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May 19, 2012 11:58 AM


My hubby and I will be visiting Austin for six days very soon. I suggested eating at Uchi or Uchiko sp? , but my nephew overruled and suggested Kome when the four of us dine together. What do you all think? We are also planning on Barley and Swine, La Condesa, Foreign and Domestic, and maybe Lenoir. Two nights are taken up by wedding obligations!

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  1. The only thing I've had at Kome is the tonkotsu ramen, which was great. BUT... even though I haven't had their sushi, I can't imagine that it would even remotely compare to Uchi/Uchiko.

    If you want traditional sushi, then Kome might actually be a better option. If you're into something more unique and special though, definitely go the Uchi/Uchiko route. Don't order sushi at the latter- it's a waste of money. Stick to the small plates, particularly the specials. Several of the permanent small plates are also great- the Uchiviche at Uchi and Jar-Jar duck at Uchiko, plus both have great smoked hamachi dishes on the permanent menus.

    So as said before, Kome's probably a good option for the usual sushi. Other ones would be Musashino ($$$) or Umi (less expensive, but in a strip mall in a not so exciting part of town).

    8 Replies
    1. re: popvulture

      I love Kome for lunch, but not so much for dinner or a special occasion, but maybe your nephew knows something I don't! I would suggest Uchiko over Uchi for 4 people as you can make a reservation. If you go to Uchi, you will need to get there early in order to not have a long wait plus when Uchi is full, the noise level is high making conversations difficult.

      Barley Swine also does not take reservations, so get there early if you don't want to wait.

      Other planned restaurants are solid choices!

      1. re: topeater

        Uchi takes reservations too, via OpenTable. I'd suggest booking one immediately at either restaurant if this is the route you wanna go.

      2. re: popvulture

        I have to disagree with Popvulture's assessment of Kome as "the usual sushi". Sure, they have rolls available with cream cheese or pickled jalapenos, but if you look beyond the "Longhorn roll" or the "Texas Turf and Surf Roll", you find discover a treasure trove of well executed dishes.
        Look for dishes popular in Japan but harder to find in the US such as the steamed Monkfish liver, the Madai ceviche with mango and salmon or the Kanpyo Maki roll made with shavings from a sweetened dried gourd.
        One highlight of the menu is the Ika-yaki, a whole squid grilled and beautifully presented with grated ginger. Other choices that separate Kome from the crowd include a Kimchi pickled Sea Bass, the octopus dumplings, and a Camembert cheese tempura.

        1. re: Alan Sudo

          I can see both of your points- I read popculture's comment as sushi at Kome would be a good idea, but I don't think he/she was necessarily saying that it's the only draw to the restaurant. There's definitely a ton of interesting items across Kome's menu.

          For those of you who've had the ramen both at Kome and Michi Ramen, how would you compare the two? And even better, if you've been to places like Santouka in LA or Ippudo in NYC, any comparisons there? I will be in town this weekend and the early feedback on Michi sounds pretty good.

          1. re: air

            From what I gather from Michi Ramen's menu, you have to pay for "extra" things that should come standard, like a soft boiled egg. Plus it's a trailer... if that's your bag, go for it. I'm personally sick of the trailer thing, aside from when I'm drinking beers with my friends and wanna grab a snack at one of the East Side King locations.

            Also FYI I wasn't knocking Kome... I'm sure their sushi is good. I love monkfish liver, and you'd probably catch me dead before I'd eat something called a "Texas Surf n' Turf Roll." I just don't think there's a question in the argument of Kome vs Uchi/Uchiko, unless money is a factor.

            As for really good ramen and other Japanese stuff like Yakatori, curry, etc, we just don't have it yet. I have a feeling it's coming, but as for here vs. NYC, there's absolutely no comparison.

            To end on an optimistic note, if you happen to end up downtown hanging out, there's a trailer called "Love Balls" (I know, horrible name) just east of 35 on 6th st. They serve Takoyaki - the pancake-esque balls stuffed with octopus in the center. It's worth a visit.

            1. re: popvulture

              The extras will make for a pretty pricy bowl at that point! Thanks for the clarification. I do like that Love Balls truck as well. Also a fan of the fish & chips from Bits and Druthers in that same park.

              1. re: air

                $9-12 depending on which bowl you start with and which topping you apply.
                Really looking forward to trying them.


                1. re: blueclaw666

                  I'll try it, but it just sounds half-baked to me. Just Tonkotsu ramen, no Shoyu or Miso. Plus you have to pay for sides.

                  I know places in Japan probably specialize in one type, but this is Austin, not Hokkaido. I've never been to a ramen place in the states with such a narrow menu. Just look at Kome- they have all three kinds, don't charge for extras, and are cheaper. They also gave me a sesame mill and togarashi automatically. I'm not saying I suspect Michi to be bad- it's probably actually great, but I still think it sounds horsey.

      3. FYI, Love Balls is temporarily closed,. They will reopen on June 1st at the 29th Street Ballroom, near the Spiderhouse at 29th & Guadalupe.

        1. Wow!
          Kome was just named one of the top 10 new sushi restaurants in the country by Bon Apetit.