Review - Uchi
Finally had the opportunity to get to Uchi with my Wife last week. We are transplants from L.A. and, while not sushi experts, fancy ourselves "well acquainted" with good sushi. We had heard all of the good (and bad) reviews about Uchi and were excited to find a spot here in Austin to quench our desire for raw fish.
Uchi did not disappoint. We took our time studying the menu and shouted our desires back and forth across our booth. Why restaurants think we want to spend $200 on food and be unable to hear one another is beyond me. Fine for a Hooters, but annoying when fine dining. In any case, the waiter was (necessarily) loud and very helpful in helping us narrow our choices based on our wine selections. We started by ordering the "Crudo" of Red Snapper made with Yuzu and a citrus vinaigrette, Maguro sashimi w/ goat cheese and pumpkin seed oil, the Saba Shio (grilled Norwegian mackerel), and the Avo Bake (avocado half stuffed with spicy krab and shrimp). Each was wonderfully well done and made with very fresh fish and other ingredients. The flavors worked very well together (goat cheese and raw fish? YES!) and were very inventive. Alot of white soy + nut oil + citrus going on, but it worked pretty well! We went on to order smoked hamachi with apple "jerky" which was a bit overpowering in smokiness, but delicious still. Also ordered the super toro which was very good with Japanese scallions and chilies. I've had better toro, but I thought it was steal at $8. We also tried the bacon steakie at the end (recommended to wait until the end of the meal). This was utterly sinful and perfect. Everyone who likes meat MUST try this. You may not have it twice, but you should experience it once. Dessert was good, but not memorable (peanut butter semi-freddo and apple-miso sorbet).
We were thrilled that this restaurant lived up to our expectations. If they can find a way to quiet the din in there (gosh I sound old), I would give it ANOTHER star...
re: tom in austin
In Los Angeles the best I've had was at Sushi Sasbune, but I admit I had not been to many of the "best" sushi restaurants in town. If you ask me for the best bluefin anywhere, I would tell you Takashi in Salt Lake City...Yes, Salt Lake City. In fact, it is the best overall sushi restaurant I have been to with Sushi Yasuda in NYC coming a close second. Takashi has some of the best fish I have tasted and the most fabulous live scallop sashimi preparation I've had - lemon, japanese scallions and chilies with a "secret" ingredient. Awesome. Most of my sushi dining in L.A. was born of convenience rather than searching for the best spot. Besides, the "best" sushi in L.A. is an obnoxious competition that I wasn't intrested in.