It's really hard for me to try new sushi places because I love the 3 I typically go to: Dancing Wasabi, Green Papaya, and Asiana. However, I really have been wanting to branch out more and try some new places. I recently read on Metromix Dining Guide 2011 Reader's Picks of various favorite places in 11 different categories. In the category of "sushi" Kyoto was ranked in the top 5, so I thought about trying something new this past Saturday evening. Ross and I were in the mood for sushi but nothing especially fancy or expensive. From the website, Kyoto seemed like a good choice.
Kyoto is located on Montgomery road in between Union Centre and Fields Ertel. It is in a little shopping center, but there is a sign in front that was easy to spot. Walking in, I immediately noticed that it was a little restaurant but very busy. It was a Saturday night around 5:45 or 6:00, so we weren't sure if there was going to be a wait or not. There wasn't a wait, but almost every table was seated. The decor is pretty simple Japanese influence with an aquarium, one TV showing Japanese shows, and the sushi bar. We were seated near the window which was nice, but COLD. We both wanted to leave our coats on, but I hate eating with my coat on :)
The menu was pretty much just sushi, sashimi, salad and soups. So, if you have someone who is looking for a different type of Thai/Japanese dish, I don't think they will find it here. We decided to order some edamame and 4 rolls: the Spicy Red Snapper Crunchy Roll, Manhatten Roll, Fusion Roll, and Kyoto Roll. Before our edamame came out, they brought us a small salad and cup of soup that we didn't realize they brought to every table. The soup was a simple broth soup with tofu and I think basil? Not quite sure, they didn't tell us what it was. This was fine, not a whole lot of flavor, and really just tasted like vegetable broth. The salad was pretty bland as well. We could have done without both the soup and the salad. It was just iceberg lettuce with a peanut/sesame dressing. There was way too much dressing on the lettuce and neither of us finished this salad.
Next our edamame came. This was pretty standard. There were a few pods that I felt were a bit soggier than I traditionally like, so overall it was fine. I like it from other places better.
Lastly, our sushi rolls came! These all looked great. It is served with the traditional wasabi and ginger on the side. We are used to getting the pink-colored ginger, this was white, which is no difference. All the rolls were very good! I liked them all! My favorite was the Manhatten roll (which really wasn't very different from the Fusion Roll), but it was tempura, tuna, salmon, crab, avocado and spicy mayo. The fusion roll was basically the same (I guess we didn't read the descriptions that closely because it was the same except it had yellowtail instead of crab). These were both great rolls! I liked that they were a bit warm on the outside and crunchy from the tempura. I liked the simplicity of the Spicy Red Snapper Crunchy Roll. It had just enough kick to it but the red snapper was tender with a mild delicate flavor. The Kyoto roll was both of our least favorites, but I still liked it. It was more refreshing because of the various vegetables. It had shrimp, tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, cucumber, and masago. The vegetables in this roll really stood out and were a nice change to the other two tempura rolls.
One of the best things about Kyoto was the price. All the rolls we got were between $6.25 and $8.95, very reasonable! The whole menu was similar in price. There were a few rolls that were in the $10 range, but there is a huge selection under $10. As for the service, it was fine. I actually was getting a bit annoyed because there were about 4 servers in the restaurant who would all come up to us about every 3 or 4 minutes asking if we were ready to order. I think that might just be the pace of the restaurant. This definitely is a place that people seem to come in and out pretty quickly, so I'm sure they were just being efficient, but that gets on my nerves.
Overall, I would go back! I liked Kyoto, and might add it to my list of sushi places. It isn't in my top 3--I just love those other three that I mentioned, but with the prices, convenience, and quality of sushi, I would make it back again.
Overall Experience: 3