic value.

Sake (pronounced “sah-keh” not “sah-kee”) essentially refers to any alcohol in Japan, though in the west commonly refers only to the Japanese rice wine, or Nihonshu. Sake is served in a small, typically ceramic flask called a tokkuri. It is usually bulbous with a narrow neck, however other styles are available such as katakuchi, which looks something like a tea kettle.

The cup used to drink sake is typically in an ochoko, a small, handle-free cup. Other styles are the sakazuki, a flat saucer-like cup or the masu, a wooden box-like cup. A win glass, though non-traditional, is technically the best vessel from which to drink sake. Designed to allow the drinker to see the color and experience all facets of the aroma,which have a huge impact on flavor, the wine glass allows for complete enjoyment of sake. In most restaurants, however, the traditional ochoko cup is used.

Regular sake, honjozo-shu (at least 30% of rice polished away; a tad of distilled alcohol is added) and junmai-shu (pure rice wine; no adding of distilled alcohol) are usually warmed to room temperature, while ginjo-shu (at least 40% of rice polished away; with or without alcohol added; if bottle is labeled Ginjo, it means distilled alcohol was added; if labeled Junmai Ginjo, it means no alcohol added) and namazake (special 5th designation for unpasteurized sake; incorporates all four above) are chilled. Sake Flavor Profiles Honjozo is sake wherein a small amount of distilled pure alcohol is added to smoothen and lighten the flavor, and to make the sake a bit more fragrant. Honjozo often makes a good candidate for warm sake. The flavor is lighter, and magically the fragrance becomes much more prominent.

Junmai refers to pure sake, pure in the sense that no adjuncts (starches or sugars other than rice added to the fermenting mixture) were used, and that no brewer’s alcohol was added either. Junmai often has a fuller, richer body and a higher-than-average acidity. The nose is often not as prominent as other types of sake, nor are other parameters dependent on whether a sake is a junmai or not.

Ginjo sake is much more delicate and light and complex than the above two. A special yeast, lower fermentation temperatures, and labor -intensive techniques make for fragrant, intricate brews. Here is a typical ginjo chart.   Namazake is sake that has not been pasteurized. It should be stored cold, or the flavor and clarity could suffer. Namazake has a fresh, lively touch to the flavor. All types of sake (junmaishu, honjozo, ginjo-shu, and daiginjo-shu) can be namazake, or not. Some ginjo-shu and daiginjo-shu are also junmai-shu. So a junmai ginjo-shu is a ginjo-shu with no added ethyl alcohol. If a ginjo or daiginjo is not labeled junmai, then the added alcohol is limited to the same small amounts as honjozo.

At Tona, we serve the Regular Sake warm.  For best enjoyment, we offer different kinds of chilled sake.  They are categorize into three kind:

1. Filtered Sake – Junmai Ginjo and Jumai Sake.  Characteristics include dry, silky smooth and clean.  This kind of sake goes well with delicate dish like our sashimi and traditional sushi.  The sake we carry are Sho Chiku Bai and Tozai – Living Jewel.

2. Unfiltered Sake (Cloudy Sake) – Nigori sake.  Characteristics include creamy, sweet and smooth.  This kind of sake goes well with spicy dish.  The sake we carry are Sayuri and Snow Beauty.

3. Sparkling Sake – naturally carbonated sake.  Characteristics include refreshing light and slightly sweet.  This is the lightest sake we carry.  Choose this sake if you enjoy Champagne.  The sake we carry is Zipang.

When drinking sake, it is considered polite to serve your guests first & yourself last. If making a toast, you can say “Kanpai” if you’re in a Japanese restaurant (Kanpai means cheers, toast, quite literally, to drink a glass dry.). Touch your cups together & enjoy!

Tona and friends from Ogden

Tona and friends from Ogden

May 11, 2013 was a day of great honor and adventure. On this day, Tona Sushi Bar and Grill was given the award of BEST SUSHI in UTAH from the Best of State Awards! Owner and General Manager Tina Yu represented Tona at the black tie gala, sharing the evening with some friends of Tona – Rusty Sessions of Sidewinder Media, Kim & Nick Bowsher of the Family Practice, The Indie Ogden girls: Mikki,

Kristin & Jenny, and Aimee Edwards of Public Relations for many Ogden Community event with the recent Ogden Restaurant Week as a great success.  It was a lovely evening spent recognizing some of the best things in Utah. From performing arts, to sports, to community services (Tina also accepted the award on behalf of the Historic 25th Street Association AGAIN), to Best Association/Chamber.

The room was packed, with over 1500 people in attendance and dozens of presenters, performers and the people “to know” in Utah (Governor Herbert, Mark Eaton, TV Personalities and more!). There were performances from the Hale Center Theater’s cast of “Ragtime”; Odyssey Dance Theater wowed the audience with a piece called “Solimbula”; live, swinging music from the Voodoo Orchestra… This evening was glorious.

Tina on stage for Best Sushi of Best of StateAll in all, over 300 businesses and people important to the Utah community in 10 different categories were honored and recognized for the great things they bring to this great state. It’s a bit of a process, with judges looking at ways the nominees support the community, excel in their particular specialty and are creative in their methods of doing what they do. The fact that Tona won Best Sushi in all of Utah is a great honor.  Tona is committed to provide the best food and service to the Ogden community.

So, many thanks to the Tona team and Tona valued customers for making this award possible for Tona.  Tona will wear it with pride.

Tina and Tona friends.

Tina and Tona friends.

April is going to be a fantastic month. Tona just celebrated their 9th Birthday! It has been a really great ride so far and we are looking forward to many more birthdays! We had a lot of giveaways; make sure to check our birthday post (http://tonarestaurant.com/2013/03/26/celebrating-tonas-ninth-anniversary/) for all the details!

Coming up next on the agenda is Ogden Restaurant Week! The first event of its kind, from April 12th-21st more than a dozen Ogden restaurants will be participating to raise awareness about great local dining options, offering a delicious two-course lunch for only $8.00 or three-course dinner for only $15.00!ogden restaurant week

In addition to Tona, some participating restaurants include:

The Prairie Schooner Steak HouseGarden Grille and Lounge,
Santa Monica Pizza and Pasta Co. ,  Slackwater Pub and Pizzeria,
Sonora GrillRoosters Brewing Co. ,  Union Grill,
Rovali’s Ristorante ItalianoMacCool’s Public House,
Bistro 258Restaurant 1107,
Jasoh, and Bangkok Garden

So, come Downtown and experience some of the best food Ogden has to offer, spread the word and get out there to enjoy local foods! Because really, Ogden is a gem of a place, full of wonderful events and outdoor activities and delicious foods! Hopefully this event will be a huge success so we can do this every year!

Tona will be satisfying your sushi needs with the following options:

LUNCH:

APPETIZER (CHOOSE ONE)

Garlic Edamame – sauté soybeans in the pod with garlic soy
Edamame – soy bean in the pod
Gyoza – pork pot stickers
Coconut Onion Rings – panko crust onion rings

SUSHI (CHOOSE ONE)

Mini Green Globe – thinly sliced avocado, spicy tuna, crab salad, tobiko
4 Piece Chef Choice Nigiri Sushi
Grinch – yellowtail, albacore, basil, green tempura bites, cherry tomatoes
Tuna Slider – panko fried sushi rice, sandwich spicy tuna, avocado and aioli

DINNER:

APPETIZER (CHOOSE ONE)

Goma Ae with Almond – blanched spinach with black sesame dressing, shaved almond
Sunomono Salad – cucumber salad, sweet-soy rice vinegar dressing
Vegetable Tempura – seasonal vegetables dipped in crispy tempura
Gyoza – pork pot stickers
Garlic Edamame – sauté soybeans in the pod with garlic soy

SPECIALS (CHOOSE ONE)

Mini Green Globe – thinly sliced avocado, spicy tuna, crab salad, tobiko
New Style Ahi Poke – ahi tuna chunks in citrus soy, wasabi cheese, jalapeno, Fuji apple
Branzino Crudo – Mediterranean sea bass, citrus soy, golden beet, micro green
Tuna Slider- panko fried sushi rice, sandwich spicy tuna, avocado and aioli

SPECIALS (CHOOSE ONE)

4 Piece Smokey Joe – smoked salmon, escolar, crispy onion chips, and tobiko
4 Piece Chef Choice Nigiri Sushi

Semifreddo – dessert, semi-frozen mascarpone, oreo soil, lemon citrus preserves

Special thanks to the Community Sponsors for helping to put on this event:

US Foods
Historic 25th Street Association
Downtown Ogden, Inc.
Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce
Visit Ogden
Coca-Cola
Corporate Alliance
Bank of Utah
Wasatch Distributing

For more details and information, visit http://www.ogdenrestaurantweek.com or https://www.facebook.com/OgdenRestaurantWeek

Hope to see you there!

TONA IS TURNING NINE THIS WEEK!

Celebrate with us!  We are giving away Gift Certificates through out the week and a Chef Taster Dinner for Two ($100+ value) to our Tona fans!  Please check our facebook page for daily challenge.  We will be announcing the winner here at our blog.

Tona Employees

Tona Employees in 2004

3/26/13 Our Tuesday Challenge winners  to the question “Which one of the staff (exclude Tina) in this photo still works for Tona today?” are Steven N Mika Dickerson and Kristin Guthrie Brandt!  The answer is Haley!  Please come to Tona to pick up your $20 gift certificate with a valid ID.

2005 Tona Halloween (cowboy theme).

2005 Tona Halloween (cowboy theme).

3/27/13 Our Wednesday Challenge winners to the question “When we first opened nine years ago, our business hours were
a)Seven days a week
b)Monday thru Saturday
c)Tuesday thru Saturday
d)Tuesday thru Sunday”

are Rich N Corrie Carver, Rich Dressen, Melanee Moore-Smyrl, Kari Moreno! The answer is B.  We used to open on Monday nights.  Please come to Tona to pick up your $20 gift certificate with a valid ID.

3/28/13 Our Thursday Challenge winners to the question “What date is our anniversary and what awards did we recently receive?” are Topher Williams, Jill Wilcox Hyer, Ben Stratford and Vikkie Noble!  The answer is March 29th and we recently received Indie Ogden Best Sushi and Best Date Night Awards.  Please come to Tona to pick up your $20 gift certificate with a valid ID.

3/29/13 Our winner for the Chef Taster Dinner for Two is Cammie Stuart Burlison.  Cammie, please call us to schedule your next date night!

Our sincere thank you to all our valued customers for making Tona possible.  Cheers!

 

The holidays are always fun at Tona, a time to get together with friends and coworkers to celebrate one another and a job well done; treating their employees to some fun at with bowling and games, followed by delicious food at some of Ogden’s best local restaurants. This year, the 8th Annual Holiday Party was no exception.

It was time to become a kid again, with adventures at Toad’s Funzone in North Ogden. Staff enjoyed a raucous game of laser tag, battling it out in a futuristic setting. When the game was over, everyone headed into the arcade for some good, old fashioned fun: winning tickets, whacking moles & challenging one another to races.

Employees' children are having a blast.

Employees’ children are having a blast.

Tona Employees having fun at the Year End Party.After the fun was over, the staff headed over to Bistro 258 for some delicious food and merrymaking. It was quite crowded in the restaurant, but that just added to the fun atmosphere. The night was filled with laughter and staff recognition, including a trivia game to see what the guests knew about Tona. With prizes to be won –a few for staff and one for their families – the ensuing battles were fierce! In the end, the prizes for most knowledgeable Tona Sushi employees went to Kaytee, Poli, and Luis! The winner for the side of the families was Brent, Chantelle’s other half.

For the recognition portion of the evening, Tina & Tony wanted to thank certain members of their staff who have done great things in the past year. Bianca & Austin did an amazing job planning such a fun night out for everyone & were recognized by the group.Enjoying dinner at Bistro 258.

There were also thanks given to Bianca (again!), Hailey & Jessica for the fantastic job they did putting on the Tona Halloween Party earlier in the fall (You can read about it here! And check out the pictures too! It was so much fun!).

One thing is for certain, Tona knows how to say “Thank you!” and how to have a great time. Can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!