Monday, June 29, 2009

Kyoto

I really like Kyoto on Prytania and often claim that they serve some of the best sushi in the city. Unfortunately, my last visit was less than stellar. Our selections included (clockwise from top left): Rock 'N Roll, Funky Margarita Roll, Shrimp Sara Roll, and Rainbow Roll.

Across the board (or plate), the rice was not properly prepared. It was served at a much colder temperature than is optimal - causing the grains to become hard. Honestly, if the rice is bad, then that flaw basically destroys the meal no matter the quality of the fish.

Speaking of, notice the different colors of the tuna in the Rainbow Roll and the Funky Margarita Roll. In the bottom left corner, the tuna is a pale pink while at the top right the tuna is a vibrant red, which is usually a sign of freshness.

The Funky Margarita was a nightly special of spicy tuna on the inside, fresh salmon and tuna alternating on top, and then a generous stripe of an avocado-lime sauce spiked with tequila. Unorthodox? Yes. But a fine combination of flavors in my opinion.

But the Sara Roll is one I always get at Kyoto. I have yet to find a similar roll in town. Chopped tempura baby shrimp with a unique spicy/crunchy sriracha and tempura flake mixture dolloped on top. I love how the heat of the chili sauce and the crunch from the tempura contrast with the sweet and soft texture of the shrimp.

Kyoto - Bogey for now, but I know that they can do better and will soon return seeking vindication.

12 comments:

flojindamesa said...

Kyoto is my favorite place for sushi in Nola. I think they (generally) have the freshest fish, although I haven't tried Rock n' Sake or Kanno. Have you tried the poke salad?

Peter said...

Flo,

I have had the poke salad before, and it is scrumptious. I have always loved Kyoto, but I am telling you that the rice was absolutely horrific on this last trip.

As for Rock 'N Sake, I think that it is more of a place to be seen then somewhere to enjoy good sushi. I like it for Friday lunch, but it's just not my scene on the weekends. (The Folk Singer will undoubtedly chime in with something about "the hot sushi chef.")

As for Kanno, I am a huge fan, but not as much as Robert Peyton. But then again, who is?

The Decayed Gentlewoman said...

I've been going to Kyoto since 2004 and when one of the owners there left (after Katrina, I think), the rice went downhill. I've also had it way too warm there, but ultimately its just never sticky enough anymore.
That being said, I think Kyoto has the best specialty rolls. I love the Sarah Roll, as well as the Jones Roll, and the Slow-Ya-Roll- which is all veggies topped with avocado and eel sauce. So good!
The poke salad is also amazing.
Kyoto isn't my *favorite* sushi place, but it is one of many good sushi restaurants in New Orleans.

The Decayed Gentlewoman said...

Also, have you tried Horinoya? It is my favorite in New Orleans, proper. I also love Shogun in Metairie.

Peter said...

I have never been a fan of Horinoya. I feel like I must be missing something though because both you and the St. James Girl (aka the "Uptown Librarian") love it. Maybe I order the wrong things? I have been wrong once or twice before

This might be cause for a Blackened Out field trip.

flojindamesa said...

I can't speak to the rice because I always stick to sashimi. I would think, though, that bad rice in a sushi roll is like forgetting to add the meat to the collard greens.

Thanks for your thoughts on Rock n Sake. I have a prejudice that any sushi place with the word "rock" in its title is going to be bad (e.g. Sushi Rock in San Francisco, or, even worse, Ace Wasabi's Rock n Roll Sushi chain). So your opinion confirmed my suspicions.

Dylan said...

If you go to Rock n Sake, could you pick up my Affliction shirt? I left it there last Friday night.

Folk Singer said...

Whoever posted as "Dylan" is an idiot....because Dylan never posts under her real name.

Plus, most people would not realize that Dylan is a girl.

FAIL.

The Decayed Gentlewoman said...

Peter- My favorite thing at Horinoya is actually the Chirashi. It is a little pricey, but out of the world. It comes with a really good variety of delicious fresh fish. The rice itself is divine, and they usually mix in some caramelized onions which makes it even better. A great non-sushi option is their Kitsune Udon.

Rene said...

Baton Rouge to get a Rock N Sake so sayeth they and Gambit.

laura t said...

you dont like sushi brothers? i just remember a recent brett andersen article with them.

SV said...

The problem with Kyoto is that the prices are high and the service is awful.

The sushi is good, surprisingly good considering how awful the service is.

I've written off Kyoto in favor of Mikimoto on Carrollton if I'm uptown or Little Tokyo if I'm in mid-city.

(I've had good experiences at Hoshun on St Charles, very high quality sushi and imaginative combinations, but they keep increasing their prices and decreasing their portions..)