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Restaurants & Bars 2

Ototo in Queen Anne- Sushi for the purists not for the tourists

Chad Cagnolatti | Aug 23, 200212:59 AM

Okay after having been three times I thought I could post a fair review. This place took over the space where Coronitas mexican used to live, just around the corner from Tully's on top Queen Anne hill. The place is intimate (3 outside tables and 12 or so, maybe less, inside as well as the obligitory sushi bar. This lends to a subdued atmoshere where conversation can easily be enjoyed. The decor is done in NY SOHO contemporary fasion. Quite funky I thought. The small outdoor patio is situated on the side of the street to perfectly catch the evening sun. However if on the patio after dark, the lighting is flourescent and there is no awning covering the tables leaving you with a "just stuck out there sort of feeling". All I can say about the sushi is that the cut of fish and the presentations are done to perfection. I am not arguing with any of you nigiri gurus out there that this place is the best, I'm just describing what I experienced. They offer some things which will definately spoil you. First, a 6oz lobster tempura maki. Stupendous! you will find it hard to revert back to shrimp tempura rolls. Also they serve a California deluxe roll with genuine snow crab instead of "krab" this makes a world of texture difference and will make it difficult to settle for the other stuff. The other must-have maki is thier own Ototo roll, it is a roll with maguro-tuna, hamachi-yellowtail, and salmon. It is rolled in an ultra-thin soy wrap which resembles a paper-thin crepe, and garnishing is cucumber, ginger and a type of mint. The ginger-mint combination is the most unique flavor I've ever had in a sushi roll before. For nigiri I am a great fan of O-toro-fatty tuna and at Ototo it melts in your mouth and has a sublime buttery texture but they also currently have Chu-toro a medium fatty tuna from Spain which is equally buttery but a bit more salty and flavorful and reminds me of what Serrano ham in Barcelona tastes like compared to prosciutto. Thier miso soup is chock full of tiny bits of tofu, shallot, seaweed, and shrimp flakes making it one of the more flavorful I've had. The spring roll app comes with sashimi salmon and tuna inside and are bright and fresh tasting. The chef's pesentations here are artfully done and the serving dishes are vibrant and colorful and some are hand-crafted earthenware pieces. Service was great all three times and my server knew where the cuts of fish were currently being flown in from. I was disappointed in the edamame though as it was served cool, sort of dried off and not salted. I like my soybean pods hot and still damp from the water with kosher salt but this may just be my preference. Overall, Ototo will become a regular haunt.

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