Statesman’s Matthew Odam was able to find harmony between the juxtaposition of sublime sushi and stark space at chef Otto Phan’s sushi trailer turned upscale sushi restaurant Kyōten Sushiko. Now offering a 20-course omakase dinner and the more casual lunch service, the brick and mortar debuted in July and quickly secured the #7 spot on the critic’s dining guide.
The eight-seat dining room’s sparsely-decorated and silent space may leave something to be desired, but Odam quickly came to terms with it:
The space alarms with its austerity. And while I do think Phan will develop it over time, the severity and lack of distraction actually allow for the food to do all of the talking. Phan entered the dining room with a wooden box that held long, shimmering pieces of fish the size of a pork tenderloin. He handled it all with the pride and care of someone displaying family heirlooms or a collection of rare baseball cards.
The 20-course meal features 14 pieces of sushi and highlights “Phan’s obsession over vinegar levels in his rice and the various curing processes of his fish led to one sublime, cylindrical bite after another.” From striped horse mackerel to farm-raised bluefin tuna to a trio of rice to dry-aged A5 Wagyu (“the Babe Ruth rookie card of Phan’s collection”), the dinner thrilled.
While dinner may be the showpiece at Kyōten Sushiko, Odam shared that the real deal happens during lunch. The midday menu, available for dine-in and take-out service, features many dishes from Phan’s trailer including the chirashi bowl, which Odam pointed to as his favorite sushi dish in town.
The omakase-style reservation-only dinner has a $150 price tag but as Odam concludes, “it includes tax and gratuity, which makes it a fair value proposition.” Dinner is offered Wednesday through Sunday, with two seatings each night. Lunch service is offered Tuesday through Saturday.
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