Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Otoko delivers a superb sushi experience--and more

Tonight I was fortunate enough to score a ticket to eat at one of Austin's new restaurant sensations, Otoko.  As the servers and the website both explain, this 12-seat Japanese restaurant delivers an omakase menu that "blends Tokyo-style sushi and Kyoto-style kaiseki into a unique tasting menu, selected and prepared by our chefs based on ingredient availability and seasonality." How could I resist that description?

Otoko comes from Paul Qui, one of Austin's best-known chefs, and his longtime friend, Yoshi Okai.  Okai appears to control the menu and personally prepared most of our sushi dishes tonight.  Across the board, every single piece of sushi was excellent, flavorful and fresh and frequently adorned with unexpected touches, such as olive oil.

The grilled dishes were also spot-on, every one a tasty treat.

The only place the meal suffered, at least for my palate, was in the dessert phases.  Some of the dishes felt out of place; ref., for example, the friend eggplant.  The final dish, though, "Memories of summer", tasted exactly like that, a beautiful blend of many different takes on watermelon.

If you like sushi, are willing to spend a great deal, and are going to be in Austin, it's worth trying to get a seat at Otoko.  Though it hasn't unseated Counter as my Austin favorite (I'll be there tomorrow night), it is a top-drawer place that will let you experience absolutely wonderful sushi.

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