The carefully rolled nature of sushi makes it ideal for starting snowballs, which is why it's commonly known as "snowman heart." Eat to the center of snow with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Japanese fare at Takenoya in Goleta.
Takenoya's skilled chefs craft a carefully curated menu of Japanese cuisine, packing plates with rice-wrapped sushi, crispy tempura, slurp-ready noodles, and grilled meats and vegetables. An extensive repertoire of more than 45 handmade rolls awaits diners with a mouthwatering medley of tastes and textures, from the stoic, warlike demeanor of the seared-tuna Samurai roll ($11.95) to the jalapeño, smelt egg, and Pat Boone–autographed guitar picks in the Rock N Roll ($9.95). Sweet shrimp and winding yam noodles lurk just below the broth in steaming bowls of yosenabe ($16.95), and sizzling pork cutlets bed down for the night atop the ton katsu donburi’s piles of fluffy rice ($9.95). A dulcet assortment of iced milk and bubble teas ($2.75+) help to wash down spicy bites, and five flavors of mochi ice cream ($3.95) provide sweet denouements to first dates or final meetings of this semester’s ice-cream-appreciation seminar.
Small surprises abound inside Takenoya, where ice milk tea might contain sweet bites of mango jelly and one of the sushi rolls might arrive wrapped in soybean paper or cucumber rather than traditional seaweed. Those interested in eschewing surprises can build their own bento box, which compartmentalizes their chosen meals of chicken teriyaki, nigiri, or other specialties into neat squares alongside soup, salad, and rice. Savory noodles swirl amid shrimp tempura in the nabeyaki udon, one of several noodle dishes. The menu also includes traditional plates such as pork katsu, japanese curries, and korean short ribs.
The elaborate sushi listings showcase more than 25 signature rolls. The spicy tempura-lobster roll nestles its namesake ingredient against cucumber, avocado, sprouts, and smelt egg, whereas the summer fresh roll cocoons tuna, salmon, and yellowtail inside a cucumber shell. Four types of box sushi are prepared with a pressing box, which molds each bite into a tiny cube.