Now the restaurant is under the guidance of chef Sarah Cook, who had been training under Kyoten owner and founder Otto Phan up in his Chicago restaurant of the same time since earlier this year.
“The breadth of this training experience has given me an intimate understanding of a restaurant of this high caliber and character at every level,” Cook told Eater, “and has allowed me to focus on expanding my voice and vision.”
With Cook’s leadership, the restaurant will only offer omakase dinners. It’s to “focus even more on harnessing the energy of the ‘now’ and delivering that immediacy to guests,” she explained, “as well as working to unite guests not only with the perfect end results but with the process of growth and creation, eliminating the moments in-between.” She promised that “it will be a revolutionary dining experience.”
The multi-course omakase will feature items like nigiri made with mostly Japanese fish, as well as wagyu beef and avocado, plus other non-sushi dishes like congee. The reservations-only meal is $150 per person.
Concentrating on only omakase means that Kyoten won’t serve its previous daytime casual lunch menu anymore.
As part of the rebirth of the restaurant, the space underwent a change as well. To answer those calls of its decidedly stark space and lack of ambiance, as noted by Austin critics, there are now homey details in the omakase room (artwork, plants, flowers, and even a curtain). There’s also a new lounge that looks like a living room with couches, chairs, pillows, and even books.
Kyoten’s omakase seatings are held on Wednesday through Sunday at 6 and 8:30 p.m.
Phan opened Kyoten as a sushi trailer in 2014, and followed with the restaurant in 2016. He left Austin last summer to open a new restaurant in Chicago because it’s “a Michelin-starred marketplace” (the Chicago spot made GQ’s best new restaurants list this year).