By: Andrew Silverstein

Of all the ethnic cuisine in Tampa, there's far more competition in the category of Japanese than many other cuisines from around the world.  Ever since sushi became an American staple, Japanese restaurants have experience a newfound success in around the nation and in Tampa.

With so many, it gets hard to tell which ones are actually quality, authentic, Japanese restaurants and which ones aren't so much.  We'll hedge our bets and say Yoko's Japanese Restaurant, a Tampa eatery since 1995 and winner of multiple best-of awards in the area, is probably one of the greats.

You'd probably expect a wide-acclaimed place like this to be in the higher price range, but not so at Yoko's.  Menu items like shrimp and vegetable tempura, pork cutlets, chicken teriyaki, and pan-fried dumplings all hover under nine dollars.

The sushi selection is second to none and loaded with the freshest seafood possible and wide assortment of other ingredients.  The Yoko's Special roll is a local favorite.  Stuffed with tuna, salmon, smelt roe, and tempura chips, this roll is an exploration of classic and inventive tastes and textures in sushi.  Other rolls include the Tampa Bay Rays roll with steamed  shrimp on top of shrimp tempura, avocado, krab, chips, spicy mayo, eel sauce, smelt roe, and scallions.

For lunch, bento boxes are a popular choice at Yoko's.  Bento boxes are, more or less, stylized like American TV dinners with compartments, but are actually fresh, and originated in Japan.  Try one with vegetable tempura, beef teriyaki, a california roll, and fruit and see what they're all about.  All bento boxes include miso soup and a salad as well.

If you're looking for a great Japanese restaurant in Tampa, then head to Yoko's Japanese Restaurant and tell us what you think with a rating and review.